Fourth-Quarter Run Pushes Duke Past Men’s Lacrosse
DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University scored five fourth-quarter goals to build a two goals lead late and hold off the fourth-ranked Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team for a 9-8 non-conference win on Friday night at Koskinen Stadium.
The Blue Devils (3-4 overall) scored twice in the first three minutes of the final period to take their first lead since the second quarter.
Jordan Wolf backstopped a wide Duke shot, picking up the groundball off the bounce behind the crease, and he fed a crashing Case Matheis who scored his second goal of the game at 13:59 to tie the score at 5-5.
Just over 90 seconds later, Jake Tripucka was running toward the back of the crease when he slipped a cross-crease pass to Josh Offit on the wide left side, and Offitt stuck an eight-yard shot inside the far post at 12:26 to put the Blue Devils in front, 6-5.
Loyola (4-2) went on extra man minutes later, and Justin Ward shot a pass to Sean O’Sullivan on the left side of the crease, and O’Sullivan finished from the doorstep at 10:36 to tie the score at 6-6.
Duke, however, responded with two goals inside of a minute to build an 8-6 lead.
Offitt took advantage of a slip by a Greyhounds’ defender to score from close range on the left side with 9:40 remaining, and Christian Walsh stepped back off a dodge and shot low to score 55 ticks of the clock later.
Loyola got a goal back in transition nearly four minutes later when Pat Laconi caused a turnover and Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball. Ratliff passed it to Joe Fletcher to sent an over-the-top pass to a streaking Laconi who scored on a nine-yard shot to pull Loyola within a goal at 5:03.
Duke, however, extended its lead back to two at 3:45 when Tripucka sent a pass from behind to Wolf who was cutting down the middle for a goal.
The Greyhounds rallied to make it a one-goal deficit with 1:13 on the clock when Nikko Pontrello found Ward cutting toward the crease, and Ward scored his second of the game.
The Blue Devils won the ensuing faceoff, but Loyola forced a turnover, and called timeout after clearing the ball into its offensive end with 33 seconds left. The Greyhounds, however, could not get off a shot before the final whistle.
Duke took an early 3-0 lead, tallying a trio of goals by Josh Dionne, Matheis and Wolf in the game’s first 6:43.
Ratliff would put Loyola on the board after causing a turnover, clearing the ball himself and scoring with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
Mike Sawyer then got the Greyhounds back within a goal with 22 seconds left before the end of the first quarter as he dodged from the top left and shot from inside three yards.
Loyola continued its run at the start of the second quarter as Ward rolled back toward the cage after dodging and scored 91 seconds in to the frame. Chris Layne then gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game 5:46 before halftime, dodging from right to left at the top and shooting from six yards out.
The Greyhounds held a 4-3 margin at the break, but Duke won the second half’s first faceoff and scored 45 seconds in when Dionne one-timed a shot off a Wolf feed from behind.
Loyola regained the lead, 5-4, with 7:28 left in the third quarter when Phil Dobson dodged from the top and shot while falling from inside five yards.
Duke finished with a 33-27 advantage in shots, but Loyola picked up 35 ground balls to the Blue Devils’ 25.
Ratliff picked up a game-high seven, and Fletcher pulled up five. Blake Burkhart had four and won 11-of-18 faceoffs in the game. Ward led the Greyhounds offensively with two goals and an assist.
The Greyhounds return to action on Saturday, March 16, in Denver where they will face the Air Force Academy in the Whitman’s Sampler Mile High Classic.