DURHAM, N.C. – A number of Blue Devils have been in action this summer with the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League, while three current members of the team are set to kick off action at the 2019 Women’s Lacrosse U19 World Championships.
Trio of Blue Devils Set for U19 World Championships
A trio of Blue Devils is set to represent Duke on the international stage, as the 2019 Women’s Lacrosse U19 World Championships get underway Thursday from Peterborough, Ontario. Sophomore Maddie Jenner will compete for the U.S. U19 national team, while classmate Hannah Thurston will play for England’s national team and incoming freshman Ainsley Thurston for the Canadian national team.
Canada, the United States and England have all been placed in Pool A, along with Australia. Pool A action begins Friday with the U.S. facing Australia at 5 p.m., and Canada and England squaring off at 8 p.m. Pool play continues through Sunday, followed by playoff rounds beginning Tuesday, Aug. 6 and the championship game Saturday, Aug. 10. A complete game schedule is available here.
All 81 games of the World Championship will be broadcast on Lax Sports Network, while the Olympic Channel will live stream the tournament semifinals and gold and bronze medal contests, as well as four additional placement games. More streaming information is available here.
Jenner earned a spot on the 2019 U.S. U19 women’s national team in January and is coming off of an outstanding freshman campaign that saw her rank second on the Duke squad with 88 draw controls in 17 contests. That total ranked her second in the Blue Devils’ freshman record book and sixth on the program’s single season list.
Hannah Thurston was a bronze medalist with England at the 2015 U19 World Championships and also helped the U20 national team take first at the 2018 European Women’s Lacrosse Championships.
Ainsley Thurston will join the Blue Devils out of Lake Highland Preparatory. She was tabbed an All-American by US Lacrosse as a senior after notching 70 goals and 30 assists.
Griffin, Brave Claim WPLL Title
Blue Devil assistant coach Brooke Griffin and the Brave captured the WPLL championship last week with a 13-12 victory over the Brave. Griffin tallied a goal late in the contest to help fuel a comeback win for the Brave.
Williams Joins Coaching Staff
Head coach Kerstin Kimel announced this week the addition of Nick Williams to the Blue Devil coaching staff. Williams joins Duke as an assistant coach following a successful tenure at Georgetown. Williams brings a wealth of coaching experience to Durham, having spent the past six seasons with the Hoyas. He served as a volunteer assistant coach for one campaign and an assistant coach for four seasons before being elevated to the role of associate head coach prior to the 2019 campaign.
“I am so excited to welcome Nick and his wife Ryan to our Duke lacrosse family,” Kimel said. “Nick has been a steady fixture at our camps over the last eight years so he is very familiar with all things Duke lacrosse. Nick is well versed on the defensive side of the ball and has seen great success running versatile defenses everywhere he has been over the last decade. Most recently, Georgetown's defensive unit was instrumental in their run to the 2019 BIG EAST Championship.
Nick's experience, knowledge of the game, passion and enthusiasm for the sport will no doubt serve our players and our program well as we forge ahead into the 2019-20 season.”