DURHAM, N.C. — The High Point University women’s lacrosse team held a two-goal lead early in the game but No. 6 Duke used a four-goal run late in the first half and a seven-goal run to start the second half to pull away to a 16-7 win on Wednesday night in Durham, N.C. Mackenzie Carroll and Christie Dougherty each scored twice and goalie Anna Wallingford made 12 saves.
“I’m really proud of the way our team played in the first half,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “We’ve been working on starting better and I thought we came out with the energy we needed. Anna made some great saves that got our offense started. We need to stretch the way we played in the first 30 minutes into 60 minutes.”
Wallingford also had five ground balls and two caused turnovers. Freshman attacker Kendyl Gardner scored a goal and had four ground balls.
Duke’s Kerrin Maurer and Kim Wenger each scored three times and Wenger grabbed six draw controls in the match. Goalie Mollie Mackler made three saves and had four ground balls and a caused turnover.
High Point fell to 8-3 overall while Duke improved to 10-5.
The Panthers made a statement early, scoring the first goal of the game and getting out to a 3-1 lead. Duke won the first draw of the game but came up empty when Wallingford saved the first shot off the stick of Taylor Trimble. The Panthers were able to clear it and Carroll scored on a free-position shot, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 27:46 left in the first half. That marked the first time in four games against ACC opponents that HPU held the lead.
Duke came right back with a score by Maurer from the left side with 27:26 to go. After Duke came away with the next draw, HPU shifted momentum its way with a great defensive play by Jasmine Jordan and another free-position save by Wallingford.
Gardner got HPU back out front with 23:13 to go in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Sara Kuhlman made a great pass to Gardner just outside the crease and Gardner put a low shot past Duke goalie Mollie Mackler to make it 2-1. High Point made it 3-1 when Alexis Goldman scored on a free-position shot.
After Duke’s Wenger scored, HPU was able to get another goal when Dougherty split the defense and deflected a shot off the ground to make it 4-2 with 18:11 to go in the first half.
Duke was able to go on a four-goal run and get the lead back going into halftime. Maddy Morrissey scored first on the run, taking a pass from Wenger from behind the net and getting a quick shot past Wallingford. The Panthers had some scoring chances during the run, including a great look by Alec Perry that Mackler stopped and a shot off the crossbar by Kuhlman, but the Blue Devils were able to pot three more on the run. The last by Makenzie Hommel made it 6-4 with 1:12 remaining.
High Point got one back in the last minute of the period when Carroll created her own shot, coming from beyond the net on the right side to pot the ball in the top right corner, making it 6-5 with 0:28 on the clock. Duke was able to answer when Morrissey ran in for a score 14 seconds before the break.
The Blue Devils scored the first seven goals coming out of halftime to take a commanding lead the Panthers could never challenge. The second score came on an athletic shot by Emma Hamm with 26:25 left in the game. After the game’s longest scoring drought, Duke’s Wenger and Amanda Jones scored within 20 seconds of each other, making it 11-5 with 15:13 on the clock. It was 14-5 by the end of the run.
The Panthers finally got back on the board when Dougherty came from behind the net to score in front, making it 14-6 with 9:43 left. High Point followed it with two more scoring opportunities but free-position shots by Perry and Grace Gaeng were both saved.
Freshman attacker Abby Berrettone added a goal for HPU in the last minute but Duke scored twice more to make it a 16-7 final.
The Panthers play a pair of NLC road games this weekend, beginning with Howard on Friday at 7 p.m. in Washington, D.C. HPU then travels to Michigan to take on Detroit on Sunday afternoon.