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Clemson stays undefeated, tops Duke for first ACC win of 2024

Mya McKenzie
The No. 19 Clemson women’s lacrosse team moved to 4-0 on the year following its first conference victory of the season over Duke on Saturday.

The No. 19 Clemson women’s lacrosse team earned its first conference victory of the season after defeating ACC rival Duke by a score of 20-11 on Saturday.

The Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC) were led by Claire Bockstie and Emma Tilson, both of whom earned a hat trick. Behind them came Natalie Shurtleff, Regan Byrne, Blair Byrne, Summer Agostino, Jasmine Stanton and Kayla Macleod with two apiece. Meanwhile, Alex Scialdone and Shannon Brazier rounded out the Tigers’ scoring with one goal each.

Head coach Allison Kwolek’s offensive approach of spreading the ball out appears to be working, as 10 different scorers against a strong ACC opponent is no small feat.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Kwolek said. “They battled together and gave it their all for the full 60 minutes. Paris (Masaracchia), Ariana (Kline) and Megan (Halczuk) were an incredible unit on the draw today. Having 10 different players put up points was incredible. I also thought our defensive unit made some really nice stops and were huge in our transition game.”

Masaracchia, Kline and Halczuk combined for 24 draw controls — half of which came in the second quarter alone — while defender Bella D’Gracia led the way in transitions with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Although the Blue Devils (2-3, 0-1 ACC) opened scoring, jumping to a 3-1 lead within 10 minutes of play, Clemson is not a team known for letting the scoreboard run away from it. The second period saw the Tigers begin with six unanswered goals before the halfway mark was reached, as the defense kept the arc locked down on the opposite end of the field and held the Blue Devils to four points in the second quarter compared to Clemson’s nine.

Halftime marked the beginning and the end of any tug-of-war with the score, as the Tigers dominated in the second half. They went on several runs of three or more unanswered goals, more than doubling the Blue Devils’ scoring for the half once the final whistle blew.

The Tigers’ defense, guided by former-midfielder-turned-assistant-coach Marina Miller, played lights out the entire game. The unit shined brightest in the fourth quarter when the Tigers forced a turnover off of a shot clock violation to start the final period.

Clemson will look to keep its undefeated streak alive as the team takes on its toughest opponent yet, the No. 15 Virginia Cavaliers, at the Tigers’ home field on East Beach Drive at 1 p.m. on March 2.

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Grace O'Donnell
Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
Mya McKenzie, Senior Photographer
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