No. 5 Duke Defeats No. 9 Penn in NCAA Tourney

Duke picked up where it left off to start the second half, notching back-to-back goals in the first 3:03 to extend its lead to 9-4 with just under 27 minutes left on the clock. Thomas picked up her third goal of the game just 44 seconds into the second stanza and Hamm followed with her team-leading 46th goal of the season 3:20 later.

Cain struck for the Quakers to cut Duke's margin to 9-5, but Kim Wenger found Bullard for a score with 21:27 left to increase Duke's lead to five goals.

Despite the deficit, a pesky Penn squad kept fighting as Cain scored two unanswered for the Quakers to cut Duke's advantage to three with 16:26 to play. Duke and Penn would trade two goals each over the final half of the second period, starting with Wenger's free position tally which put the Blue Devils up by four.

Penn's Erin Brennan scored the last two goals of the game for the Quakers, and Thomas added another for the Blue Devils as Penn could not cut Duke's lead under three the rest of the way.

Duke goalie Mollie Mackler finished the game with eight saves and the Blue Devils' defense caused 11 Penn turnovers on the afternoon. Quaker goaltender Emily Leitner tied a career-high with nine stops in the loss.

With the win, the Blue Devils advance to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive season and will face No. 4 Florida Saturday, May 21 in Gainesville, Fla. Duke is in search of its sixth trip to the national semifinals and first since making four consecutive appearances at the final weekend from 2005-08.

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DURHAM With a 12-9 loss at No. 5 seed Duke, Penn's run of consecutive trips to the national quarterfinals came to an end at four.

The Red and Blue had their chances in the game, sending 24 shots toward Duke's goal, but a four-goal run over 3:46 early in the first half gave Duke a 4-1 lead and Penn was unable to catch up.

Meredith Cain did all she could to keep Penn's chances alive, with a career high four goals and five points. Erin Brennan added four points with a pair each of goals and assists while Lindsey Smith had a goal and an assist in her first NCAA action.

Another Penn player who stood out in her first national tournament game was junior goalkeeper Emily Leitner. She tied her career high with nine saves, seven of which came in the first half as Duke took 18 shots in the opening 30 minutes.

The four points for Brennan give her 52 for the season, which ranks seventh all-time by a Penn player. In addition, she finishes her first three seasons as a Quaker with 153 points, moving into fifth-place all-time in Penn program history. She will enter the 2012 season just four points behind fourth-place Rachel Manson and 47 points away from becoming Penn's third 200-point scorer; 93 of her points have been goals, ranking Brennan eighth all-time and leaving her seven away from becoming the seventh player to score 100 goals in a Penn uniform. Finally, Brennan has 60 assists for the Red and Blue, good for fifth-place on that list.

Senior Giulia Giordano had one assist in the game, finishing her career with 127 career points and 10th place all-time on Penn's career scoring list. For Giordano, 48 of those points were assists, ranking her sixth all-time on Penn's career assist list and her 79 goals are good for 12th.

Four other players saw their careers come to a close on Sunday. Keely Langdon, Carolyn Pollard, Lily Posner and Bridget Waclawik join Giordano in the Class of 2011, a group which won four Ivy League titles, advanced to two national semifinals, played in Penn's lone national title game in women's lacrosse history and won the first Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament to ever be played.

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