Lacrosse: Northwestern faces another big challenge against Duke

Ava Wallace, Reporter


Northwestern is heading indoors for its first home game of the season, hosting No. 8 Duke at the Accelerated Center in Northbrook, Illinois, on Thursday afternoon.

The No. 5 Wildcats (2-0) face a coasting Blue Devils (3-0) team that proved troublesome for NU early in the season last year. That 12-11 Cats win was a come-from-behind effort in which Duke’s Kerrin Maurer had 2 goals and three assists.

Maurer, a senior All-American, should prove a good matchup for senior midfielder Haydyn Anigian, who’s generally used as needed within NU’s defense to shadow an opponent’s top offensive threat.

Against Virginia on Feb. 14, Anigian kept the Cavaliers’ top scorer off the board.

Duke notched comfortable wins against unranked Elon, Richmond and Navy to start the season and have nine different goal scorers to show for it. The Cats have six, with freshman Selena Lasota and senior Kara Mupo accounting for 11 of NU’s 18 goals this season.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller expects to face a variety of offensive players, especially because Duke returns eight starters, though her primary concern is shutting down Maurer and winning the draw.

“You can point them out. Every single kid’s a threat,” Amonte Hiller said. “We’ve got to play good team defense, fight for draws.”

The loss of Duke’s lynchpin defender Taylor Virden should give the Cats’ still-shaky offense a window of opportunity as far as creating chances in front of the net. But where shots themselves are concerned, NU’s goal scorers will be up against the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Week in goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea, who recorded nine saves in the Blue Devils’ win against Navy.

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