Duke falls to 3-3 on the year and to 0-3 on the road against ranked opponents. Loyola improves to 5-0 for the year. The Blue Devils got goals from seven different players and had eight with at least one point.
"The Greyhounds are as great as advertised," head coach John Danowski said. "They are really well coached. Great shooters and I thought their kids were really hungry and wanted the ball when it was on the ground and it was obvious. That's a great combination. Great coaching and terrific ground ball play and some really excellent shooters."
Loyola and Duke traded scores in the opening half of the first quarter before the Greyhound rattled off three unanswered to take a 4-1 lead 32 seconds in the second frame. Duke sophomore defenseman Chris Hipps registered his first career goal as a Blue Devil in an unsettled situation in the first quarter.
"We had a great week of practice," Danowski said. "We worked on things that we thought we needed to work on and I was very proud of them and their effort. The focus was on us and not so much on the opponent and I was very proud of them for the way they approached the week. But game day it just doesn't seem to translate right now."
Trailing by three in the early moments of the second quarter, Duke climbed back within one as it tallied a pair of goals in four seconds. Sophomore Jordan Wolf put away a great pass from Rotanz to make it 4-2 and four seconds later senior CJ Costabile won the faceoff and raced to the cage for his fourth goal of the year.
The Greyhounds quickly put a stop to the Blue Devils' momentum, answering with three unanswered for a 7-3 edge at the 3:11 mark of the second period. Duke got the final score of the half as junior Jake Tripucka threaded the needle to Josh Dionne for a goal with 14 ticks left on the clock.
Duke was unable to carry that momentum into the third quarter however as Loyola scored three unanswered in the first 12 minutes to take a 10-4 lead with 3:09 to play in the frame. Sawyer had a hand in two of the three goals as he finished with six goals and eight points overall.
Junior Jake Tripucka got into the scoring column for Duke with Duke's first goal in 12:44 to make it 10-5. And as it had all afternoon, Loyola had an answer with two goals in 14 seconds to stretch the lead to its largest margin of the day at 12-5 heading into the fourth quarter. Sawyer and Eric Lusby combined for four of Loyola's five goals in the third quarter. Lusby finished with three goals and five points.
Duke controlled the fourth quarter, winning 3-1, but it wasn't enough to overcome that eight-goal deficit it faced. Rotanz netted the game's final two goals as Duke held Loyola without a goal for the final 11:35.
"Offensively we don't have a guy that can make a play and take the pressure off of guys," Danowski said. "In the fourth quarter when I thought the pressure was off I thought we executed better, but that may be a function of 'Hey there is no pressure now.' We just don't seem to have those offensive leaders."
Loyola edged Duke in many of the statistical categories. The Greyhounds outshot Duke 37-28 and won the ground ball game 33-31. Duke edged Loyola in faceoffs, winning 13-of-25, but was 0-of-4 on extra-man opportunities. Loyola finished 2-of-3 on man-up for the day.
Costabile won 8-of-15 draws and had six ground balls, while Rotanz picked up four ground balls. In goal, Dan Wigrizer earned the start and made one save. Mike Rock came on in the third quarter and made six saves in 31 minutes of action.
Duke returns to action Monday against Harvard at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils will play three games in the next seven days.