CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Max Quinzani scored a career-high seven goals and Duke scored 10 straight goals to close the contest as the second-ranked Blue Devils defeated third-ranked Virginia, 19-9, in front of a record crowd of 8,000 fans at Klockner Stadium on Saturday night in Charlottesville, Va.
The Blue Devils improve to 12-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC while the Cavaliers fall to 10-2 overall and 1-2 in league play. Duke captures the ACC regular season title for the third time in four seasons and earns the top seed in the conference tournament slated for April 25 and 27 in Charlottesville. The Blue Devils will meet fourth-seeded North Carolina at 5:00 p.m. while second-seeded Maryland takes on third-seeded Virginia at 7:30 p.m.
Duke picked up its fourth straight victory over the Cavaliers. Virginia, who had won 21 consecutive night games at Klockner Stadium, had posted eight straight wins in Charlottesville over the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils came out strong as Quinzani scored on a pass from Sam Payton just 16 seconds into the contest to put Duke ahead, 1-0. Steve Schoeffel then netted two goals less than two minutes apart to push the Blue Devils’ advantage to 3-0.
Virginia got on the scoreboard with 1:09 remaining in the first period when Ben Rubeor found Gavin Gill for a tally to put the score at 3-1, but Quinzani picked up a rebound for a score with less than a second left to give Duke a 4-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Cavaliers responded with three straight goals to knot the score at 4-4, as Rubeor netted a pair of makers and Shamel Bratton scored once.
Duke ended the half with four consecutive goals, as Quinzani put the Blue Devils up one at 5-4 on a put-back with 3:01 left in the half then increased Duke’s advantage to two at 6-4 on a pass from Matt Danowski.
Matt Danowski found Zack Greer for a tally at the 1:31 mark and Quinzani scored for the fifth time in the initial stanza with less than a second left on the clock to send Duke into the break with an 8-4 lead.
Quinzani netted his sixth goal of the evening at the 14:11 mark of the third period to give Duke a 9-4 advantage but Virginia rallied with tallies from Garrett Billings, Peter Lamade and Will Barrow to make the score at 9-7 before Brian Carroll brought the Cavaliers within one at 9-8 on an extra-man goal.
Steve Giannone knotted the score at 9-9 on a pass from Danny Glading at the 8:31 mark, but Duke answered with five straight scores as Greer, Michael Ward, Zach Howell, Brad Ross and Mike Catalino each found the net to give the Blue Devils a 14-9 advantage heading into the final period.
Nick O'Hara found Greer for his third tally of the evening to put Duke up 15-9 at the 14:36 mark before Quinzani netted his seventh goal of the contest to put the score at 16-9.
Danowski netted an unassisted goal at the 11:45 mark before O’Hara’s marker eight seconds later pushed the lead to 18-9. Schoeffel closed the night with his third goal of the game to account for the final margin.
Quinzani increased his season goal total to 43, tops in the nation just ahead of Greer’s 42. With a hatrick versus the Cavaliers, Greer has now scored three or more goals in 36 contests – all Duke wins. Greer moved into sixth place on the NCAA’s all-time list for goals scored with 183.
Danowski finished the game with one goal and three assists and moved into second place on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with 323 points, passing Tim Nelson, who posted 320 points with N.C. State and Syracuse from 1982-85. Air Force’s Joe Vasta holds the career mark with 343 points.
Duke travels to Manhasset, N.Y., next Saturday to play Army at 12 noon. The game will be televised by ESPNU.