Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/12/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
The Duke University women’s lacrosse team will open the 2010 season this weekend with two non-conference matches. The Blue Devils play host to the University of Denver Pioneers today at 4:00 p.m., before traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to take on eleventh-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Duke is currently ranked fifth in the country by Lacrosse Magazine, the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse and is coming off a 15-6 (3-2 ACC) record in 2009, which saw the Devils advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Pennsylvania, 10-9.
The Blue Devils, coached by Kirsten Kimmel (Haverford High), return six starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s team, including tri-captains Sarah Bullard, Lindsay Gilbride and Danielle Kachulis. Duke also welcomed 10 newcomers into the mix.
The Blue Devils have a host of Philly products, led by senior defender Sara Giedgowd (Conestoga). Giedgowd started 19 games at close defense and had 13 caused turnovers. The other Philly returning starter, junior standout Emma Hamm )Baldwin School) has been ruled out for the season after a serious Fall Ball injury. Hamm had 16 goals and 19 assists as well as 55 draw controls in 2009 after earning All-American honors as a freshman.
Other returnees include senior midfielder Christie Barnes (Radnor), junior defender Taylor Fleming (Merion Mercy), and sophomore midfielders Amanda Jones (Germantown Academy) and Kim Wenger (Great Valley). Wenger played in all 21 games and scored six goals while Jones had two goals and four assists in just seven games (due to illness).
Freshmen include defender Sarah Kendrick (Hill School) and attack Caroline Keating (Agnes Irwin).
Friday’s match will be the sixth all-time meeting between the Blue Devils and Denver. Duke is 5-0 against the Pioneers after defeating DU in last season’s opener, 17-8, on Feb. 13, 2009. Gilbride led the way for Duke with five points on four goals and an assist, while Megan Del Monte (’09) and Bullard each recorded a hat trick.
Denver also features sophomore goalie Ashley Harman (Boyertown), the Rookie of the Year last season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Denver is 1-0 on the season after topping St. Mary’s 18-5 on Jan. 29. Sophomore midfielder Lauren Ciccomascolo led the Pioneers with four goals and two assists in the match and was named MPSF Player of the Week for her effort.
Sunday’s contest at No. 11 Vanderbilt will be the 16th meeting between the two programs. Duke is 12-3 against the Commodores, including a 22-16 victory in Durham a year ago. Gilbride again paced the Devil attack with career highs in points (8) and goals (6) in last year’s match.
Vanderbilt features sophomore defenders and twins Kacie Connors (Radnor) and Kelly Connors (Radnor) and freshman midfielder Olivia Goodman (Agnes Irwin)
In addition, season tickets are now available for $50, and grant admission to all Duke men’s and women’s 2010 home matches, a total of 19 contests. Single game tickets are $5 for everyone age 13 and over, while children 12-and-under as well as Duke students receive free admission. To order tickets, go to http://www.goduke.com/tickets or call 1-877-375-DUKE.
Duke returns to action next Friday, Feb. 19, heading to Richmond for a match against the Spiders at 3:00 p.m. The Devils continue their early season road swing with a trip to William and Mary on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1:00 p.m.