Duke Drops Heartbreaker To Maryland In ACC Championship

Duke Drops Heartbreaker To Maryland In ACC Championship
04/26/2009 – Duke Sports Information
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The third-seeded Duke women’s lacrosse team erased an early 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 halftime lead, and led by as many four goals in the second half, but couldn’t hang on as top-seeded Maryland downed the Blue Devils, 12-11, Sunday afternoon to capture the 2009 ACC Championship at Virginia Tech’s Thompson Field.
The Terrapins outscored Duke 8-6 in what turned out to be a telling second half.
Maryland’s victory defended their regular-season ACC crown, as the team picked up its sixth ACC Championship and first since 2003. Duke is now 1-4 all-time in the ACC finals, 1-3 in conference tournament competition against Maryland, and 8-11 all-time against the Terps following a regular-season loss at Maryland Feb. 28.
Duke drops to 13-5 on the season, while Maryland remains unbeaten at 18-0.
The Duke foursome of Caroline Cryer, Carolyn Davis, Sarah Bullard, and Kim Imbesi received All-Tournament honors for their play, leading the Blue Devils to the finals with dominating wins over Boston College and North Carolina in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
“I’m really proud of our girls for showing a tremendous team effort today and playing three outstanding opponents in four days,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “I thought we handled this weekend wonderfully. Maryland is a fantastic team, and in the end another draw control here, a finished shot there, a better slide on defense, the little things made a difference at the end of the game.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of how tough we competed this entire weekend and we look forward to finishing out our regular-season tough against Dartmouth.”
Five different Duke players scored in the opening frame as part of a 5-0 run, while the Blue Devils out-shot Maryland 15-12 in the half to fight back and take the lead after going down 4-0.
Duke continued its run, which ultimately ended at 8-0, with three more tallies in the first seven minutes of the second half to build the 8-4 lead with 23:42 on the clock. Two of those first three came from Bullard, who finished with a team-high four goals. That was Maryland’s largest margin of deficit all season.
Maryland’s Laura Merrifield – who came into the game with 49 goals – picked up her second yellow card just 40 seconds into second half, which took her out of play for the remainder of the game.
The Terrapins scored their first goal since 21:55 in the first half when Karri Ellen Johnson took a pass in front of the cage to make it 8-5 in favor of Duke. That sparked a 4-0 Maryland run that re-tied the game at eight with 13:19 left.
Duke took the lead back at 11:46 on a hard-fought goal for Cryer, who dodged and re-dodged in front of the cage before finding the open shot. But it would be tied again, this time at nine, on a goal for McFadden, who scored all four of her goals in the second. She posted another goal to give the Terps the 10-9 lead with 8:19 left. Another 4-0 Maryland run put them out in front, 12-9, with just 2:51 on the clock.
But the Blue Devils wouldn’t go quietly, as the Terps committed a turnover in their offensive end and Duke took it the length of the field for a Davis goal off an assist from Cryer at 2:08. The Blue Devils won the ensuing draw but had a free position shot saved, giving UMD the ball back, but would commit another turnover that led to a Bullard goal with under a minute to go. Maryland won that draw, called timeout with 49 seconds left, and played keep-away as the clock wound down. Duke was able to wrestle the ball back as the clock neared 10 ticks, but it wasn’t enough for a final shot as the Terrapins kept the one-goal edge to earn the tournament win.
After going down 4-0 early, Duke didn’t fire its first shot in the game until the 19:25 mark with the Terps playing tough defense and outshooting Duke 8-0 to that point, but the Blue Devils then maintained possession for the better portion of the first half as they began to claw back.
The Blue Devils got their first one at 18:49, a goal for Emma Hamm in the middle off a crisp pass from Davis to cut it to 4-1. Lindsay Gilbride then made the most of her free position shot at 15:08 to cut the lead in half, before Caroline Spearman took a pass in front from Cryer and sent it past the keeper for the third Duke goal. Megan Del Monte knotted the equalizer for the Blue Devils at 5:23 as she took the ball around the back of the cage and tucked her shot into the corner past the keeper.
Maryland was held without another shot until the 3:12 mark in the first half, when the Terrapins scored what would have been the go-ahead goal but Merrifield was assessed a card on the play and the goal was called off.
Duke then aimed for the last shot of the half but Bullard was fouled and converted her free position goal with 20 seconds left, and the Terps would not score again as the Blue Devils came all the way back to take the 5-4 lead into halftime.
In the championship game, Bullard led the team with four goals while Cryer and Davis had two each and Del Monte, Hamm, Gilbride, and Spearman all added one. Cryer had three assists as she continues to pace the team in that category.
McFadden led Maryland with four goals, while Brittany Dipper made 10 saves.
Duke won one more draw, 13-12, and ground balls were even at 10 each. Imbesi made six saves in the game, finishing a strong tournament with 26 total stops.
In the three tournament games, Gilbride led the Blue Devils with eight goals, while Davis had seven, Bullard six, and Cryer five.
Duke wraps up regular-season play when it hosts No. 16 Dartmouth next Sunday, May 3, at 12 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium on Senior Day.

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