March 16, 2011
No. 3 Blue Devils outdo Hokies, 18-8
Tech earns first conference loss of the season
Virginia Tech (6-3) 538
(3) Duke (7-1) 13518
  • Koskinen Stadium - 324

DURHAM, N.C. - In an aggressive and fast-paced game at Koskinen Stadium on the Dukes campus, the No. 3 Blue Devils proved to be too much for the Hokies, as they topped Tech 18-8 on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils were led by Kat Thomas, who finished the evening with four goals, while Tech was paced by junior Jessica Nonn and sophomore Brooke Martin, who had two goals each.

Tech (6-3, 1-1 ACC) got out to a seemingly impressive start as Nonn put the Hokies on the board first after weaving through the defense to find the back of the goal.

Duke (7-1, 1-1 ACC) responded with two goals of its own, but Tech would not back down. A free position shot from Martin tied things back up, this time at two apiece.

The Blue Devils didn’t take kindly to the close game and began to pull away immediately after the score. Three quick goals by Duke in under a minute forced a Tech timeout in an attempt to regroup. The timeout helped, but would not stop the Blue Devils. Though it caused a five-plus minute scoring drought, Duke would eventually tack on four more scores before the 15-minute mark in the first half.

Martin put away another free position shot to break the run up and make it 9-3, Duke, and the Hokies buried two more shots before halftime, but they just could not get any kind of run going and went into the break, down 13-5.

The Blue Devils saw seven different players score in the first half, and nine earn points.

Sophomore goalie Alex Gale made quite an impact in the first half, despite the score, nearly matching her career high with 10 saves.

The second half was very different from the first and though the pace of the game did not change, the offensive production for both teams was the complete opposite as in the first half.

The Duke defense bothered the Hokies’ shots for the majority of the second half but in the closing minutes Tech was able to put a small run together. Beginning with a good free position shot from junior Morgan Widlake with under five minutes remaining, sophomore Julia Heaps broke through the defense for a goal of her own just over a minute later. Senior Allie Emala capped off the scoring spree with her first goal of the game with just over a minute left, as Tech only allowed the Blue Devils to score once in the final ten minutes of the game.

The Hokies also came back in the second half on the draw. Tech only won six draws in the first, compared to Dukes 13, and then won six again in the second half, as opposed to Duke’s three.

Gale finished the game with 13 saves, while Duke’s Mollie Mackler made seven saves on the evening.

Tech returns to action one week from today, Wednesday, March 23, for a game at No. 16 William & Mary at 4 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech lacrosse, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Lax).

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