DURHAM, N.C. – The University of Delaware women’s lacrosse team wrapped up a successful exhibition schedule this past weekend as the Blue Hens defeated sixth-ranked Duke University, 10-9, and just fell short, 7-15, to the defending national champion and top-ranked University of North Carolina.

“Our goal is to compete for championships and the only way we get better as a program is to learn how to play and beat the best teams in the country,” head coach Kateri Linville remarked. 

The Hens picked up the win over the Blue Devils in the waning two minutes of the game as freshman Kirsten Hale (Wayne, Pa.) and sophomore Kara Dattellas (Camillus, N.Y.) provided key plays.  Hale provided the game-changing moment with a hustle play getting the ball back into action while Dattellas converted a perfectly placed shot with just three seconds left on the game clock. 

Delaware battled back from a one-goal deficit at halftime before Duke eventually went up by three in the second half before the Hens rallied for the 10-9 victory.

“This win was a huge confidence builder for our team,” commented Linville, who is in her fourth season as the head coach at her alma mater.  “From start to finish, we fought hard for draw controls, made smart decisions in transition, pressured the ball and slid hard as a defensive unit, and ultimately, scored double digit goals against a high-pressure defense.”

While the Hens were unable to come out on top of the Tar Heels, Delaware was able to place seven goals on the board against the nation’s top squad.

“UNC was clearly the better team this weekend, but that is ok.  I was proud of how our team competed from start to finish,” said Linville.  “Right now, everyone in the country knows that the road to the national championship goes through North Carolina.  Their program had an outstanding season in 2013 and they kicked off 2014 with a one-goal game against the US National Team.”

She continued, “At this time in our season, victories are measured by progress and I believe that the future at UD is bright and that improving our ability to compete and execute against the best team in the country brings us one step closer to building a championship program.”

The Blue Hens open regular season play Saturday, February 15 at No. 10 Georgetown.