ELON, N.C. – A goal in the final seconds of regulation lifted 20th-ranked Duke to a 10-9 victory over No. 16 Elon University women’s lacrosse on Wednesday, March 29, at Rudd Field.
With the loss, Elon finishes nonconference action with an 8-3 record. The Blue Devils improved to 6-5 with the win. Elon’s eight nonconference wins mark the most in a single season to date, topping last year’s seven before entering conference play.
Stephanie Asher led the Phoenix with three goals. All three were scored in the final 22:11 of the game after being held scoreless in the first half. She also had two ground balls, a caused turnover and two draw controls. Abby Godfrey had a strong evening with a goal, four ground balls and five caused turnovers. Nicole Sinacori, Sloane Kessler, Shannon Horan, Anna Vitton and Jacie Cooper each scored once on the day. Kessler also added two assists while Sinacori and Horan each had one. Rachel Ramirez had a career-high nine ground balls with six caused turnovers in the cage while making six saves.
Grace Fallon, Maddie Crutchfield, Catherine Cordrey and Hayley Shaffer all scored a pair of goals to lead the Blue Devil attack. Crutchfield also led Duke with three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Maura Schwitter picked up a game-high four draw controls with both Crutchfield and Olivia Jenner grabbing three.
Duke got on the board with a goal form Ellie Majure in the opening four minutes, but Elon settled in and responded nicely in scoring four of the game’s next five goals. Horan scored Elon’s first goal of the evening to knot things at 1-1 before Kessler gave the Phoenix the lead by scoring with three seconds remaining on the shot clock.
Following a Fallon goal, Cooper and Godfrey both scored to make it 4-2 Phoenix, giving Elon its largest lead of the night. Down the stretch in the first half, though, Duke went on a 5-0 run to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 halftime lead, scoring all five goals in the final 6:34 of the opening half.
Out of the break, Duke continued its run with a goal 37 seconds into the second half, but Sinacori answered 32 seconds later with a goal of her own to end the 6-0 Blue Devil run. Sinacori’s goal started a 3-0 run for the Phoenix to pull back within one at 8-7 following Vitton’s tally with 9:05 to play.
In the final minutes, Shaffer scored with 5:12 to go with the Blue Devils up a player to make it a two-goal lead again, but Asher came through with a pair of free position goals just 50 seconds apart to tie the game at 9-9 with 3:41 to play.
After multiple turnovers in the final 90 seconds by both teams, Duke took control in the closing seconds and Crutchfield scored the game-winner with 12.6 seconds to go to seal the win.
– Each of the last two games between the Phoenix and Blue Devils has been a one-goal game. Last season, Elon went to Duke and won in the final seconds, 7-6.
– Stephanie Asher has now scored 39 goals on the season. With six regular season games to go, she is five goals away from breaking her program record of 44 in a single season.
– Elon earned two wins against ACC teams during nonconference play this year. In the first three seasons of competition, Elon had just one win (last season at Duke) over an ACC program.
After an eight-day break, the Phoenix will hit the road for a two-game trip to James Madison and Towson. Opening draw in Harrisonburg, Va., against JMU is set for 5 p.m. on Friday, April 7. Two days later on Sunday, April 9, the Phoenix will take on the Tigers at 12 p.m. noon. Friday’s game against the Dukes will air on CAA.tv with Sunday’s matchup against Towson airing on Lacrosse Sports Network.