Trojan Lacrosse Eliminated by Duke in NCAA Second Round|
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May 10, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. - The USC women's lacrosse team (14-6) fell, 17-9, to third-seeded and No. 5-ranked Duke (15-4) in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Championships at Koskinen Field on Sunday, May 10. The Women of Troy put up a 4-1 run midway through the second half to pull within three goals, 12-9, but the Blue Devils secured a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals with a 5-0 burst to end the game.
Sophomore attacker Michaela Michael scored a pair of goals and led the Trojans with six draw controls. Fellow sophomore attacker Cynthia Del Core also scored two goals including one off a breakaway on which she picked up the ground ball. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen had two goals and an assist to go with two draw controls, a caused turnover, and a ground ball.
USC's three other goals came from sophomore attackers Annie Ruland and Kylie Drexel, and junior attacker Caroline de Lyra. Drexel led the team with a pair of assists and secured one of USC's draw controls. De Lyra caused a turnover and Ruland picked up a ground ball to round out their stat lines. Defensively, freshman midfielder Lydia Sutton led the Trojans with four ground balls. Junior defender Eggy Plastaras had three ground-ball pickups to go with a caused turnover and senior Elizabeth Eddy finished with a pair of caused turnovers and one ground ball. In goal, freshman Gussie Johns had three saves and a ground ball.
For Duke, four players scored hat tricks including Kerrin Maurer, who had four goals, two assists, and six draw controls. Kyra Harney and Brigid Smith each had three goals and two assists apiece, while Taylor Trimble had the hat trick alone. Chelsea Landon scored one and dished out a pair of assists, and Katie Trees scored two but led all players with four assists. Maddy Acton had the only remaining Duke goal. In the net, Kelsey Duryea allowed nine goals but came up with eight saves to go with three ground balls and a caused turnover.
The Devils got off to an auspicious start when Trimble scored the first goal of the game within 15 seconds of the opening draw. Trimble did it again off a long clear attempt to put Duke on top, 2-0, just four minutes in. The Trojans got on the board when Johansen dodged to her left and returned to her right to score low on Duryea just 30 seconds later. The USC goal sparked a 4-0 run by the Devils, who got goals from Acton, Smith, Timble, and Maurer over the course of the next seven minutes to pull Duke out to a 6-1 lead.
With an opportunity on offense, Del Core cut across the middle of the arc and received a pass from Drexel to put a shot past Duryea and get the Trojans within four, 6-2, but Duke executed quickly and scored the next two goals to get out to a six-point lead, 8-2, with under 15 minutes to play in the first half. Drexel found Johansen for USC's next goal and helped cut the lead to five, but Trees fought through the Trojan defense to score and put Duke on top by six again, 9-3, with under four to play.
Drexel took matters into her own hands on the next possession as she dodged from the top of the 12-meter fan and scored to get USC back within five goals, 9-4. The Trojans closed the half with one more goal from de Lyra who scored from a free-position attempt to make the score, 9-5, heading into the halftime break.
USC carried momentum into the second half and had a good offensive look to open, but couldn't score. Duke went the other way for a pair of goals within 30 seconds of each other to go up by six goals again, 11-5, with just four minutes off the clock. Despite being heavily face-guarded throughout the game, Michael was able to break free and forced her defender to foul her. She scored the next goal from the eight-meter arc, and then came down the field to take a pass from Johansen for another goal to cut the Duke lead to four, 11-7.
The Blue Devils won the next draw and set up on offense. After a long defensive stand by the Women of Troy, a successful clear set Ruland up on the eight-meter arc for a shot at Duryea. Ruland went low and to the left to score and get USC back within three goals at 11-8. The fast-breaking Devils had the immediate answer as Harney scored on a one-timer off a pass from Trees to get the lead back to four, 12-8, but Del Core picked up a ground ball on Duke's next clear attempt and went straight to goal to beat Duryea through the five-hole and get USC back within three, 12-9.
The three-goal deficit was as close as the Trojans would get however, as the Devils' defense stiffened up down the stretch. Duryea produced three crucial saves in the final 10 minutes to hold off any Trojan attempts at a comeback all while the Duke offense racked up a 5-0 scoring run to close the game for a 17-9 victory.
For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and Twitter @USCTrojansLax.