#2 Northwestern Overpowers #5 Duke in Quarterfinals

Up next for Northwestern is the much-anticipated rematch with third-ranked North Carolina at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md. The Tar Heels, who defeated Virginia 17-7 to advance to the Final Four, are the only team to best the Wildcats this season, taking an 18-16 decision in Evanston on April 18. That game will be the second semifinal game Friday, May 28 and is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be televised live on CBS College Sports Network.

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EVANSTON, Ill. - No. 2 Northwestern, in search of its sixth consecutive national championship, scored 10 unanswered goals to open the game and never looked back, defeating the seventh-seeded Duke women's lacrosse team 18-8 Saturday afternoon at Lakeside Field in the quarterfinal round of the 2010 NCAA Championships.

Northwestern improves to 19-1 overall and will play third-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA semifinals. Duke ends its season with a 15-5 record after making its thirteenth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Northwestern's Danielle Spencer led all scorers with four goals and two assists as the Wildcats had five players register three or more goals in the contest. Lindsay Gilbride, Kat Thomas and Christie Kaestner paced the Devil attack with two goals each, while Amanda Jones and Kim Wenger also netted goals for Duke.

The first half belonged to Northwestern as the Wildcats outshot Duke 23-7 and dominated the draw 14-2. Northwestern put 10 goals on the board before the Blue Devils responded with a Kat Thomas score with 6:34 remaining in the first half. Thomas would add another goal later in the frame, but the Wildcats took a comfortable 13-2 advantage into the intermission.

"To go down 10 to nothing, that was a tough pill to swallow at halftime," head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "I felt that we strayed away from our game plan. We had a good couple of possessions to start the first half, and we didn't do the things we had to do. [Northwestern] did a good job of taking away what we wanted and making adjustments."

Duke was able to regroup after halftime and outscored the Wildcats 6-5 in the second frame, but could never overcome Northwestern's lead. The Blue Devils won the draw to start the second half and Gilbride netted the Devils' third goal of the game, sparking a Duke 4-1 run. Wenger converted a free position opportunity to pull Duke to within 10 and Gilbride's second goal of the game cut the lead to nine with just over 25 minutes to play. Kaestner continued the rally with a goal, assisted by Danielle Kachulis, less than a minute later.

However, the Blue Devils were unable to continue to hold the Northwestern offense at bay as the Wildcats pushes their lead to 11 with three unanswered over the next four minutes. Jones netted an unassisted goal with 15:47 left to play, but Duke was unable to come any closer as the two teams traded one goal apiece to end the match.

The Blue Devils are now 14-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and fall to 2-7 against Northwestern in program history. The two teams met earlier this season with the Wildcats earning a hard-fought, 19-14 victory over Duke in Durham.

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2010-05-22



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