JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Led by Joe Robertson’s five goals overall, No. 2 Duke outscored Jacksonville 9-2 in the second half to post a 15-8 victory at Jacksonville in non-conference men’s lacrosse action Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils held the Dolphins scoreless for the final 22:47 of the game to secure the win.
Brian Smyth provided a big spark to Duke (2-1), winning 17-of-23 draws and scoring a pair of goals. He also picked up 14 ground balls, matching his season high.
The first half was a game of runs with Duke and Jacksonville (0-2) trading scoring spurts to head into halftime tied 6-6. Trailing 2-1 late in the first quarter, the Blue Devils went on a scoring tear with four unanswered in a span of the final 2:18, including one from Robertson as time expired to give Duke the 5-2 lead at the first intermission.
Momentum quickly shifted in the Dolphins’ favor as they scored three straight, two of which came from the stick of Evan Tyler, to pull within one late in the second period.
Tyler led all Jacksonville players with three goals, while Eric Applegate added a goal and three assists.
Joey Manown stopped Duke’s scoreless streak at 14:02 to put the Blue Devils back in front with 59 seconds left until the half, but Jacksonville responded with a goal in the final 17 seconds to knot it at six at the break.
Manown came out of halftime and threw in a man-up goal 32 seconds into the third to spark another 3-0 run for the Blue Devils. However, Jacksonville returned the favor yet again with consecutive goals while holding Duke scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to bring it back within one, 9-8.
With only a one-goal lead with 20 minutes remaining in the game, Duke took control in scoring the final six goals of the game. Reilly Walsh started the spurt at 4:24 in the third, while Robertson capped it all with four of the final five goals. Kevin Quigley snuck one in as well to start the fourth period.
Walsh finished with a goal and three assists, while Manown netted his second straight hat trick. Brad Smith had a pair of assists in his first start of the 2019 season.
Defensively, Duke limited the Dolphins to six shots in the fourth quarter and only 12 in the entire second half. Cade Van Raaphorst and goaltender Turner Uppgren both had three caused turnovers. Jack Fowler scooped up four ground balls.
Uppgren finished the day with nine saves, including five in the second half. Hunter Sells for Jacksonville made seven saves.
The Blue Devils return home to host No. 8 Denver Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. The game will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.