Spring sport spotlight: DeSimone wraps up stellar career with Duke women's lacrosse

Senior attacker Katie DeSimone matches her career-high in goals against High Point.
Senior attacker Katie DeSimone matches her career-high in goals against High Point.

As the collegiate sports spring season wraps up, the Blue Zone is once again here to analyze an outstanding spring athlete. Up next is Katie DeSimone:

When Duke women’s lacrosse walked off the field after its NCAA tournament loss to Loyola Maryland May 10, it was easy to point fingers at missed opportunities or small mistakes that snowballed into the defeat. Yet the Herculean performance of one player nearly powered the Blue Devils to victory — senior attacker Katie DeSimone. Her five goals and one assist on the day were a bright spot amidst the sadness of another early postseason exit.

The Bay Shore, N.Y., native’s heroics against the Greyhounds are by no means unusual. All year long, spectacular stick skills and sharpshooting abilities powered DeSimone to national prominence as she fought for her team in the midst of both triumphs and tribulations. Her career-high 63 goals on the season led all Duke scorers en route to a career-tying 85 points in 2024. Her knack for putting the ball in the net constantly showed up on the stat sheet, where the senior was the top scorer in 13 of the Blue Devils’ 19 games. When she wasn’t busy making her way to the cage, DeSimone was just as dangerous feeding her teammates, racking up 22 assists with her high lacrosse IQ.

The St. Anthony’s product’s incredible senior season did not go unnoticed, both within the ACC and on the national stage. The New Yorker earned a spot on the all-conference first team for her attacking excellence, giving her a four-year streak in terms of ACC honors. On top of that, DeSimone was one of 25 nominees for the 2024 Tewaaraton Award, which recognizes the top male and female college lacrosse players in the country.

The senior’s success, however, is nothing new. DeSimone has been tearing up the lacrosse landscape for Duke since she stepped onto the scene as a freshman. She ranked third on the team with 25 goals and 12 assists in 2021, boasting a stellar .521 shooting percentage. Her first-year campaign was good for ACC All-Freshman team honors. But once again, DeSimone didn’t stop there.

She continued to soar on the college scene, making the Tewaaraton Watch List as both a sophomore and junior. Her second year on the team was particularly special as she racked up Inside Lacrosse All-American honorable mention, second team All-ACC and IWLCA All-South Region honors while also leading the team with 60 goals. After easily reaching the 100-point milestone in her sophomore campaign, DeSimone made waves as a junior with another second team All-ACC nod along with a USA Lacrosse Magazine All-American honorable mention.

The senior’s impact is not exclusive to her abilities as a lacrosse player. Her leadership skills have made an indelible mark on each squad she has been a part of, with her central role in the attack unit and overall talent earning her respect from her teammates. As one of the preeminent players on head coach Kerstin Kimel’s roster, DeSimone is an irreplaceable centerpiece in the Blue Devil machine. 

After four years in the program, the senior attacker will now be moving on from the world of college lacrosse. Yet her impact on the team will not fade so easily. As Kimel looks to build her squad for next year, making up for the loss of DeSimone will be a tall order. Her absence is not just about goals or attacking prowess; it’s about the leadership and personality that leaves a gaping hole in this Duke squad.

Mackenzie Sheehy profile
Mackenzie Sheehy | Blue Zone editor

Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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