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Feb. 26, 2016 — Take a pause

Duke women’s lacrosse followers and supporters are having to scratch their heads this week, and to take a breath in the midst of delivering the latest news.

It is one of those scorelines where you have to take a pause in the midst of reading it.

Elon 7, Duke 6.

Elon University is located halfway between Greensboro and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle. It’s a university town which is likely to get more Yelp reviews for the local coffee shop than an on-campus site.

But yesterday, the Phoenix, in just their third year of varsity competition, beat a team from one of the two major dominating conferences in the sport.

Oddly enough, I don’t think this was an accident. After all, Elon’s head coach, Josh Hexter, spent eight years on the Duke sideline and knows the system inside and out. Second, the team has a superstar assistant in Brittany Dipper, who won four ACC championships with Maryland and the 2010 national championship. Taylor Virden, the team’s volunteer assistant coach, is also a former Duke player who also played a part in the Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) dynasty.

Also, when you look at the Elon roster, top programs like McDonogh, Bel Air John Carroll (Md.), Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), Naples Barron G. Collier (Fla.), and Annapolis Broadneck (Md.) dot the lineup. Plus, the team has gotten transfers from Massachusetts and Maryland to bolster their roster.

Major upsets have dotted the landscape of lacrosse — in both genders — the last few years. But the question remains whether the Phoenix are able to carry this result forward towards a successful season in the competitive Colonial Athletic Association.

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