DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University senior Mike Catalino registered his first career hat trick to lead the eighth-ranked Blue Devils to a 10-6 win over Army in the men’s lacrosse final regular season home game of the year. Catalino has six points in the past two games for the Blue Devils.
Duke (10-3) held the Black Knights to just one goal in the second half while adding three tallies of its own to pull away for the 10-6 win. The Blue Devils had six different goal scorers and handed out five assists on the afternoon. Catalino led the way with his career-high three points, while junior Max Quinzani dropped in a pair of scores.
“I thought this was a very dangerous game,” head coach John Danowski said. “Army is much better than their record and have four or five one-goal losses. I thought Army played great. I don’t think we played poorly as much as Army played really well, especially defensively.”
Redshirt freshman Justin Turri added two goals to his season total to round out the multiple-goal scorers. Senior Steve Schoeffel dished out a career-high two helpers. At the X, senior Sam Payton was outstanding, winning 13-of-17 restarts and picking up five ground balls.
Army was led by Jason Peyer with three goals and an assist. Brooks Korvin added two scores, while Jeremy Boltus completed the scoring.
“I thought their kid [Bill Henderson] did a great job and just really shut down Ned [Crotty]. I don’t think Ned ever got comfortable. I thought there were times extra man that we didn’t show a lot of poise. But on the positive side, it was a grinder of a win. Sam Payton and the faceoff team were great, we won 75 percent of the faceoffs, which is phenomenal and that’s just being tough.”
The Black Knights jumped right on the Blue Devils in the first quarter, getting an early 2-0 lead. After nearly seven minutes of scoreless action, Peyer found an opening and fired home the shot past Duke goalie Rob Schroeder for the 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Peyer added an unassisted score for the 2-0 lead, which proved to be the Black Knights’ largest lead of the game.
Turri got on the board in the final two minutes of action to make it a 2-1 game after the opening 15 minutes and Catalino and junior Will McKee hooked up just 2:04 into the second frame to knot the contest at two.
After Army regained the lead, 3-2, at the 9:23 mark of the second stanza, Duke exploded for five unanswered to take the lead for good at 7-3. The Blue Devils tallied five goals in a span of 6:12, including three in 2:05.
Freshman longstick midfielder CJ Costabile started the run at the 9:12 mark when he took a pass from Zach Howell and rifled it past Tom Palesky. Quinzani and Catalino traded scores over the 4:22 to complete the streak and give Duke its largest lead of the game at 7-3.
The Black Knights were able to stop the Blue Devils’ momentum in the waning minutes as they struck twice in the final 2:20 of the half. Peyer and Brooks added the scores to cut Duke’s lead to 7-5 at the break.
Sporting a two-goal lead, Duke was looking to put the game away early in the third quarter. Army held the Blue Devils scoreless for the first five minutes, but Turri broke through at the 9:11 mark to jump start a three-goal run. Will McKee and Howell added two goals within 13 seconds of each other to give Duke its largest lead of the day at 10-5.
“That run in the third quarter was where you could see how our shooting has really improved,” Quinzani said. “That run was just a function of us being able to clear well. I got a freebie right out front and when goals start happening like that, it makes things easy.”
Army once again stopped the run with a goal in the final minutes of the frame to head into the final quarter trailing 10-6. The Black Knights were able to successfully stifle the Duke offense, but the same was true for the Blue Devils defensive stalwarts as neither team added a point in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Duke outshot Army 36-33 and dominated in ground balls 35-22 and faceoffs 15-of-20. Costabile picked up a game-high six ground balls to go with his goal.
Between the pipes, Schroeder made 10 stops, including six in the first half. Palesky had 12 saves in the contest.
Duke will take on second-ranked Virginia in the ACC Tournament Semifinal on April 24 at 7:30 p.m., at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils defeated the Cavaliers 15-10 in the regular season.