NEWTON, Mass. – Freshman Kelci Smesko netted three goals and senior Makenzie Hommel added two, but the sixth-ranked Duke women’s lacrosse team came up short in a 10-9 loss to Boston College Saturday afternoon at the Eagles’ Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Complex. The decision dropped the Blue Devils to 9-3 on the season and 2-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference competition, while Boston College moved to 6-6 overall and 3-2 in the league with the win.
The Eagles outshot Duke, 20-13, and won the draw by a 14-7 margin in the back-and-forth affair. The home team also finished with an 8-4 advantage in ground balls while limiting the Blue Devils to just one free position goal on the afternoon and their lowest scoring output since surrendering a 15-6 loss to then-No. 4 Maryland on Feb. 24.
Smesko led the Duke offense with a career-high five points on three goals and two assists, and Hommel surpassed the 100-point mark for her career with two tallies. Junior Maddy Morrissey and sophomores Brigid Smith and Taylor Trimble rounded out the point production for the Blue Devils, scoring one goal each, and junior Taylor Virden recorded a team-high five draw controls.
Duke came out firing to start the game, scoring on each of its first three trips down the field. In the opening minute of action, Hommel netted her team-leading 32nd goal of the season to give her the 100th point of her career. Smesko then followed with a pair of scores while Virden led the Blue Devils at the draw in the early going.
Following an answer by Boston College’s Mikaela Rix at the 17:49 mark, Smesko found the back of the net again midway through the period to earn her second hat trick of the season and push Duke’s margin to 4-1. However, the Eagles used a 4-0 run over the next five minutes to take their first lead at 5-4. Smith knotted the game again at 5-5 but Rix and Sarah Mannelly of Boston College scored within the final four minutes of the half to give the home squad a two-goal advantage at the break.
In the second half, the Blue Devils quickly pulled within one at 7-6 as Smesko dished to Trimble from behind the cage. The two teams then traded goals over the next eight minutes, with the Eagles continuing to lead, 9-7, with 18:29 to play.
Propelled by freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea’s seventh save of the afternoon, the Duke defense made an important stop midway through the period. Morrissey then converted a free position attempt at the other end of the field to narrow the Eagles’ lead back to one at 9-8. A corresponding free position goal by Boston College six minutes later pushed the margin back to two before Hommel tallied her second score of the day on a feed from Smesko with 3:44 remaining. However, the Eagles won the ensuing draw control and were able to fend off the Duke defense for the remainder of regulation to edge the Blue Devils by a 10-9 score.
In addition to winning five draws, Virden also picked up two ground balls and was credited with a caused turnover while fellow defender Gabby Moise logged two caused turnovers in the contest. Duryea made nine stops in goal and also registered a ground ball and a caused turnover, and her counterpart, Boston College’s Emily Mata, totaled two stops for the Eagles.
Duke hits the road again next weekend, traveling to No. 4 Northwestern Friday, Apr. 12 for an 8 p.m. tilt.
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