DURHAM, N.C. - Duke sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Turri posted nine saves while junior attackman Jordan Wolf had two goals and two assists as the Blue Devils upended fourth-ranked and reigning national champion Loyola, 9-8, on a brisk Friday night at Koskinen Stadium.
"Dan [Wigrizer] was hurt so Kyle stepped in," said head coach John Danowski. "Kyle has stepped in for us before and he has some Division I experience. We were certainly delighted with his performance tonight."
After pushing their lead to 9-7 on Wolf's goal from Jake Tripucka at the 3:45 mark of the fourth period, the Blue Devils (3-4) held off the Greyhounds, who pulled within one goal at 9-8 on Justin Ward's marker with 1:13 left in the game. Duke's Brendan Fowler secured the ensuing faceoff, but, following a Blue Devil turnover, Loyola regained possession and called timeout with 37 seconds on the clock. Duke's defense, led by senior close defenseman Bill Conners on Loyola attackman Mike Sawyer, stymied the Greyhounds, who were unable to get a shot off before time expired.
"Billy [Conners] was just fundamentally sound," Danowski said. "One of our goals all week was - in order to be successful against a team like Loyola - you have to win individual battles. Loyola kids won some, their attackmen won some, but we won the one at the end."
Duke jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes on goals by Josh Dionne, Case Matheis and Wolf. Loyola (4-2) responded with four consecutive goals of its own before Dionne's second tally knotted the game at 4-4 early in the third period. The two teams then traded a pair of goals to make it 6-6 with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. With neither team holding more than a two-goal lead since the Blue Devils led 3-1 at the 2:40 mark of the first quarter, Duke's Josh Offit and Christian Walsh made it a two-goal game again, 8-2 as they scored less than one minute apart midway through the fourth quarter.
Wolf's four total points led the Blue Devils with Dionne, Matheis and Offit added two markers each. Tripucka logged a pair of assists. Duke starting attack scored eight of the team's 13 points with six goals on 17 shots for the game.
"Your team is always a work in progress," Danowski said. "You learn from your experiences. We happen to play a really tough schedule early on, but you learn. We've got really resilient young men who have done everything we've asked them to do in practice. As a coach you always hope that they get rewarded game day but that's not always the case. But this particular week, they worked, watched film, came to meetings and did everything we've asked them to do. So I'm very proud of our group for working."
Seven different Greyhounds found the back of the net with Ward scoring twice. In goal, Jack Runkel had six saves.
Loyola won 12-of-21 faceoffs and finished with 35 ground balls to Duke's 25. The Blue Devils' man-down defense went 2-of-3 for the night.
Duke resumes ACC play Wednesday, March 13 against North Carolina at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised live by ESPNU.