RICHMOND, Va.—Bolstered by three goals each from Jack Bruckner and Justin Guterding, 17th-ranked Duke rallied from a 6-2 third-quarter deficit to upend 16th-ranked Richmond, 9-8, at Dickinson Field Sunday afternoon.
Duke improves to 4-2 on the year while Richmond falls to 4-1.
“I thought we played with a lot more passion [in the second half],” said head coach John Danowski. “I thought we played scared and very tight and afraid in the first half. At halftime we spoke to them in a stern tone and they seemed to have responded to that.”
With the game knotted at 6-6 after three quarters, Richmond’s JP Forester put the Spiders back in front 7-6 in the early minutes of the fourth period. The Blue Devils, behind play from Bruckner and Guterding, stormed ahead 9-7 with three consecutive tallies. Reilly Walsh ignited the three-goal run with a marker from Guterding with 9:06 on the clock before Bruckner’s tally from Guterding at the 8:47 mark gave the Blue Devils the lead for good. Just 32 seconds later, Duke pushed the lead to two goals when Guterding found the back of the net in transition off a Bruckner feed.
“Attackmen play around the goal,” Danowski said. “Justin has a lot of confidence right now and so does Jack. They’ve seen a lot of lacrosse during their time here and so it’s not surprising they made plays in the second half.”
Trailing 9-7, the Spiders pulled within one on a goal by Forester with 5:35 remaining, but Duke goalkeeper Danny Fowler made his 10th and final save of the afternoon with 1:06 left in the game before JT Giles-Harris preserved the victory by intercepting Richmond’s last gasp heave as time expired.
The Blue Devils got off to a slow start in the game, managing just 12 shots in the first half, including only two in the second quarter, as Guterding and John Prendergast netted Duke’s pair of goals. Richmond, after scoring the game’s first two goals, answered Duke’s two-goal spurt with three straight for a 5-2 halftime lead. The Blue Devils were struggled to stay out of the penalty box in the first half, but allowed just one extra man goal on five chances.
Forester put Richmond up 6-2 to start the third quarter before the Blue Devils’ offense caught fire with a 4-0 run to finish the frame and set up the thrilling fourth quarter.
Sean Lowrie sparked the run with a goal off of an assist from Reilly Walsh six minutes into the quarter. Four minutes later, Guterding pulled the Blue Devils within two and Bruckner added two goals in the final three minutes to tie the contest.
Bruckner (3 goals & 1 assist) and Guterding (3 goals & 3 assists) combined for 10 points. Prendergast and Walsh finished with one goal and one assist apiece. At the faceoff X, Kyle Rowe won 11-of-19 draws and secured five ground balls.
Forester finished with three goals for the Spiders while goalkeeper Benny Pugh was credited with eight saves.
Duke returns to Durham to host 12th-ranked Loyola next Saturday, March 11. Faceoff is slated for 12 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.