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Blue Devils advance to Friday’s 3 p.m. semifinal
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (theACC.com) – Second-seeded Duke answered every upset bid by seventh-ranked Louisville on Thursday, and the Blue Devils are moving on in the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
Maddy Acton and Kerrin Maurer each scored a hat trick, and Katie Trees and Taylor Trimble scored two goals apiece as Duke doubled up the Cardinals by a 14-7 score in quarterfinal action at Klockner Stadium.
The Blue Devils (14-2) advanced to Friday’s semifinal game (3 p.m,; RSN and ESPN3). Duke will face the winner of Thursday evening’s final quarterfinal match between third-seeded Boston College and sixth-seeded Syracuse.
After spotting Louisville a 3-1 lead at the outset of the match, the nationally third-ranked Blue Devils stormed back with five unanswered goals – including two apiece by Trimble and Acton – to go up 6-3.
The 11th-ranked Cardinals (10-7) closed within 6-4 at halftime thanks to Kelli Gerding’s goal off a pass from Kaylin Morrissette, who assisted on two first-half goals and scored one herself.
Louisville moved even closer at the outset of the second half on sophomore Hannah Koloski’s 50th goal of the season that trimmed Duke’s edge to 6-5. But the Blue Devils countered with a flurry of four unanswered goals – including Acton’s third of the afternoon – for a 10-5 lead, and the Cardinals couldn’t cut the deficit below three at any point in the final 17 minutes.
Senior Brigid Smith assisted on four Duke scores in addition to knocking in her 31st goal of the season. Louisville’s Morissette had three assists on the afternoon.
The Blue Devils improved to 7-2 this season versus fellow ranked teams.
Head Coach Kerstin Kimel:
“I’m really happy. It’s hard to beat a really good team twice, and I think Louisville is super, especially on the draw. What we wanted today was our kids to bounce back from the not-so-great performance against North Carolina last week, and I think we did just that. We were sharp, minus some possessions there towards the end of the game. They just did a really good job of sticking to our game plan. Our defense was so sharp in terms of limiting them. We gave up a couple of sloppy looks at the beginning of the game, but then we tightened up and limited them, especially their top scorers. I thought Gabby Moise did an awesome job on number 28 [Hannah Koloski] and Katie Trees and Erin Tenneson did a great job on number six [Kaylin Morissette] … Tournament time is tough, it’s a tough time of year for us academically and our kids are really focused right now.”
Sophomore Defender Isabelle Montagne:
“We played really gritty and collectively as a unit, and I think that is so important in tournament play. Moving forward to tomorrow, we just want to keep that going and fuel off the confidence from our win today. It was a total team effort.”
On the defensive effort:
“Coming off our last game, we talked about making sure that we were communicating well. Today was just a testament to that. We had each others’ backs, we were there for the second slides and those opportunities fueled those turnovers.”
On moving on in the tournament:
“It’s awesome. Any ACC game has a lot of weight, a lot of fire to it. Just being able to stay another day with the team and fight for the championship, I think that’s awesome. We’re just excited for tomorrow.”
Louisville Head Coach Kellie Young
On the game:
“I thought we played very good lacrosse for 30 or 40 minutes of this game, but if you are going to play against a top-10 team and win, we have to do that for 60. I am very proud of my team and the effort we left out there today. Duke was better and we wish them well in the rest of the tournament”
On what her team did well:
“In the first half, I thought our offense was executing. The goalie made a couple of nice saves. I thought our defense was executing. Mauer had no points in the first half, which was a huge step for our defense. And the draw. Anytime you’re outdrawing the number three team in the country that is a good thing.”