Lacrosse April 2011 : Page 50

Well Healed ardon the Duke women if their copy of the cliché handbook is a little dog-eared by now, especially the chapter titled “One Game at a Time.” That’s the way most teams roll these days. The Blue Devils are no exception By Nelson Coffin to that rule as they deal with the final games of their season — eight of which (depending on how far they advance in the ACC tournament that begins April 21 in nearby Cary, N.C.) will be away from their friendly home turf in Durham. From Charlottesville to Chicago, and Boston to Philadelphia, Duke’s season-closing roadie is one that would test the mettle of any Division I squad, even one that some observers believe has the talent to end up on top when a champion is crowned Memorial Day weekend at Stony Brook. “It’s really hard to look so far ahead in a season, because you never know about injuries,” said Duke coach Kerstin Kimel. “We have a great coaching mentor here at Duke in (men’s basketball) Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski). He always says you don’t know who you are in the beginning of the season. You have to wait to see how things develop.” Visiting Virginia, Northwestern, Boston College and Brown consecutively between March 26 and April 10 will be a daunting task. Finishing the regular season at Ivy League champ Penn on April 29 doesn’t figure to be a cheesesteak party, either. That is precisely why Kimel and her troops stick to focusing on the task at hand, which has been made easier with the return of two junior standouts — midfielder/ attacker Emma Hamm and goalie Mollie Mackler. Each missed either all or most of the 2010 campaign. Sophomore Makenzie Hommel, limited to eight games as a rookie due to a concussion, also is back in the fold, as is classmate and fellow attacker Alyssa Ogle. She “never really caught up,” according to Kimel, because of missing fall ball in 2009. Add freshman midfielder Maddie Salamone, coming off a knee injury that made her a redshirt last season, to the mix of veterans. Although not having injured Caroline Spearman hurts the defense, Kimel feels there’s a chance the senior defender will recover in time to make an impact on Duke’s postseason fortunes. Having a healthier team makes things much easier. That said, Kimel also knows that there’s only one way to deal with injuries. “When Mollie was hurt last year (in the seventh game, against Boston University), we just had to move on,” she said. “You can’t really think about it. It wasn’t until after the season, I thought, ‘Wow, we were really injured.’ You just don’t notice it as much when it happens.” With Mackler patrolling the goal circle, and sophomore backup Kaitlin Gaiss having more experience after finishing 2010 between the pipes, the Blue Devils are in good shape. “We have a young defense, so it’s good to have Redshirt junior Emma Mollie back there,” Kimel said. “She’s very athletic. (Right) Hamm has returned from a knee With her in the goal, the defense can play more injury to give Duke another weapon on offense. (Inset) fundamental lacrosse.” Classmate Mollie Mackler is Mackler also keeps the team loose during back patrolling the cage. Once plagued by injury, Duke welcomes back veterans for tough late-season schedule P “Having someone like Emma, who has all that game experience, brings us all together.” —Duke attacker Christie Kaestner on teammate Emma Hamm 50 LACROSSE MAGAZINE >> April 2011 A Publication of US Lacrosse

Well Healed

Nelson Coffin

Once plagued by injury, Duke welcomes back veterans for tough late-season schedule<br /> <br /> Pardon the Duke women if their copy of the cliché handbook is a little dog-eared by now, especially the chapter titled “One Game at a Time.”<br /> <br /> That’s the way most teams roll these days. The Blue Devils are no exception to that rule as they deal with the final games of their season — eight of which (depending on how far they advance in the ACC tournament that begins April 21 in nearby Cary, N.C.) will be away from their friendly home turf in Durham.<br /> <br /> From Charlottesville to Chicago, and Boston to Philadelphia, Duke’s seasonclosing roadie is one that would test the mettle of any Division I squad, even one that some observers believe has the talent to end up on top when a champion is crowned Memorial Day weekend at Stony Brook.<br /> <br /> “It’s really hard to look so far ahead in a season, because you never know about injuries,” said Duke coach Kerstin Kimel. “We have a great coaching mentor here at Duke in (men’s basketball) Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski). He always says you don’t know who you are in the beginning of the season. You have to wait to see how things develop.”<br /> <br /> Visiting Virginia, Northwestern, Boston College and Brown consecutively between March 26 and April 10 will be a daunting task. Finishing the regular season at Ivy League champ Penn on April 29 doesn’t figure to be a cheesesteak party, either.<br /> <br /> That is precisely why Kimel and her troops stick to focusing on the task at hand, which has been made easier with the return of two junior standouts — midfielder/ attacker Emma Hamm and goalie Mollie Mackler. Each missed either all or most of the 2010 campaign.<br /> <br /> Sophomore Makenzie Hommel, limited to eight games as a rookie due to a concussion, also is back in the fold, as is classmate and fellow attacker Alyssa Ogle. She “never really caught up,” according to Kimel, because of missing fall ball in 2009.<br /> <br /> Add freshman midfielder Maddie Salamone, coming off a knee injury that made her a redshirt last season, to the mix of veterans.<br /> <br /> Although not having injured Caroline Spearman hurts the defense, Kimel feels there’s a chance the senior defender will recover in time to make an impact on Duke’s postseason fortunes. Having a healthier team makes things much easier.<br /> <br /> That said, Kimel also knows that there’s only one way to deal with injuries.<br /> <br /> “When Mollie was hurt last year (in the seventh game, against Boston University), we just had to move on,” she said. “You can’t really think about it. It wasn’t until after the season, I thought, ‘Wow, we were really injured.’ You just don’t notice it as much when it happens.”<br /> <br /> With Mackler patrolling the goal circle, and sophomore backup Kaitlin Gaiss having more experience after finishing 2010 between the pipes, the Blue Devils are in good shape.<br /> <br /> “We have a young defense, so it’s good to have Mollie back there,” Kimel said. “She’s very athletic. With her in the goal, the defense can play more fundamental lacrosse.”<br /> <br /> Mackler also keeps the team loose during Practice sessions, according to senior attacker Christie Kaestner.<br /> <br /> “I was running through the 8-meter arc, and I heard Mollie laughing,” said Kaestner, who posted a career-high 39 assists in 2010. “She just brings so much life and passion to the sport. She has an unbridled joy, like a kid in a candy shop.” Hamm, Kaestner said, brings a different kind of happiness to the club.<br /> <br /> “Having someone like Emma, who has all that game experience, brings us all together,” Kaestner said about the former U.S. Under-19 All-World star from Wayne, Pa., who registered 35 points as a sophomore in 2009 and led the Devils with 55 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers as well.<br /> <br /> Hamm complements Kaestner well — and vice versa.<br /> <br /> “Emma adds a playmaking dimension,” Kimel said. “It makes us more of a dynamic unit with her back. She has tremendous field vision and wins a lot of balls on the circle, too. She’s made a significant impact in that area.”<br /> <br /> Maryland coach Cathy Reese, whose defending national champion Terps punished the Blue Devils, 18-11, in late February, said Hamm gives Duke “an added dimension that helps them to be stronger and more consistent off ensively. She has great stickwork and sees the fi eld really well.”<br /> <br /> Reese said that Mackler was in the goal when the teams met in 2010.<br /> <br /> “She’s a really good goalie and we have a lot of respect for her,” Reese said. Returning two anchors at either end of the field can only help Duke’s chances in 2011. Adding a third in Spearman, who played in 20 games in 2009, would be a major bonus, providing her damaged knee ligaments heal in time.<br /> <br /> “She rehabbed all summer,” Kimel said about Spearman. “We don’t think there was any further damage to the knee, so we think she’ll be back.”

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
 
Loading