Duke (5-2, 2-0 ACC) has beaten North Carolina in 13 of the previous 14 meetings and pushes its win streak to four overall on the season. The Blue Devils capture the win in the Battle of the Blues Presented by Continental Tire competition between the two rivals. Duke closes the gap to one point as North Carolina holds a narrow 9-8 lead.
Six different Blue Devils scored on the team's opening eight goals of the game and 10 players overall notched at least one point. Four players tallied multiple goals. Freshman Christian Walsh registered a career-high three points, while senior Justin Turri and freshman Josh Dionne both had two goals apiece.
The Blue Devils defense was equally as impressive as they held a team to under 10 goals for the fifth time this season. Duke held the Tar Heels without a goal for 21:02 over the course of the first and second quarter as it built a 5-1 edge midway through the second frame. In goal, sophomore Dan Wigrizer made 11 saves, his fourth straight game with double digit stops.
The two squads got off to a fast start as they traded goals in the first 1:26 of the contest. The next 20 minutes was all Duke as the Blue Devils held North Carolina (5-2, 0-1 ACC) scoreless. Duke added goals from Wolf and sophomore Josh Offit for a 3-1 lead after the first period. Sophomore David Lawson got into the mix in the second quarter to push the Duke advantage to 4-1 and Wolf notched his second of the game to make it 5-1 at the 8:08 mark of the second frame.
After being held scoreless for 21:02, the Tar Heels stopped the scoring drought with a pair of goals in 1:26 to make it a 5-3 game. However, Duke responded right away and dropped in the next three scores, two of which came from the stick of Josh Dionne, to head into the locker room with an 8-3 lead.
North Carolina, trailing by five to start the third quarter, scored the frame's first two goals to make it a three-goal game at the 6:57 mark of the stanza. Howell put Duke back on track with an unassisted marker at 4:18 and the two teams traded scores in the final four minutes to keep the Blue Devils in front by five after 45 minutes of lacrosse.
The Blue Devils headed into the fourth quarter with a lead for the fourth time on the season and never faltered as they outscored the Tar Heels 4-3 to come away with the five-goal victory. Two of North Carolina's goals came in the final two minutes of the game.
Billy Bitter led all Tar Heels with three goals and an assist, while Thomas Wood netted two scores and a helper.
North Carolina held a 40-31 advantage in shots, but had just 20 on frame. Duke fired 22 of its 31 shots on the cage. The Blue Devils dominated the ground ball game, winning the battle 36-23. CJ Costabile picked up five ground balls to lead the way for Duke and Wigrizer added four.
The faceoff game was controlled by the Tar Heels with R.G. Keenan winning 18-of 27 restarts. North Carolina goaltender Chris Madalon had eight saves overall.
The Blue Devils return to action on Sunday, March 20 at Koskinen Stadium. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.
The Duke women's lacrosse team will hold a silent auction in honor of a close friend of the women's program Meg Wasley. The auction will take place during the game and will include signed memorabilia and all proceeds going towards a memorial for Wasley. For more information on the auction: click here.