Elon WLAX Welcomes No. 8 Duke to Rhodes Saturday

Posted by Press Release on February 6, 2015 at 8:44 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – After opening the 2015 season with an impressive win last week, the Elon women’s lacrosse team (1-0) hosts No. 8 Duke on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 1 p.m. in Rhodes Stadium. The game marks the first time the Phoenix hosts a ranked opponent and an Atlantic Coast Conference member.

Looking Back
Elon looked strong in its 2015 debut, recording a 24-8 victory over visiting Kennesaw State on Jan. 31. The 24 goals by the Phoenix was a new program record as was the 16-goal margin of victory. Elon saw five goals from rookie Stephanie Asher, along with one assist, while Sloane Kessler notched a program and career-high four assists and scored three goals. Jacie Cooper, Anna Vitton and Kelsey Dupere also tallied three goals in the win. The Phoenix outshot the Owls, 44-13, and won 24 of the 35 draws. Elon was a near perfect 11-of-12 in clear attempts and picked up 19 ground balls. Elon goalie Rachel Ramirez claimed the win between the pipes and had three saves on the day.

A Look at the Blue Devils
This game marks the first game of the season for eighth-ranked Duke. The Blue Devils finished 2014 with an 11-8 record, a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals for the 10th straight year and No. 8 national ranking. Duke returns 25 letterwinners and eight starters from last year, including All-America selection Kerrin Maurer. The squad from nearby Durham, N.C., is led by Kerstin Kimel who has coached the program all 19 seasons of its existence.

Happy Anniversary
Saturday’s game marks the same day the Elon women’s lacrosse team played its first game in program history. The Phoenix played Duke in Durham, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, with the Blue Devils taking a 25-4 win. Sloane Kessler was credited with netting Elon’s first ever goal two minutes into the game.

Freshmen Influence
Elon saw a strong youth influence in its first game of the season. Six of the team’s freshmen accounted for 16 of the 24 goals scored by the Phoenix. There were also six rookies in the team’s starting lineup, while six other freshmen saw playing time.

Blue Devil Connection
There will be several people in maroon and gold on the Phoenix sideline Saturday with a connection to visiting Duke. Elon head coach Josh Hexter served as an assistant and associate head coach for the Blue Devils for eight seasons prior to accepting the Elon position in 2012. Phoenix volunteer assistant coaches Maddy Morrissey and Taylor Virden are both 2014 graduates of Duke University and were standouts in their lacrosse careers with the Blue Devils.

Next Up
The Phoenix goes on the road for the first time this season in its next game on Saturday, Feb. 14. Elon travels to Farmville, Va., to take on the Big South’s Longwood Lancers in a 1 p.m. start.


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