DURHAM, N.C. – Senior attackman Jordan Wolf scored six goals and added two assists to lead No. 2 Duke to its eighth straight win, a 17-8 decision over visiting Rutgers as the Blue Devils celebrated Senior Day at Koskinen Stadium.
Duke improves to 12-2 on the year while Rutgers falls to 7-7. Duke’s 10 seniors played their final regular season home game, and the group now holds a record of 57-18 overall including a 38-4 ledger at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils have now won 16 straight home games.
“Protecting Koskinen [Stadium] was kind of our focus at the beginning of the season,” said Wolf. “This being the last game of the regular season as a senior and to go undefeated three of the years here…it’s definitely special to play out there. We just want to go out and do business and get a win.”
Wolf scored twice in the first 1:07 of the contest as the Blue Devils raced to a 6-2 advantage after one period and held a 10-4 lead at intermission. On the strength of goals by Scott Klimchak and Joseph Nardella just 15 seconds apart early in the third quarter, the Scarlet Knights pulled within four, 10-6, but Duke responded with six consecutive tallies for a 10-goal cushion early in the final period.
“We’re rolling right now, but we still have a long ways to go, Wolf said. “We’re coming up on the season, but we still have a lot of strides to make both offensively and defensively.”
Josh Dionne aided the Duke offense with four goals while Myles Jones chipped in one goal and a career-high five assists. Other multiple point contributors were Case Matheis (1 goal & 2 assists), Deemer Class (2 goals & 2 assists) and Christian Walsh (1 goal & 1 assist).
“For those two guys [Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne], they’re just a function of our offense," said head coach John Danowski. "That’s what Duke attackmen are supposed to do. They’re supposed to finish the ball. They’re around the goal and they both do that well.”
Duke improved to 33-7 in the month of April under Danowski. The Blue Devils have only lost three times in the regular season in April.
“We just strive every week to get better,” said Dionne. “I know that’s something so simple to say but I genuinely believe that if we trust our coaches we they’ll guide us the right way.”
The highly anticipated face off battle between Nardella and Duke’s Brendan Fowler lived up to the billing, with Duke earning a 15-14 edge in draws. Fowler posted 15 faceoff wins and 11 ground balls while Nardella finished the day with 13 secured draws and 10 ground balls.
In the Duke net, Luke Aaron was credited with seven saves while his counterpart, Jake Anderson, logged 11 saves.
Scott Klimchak and Christian Trasolini each had two goals for Rutgers.
The Blue Devils next head to Chester, Pa., for the 2014 ACC Tournament. Duke will be the No. 2 seed and meet third-seeded Syracuse Friday at 5 p.m. Top-seeded Maryland squares off against fourth-seeded Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m.