Duke lacrosse posts rivalry win over UNC
No. 17 Duke took control early and managed to leave Fetzer Field with an 11-8 victory over No. 8 North Carolina Wednesday.
Though both schools were on spring break, the crowd of 2,322 provided a boisterous and energy-filled environment to witness the two rival teams’ matchup.
Both squads were riding high off of winning important games against ranked opponents the previous weekend.
For the Blue Devils (4-4, 1-1 ACC), losing four games to ranked opponents had removed them from the national rankings for the first time since April 2000, but a win last Friday over No. 4 Loyola, the defending NCAA champions, put them back on the radar.
“I thought our guys played hard,” Duke coach John Danowski said. “It was a really good Division I ACC game – physical and with some great play.”
For the Tar Heels (3-3, 0-1), a fantastic final-seconds 16-15 win against No. 5 Princeton on Saturday had them riding an emotional high coming into the game that was deflated by the time the final seconds counted down against the Blue Devils.
The Duke offense was powered by attackmen Jordan Wolf (3 goals, 1 assist), Josh Dionne (2 goals) and Josh Offit (2 goals) and midfielder David Lawson (2 goals).
“We’ve been getting better each day, we’ve been competing harder and that’s been translating onto the field,” Wolf said.
“We definitely built it off of Loyola,” Offit added. “We tried to stay patient and stayed to the game plan and worked together as an offensive unit.”
Both teams traded goals during the first quarter of play, which ended with Duke leading 4-3.
Duke dominated the second quarter as faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler, also a football player, won all six faceoffs to generate the Blue Devils transition game, which allowed them to take a commanding 8-4 lead at halftime.
“I thought we were well prepared,” North Carolina coach Joe Breschi said. “We got dominated at the faceoff X.”
Knowing the capabilities of the Tar Heels potent attack, the Duke defense had to stand its ground as goalkeeper Kyle Turri finished with eight saves even as the Tar Heels outshot the Blue Devils 33-29.
The Blue Devils fell into a scoring drought that allowed North Carolina to get within a goal after outscoring Duke 3-0 in the third quarter.
It was during the final period, after 21 minutes of not scoring, that Duke finally got back on the board and put the game out of reach. Wolf and Offit scored the game’s final goals to secure the 11-8 win.
“We knew Carolina was going to make a run,” Danowski said. “They’re a terrific program. I thought our guys handled it well."