Duke Rolls to 3-0 Start in 2018
The Blue Devils continued their red-hot start to 2018 with 18-6 and 19-8 victories in a span of three days over High Point and Jacksonville, respectively. Duke is one of two teams in the country to have played three games already and sport the nation’s No. 2 scoring offense at 18.33 goals per game. Syracuse is first after netting 21 in its season opener. The Blue Devils have never scored 18-plus goals in three straight games to start a season and have tallied 23 more goals than they did in the first three games in 2017.
Blue Devils Move to No. 1 in USILA Poll
Duke’s strong start to 2018 launched it to the No. 1 spot in the first edition of the USILA poll, taking over from reigning NCAA champion Maryland, which defeated Navy 10-4 in its season opener. It is the first time Duke has been ranked first during the regular season since Feb. 24, 2014. The Blue Devils are 7-4 under head coach John Danowski when ranked No. 1.
Duke’s Record as No. 1 since 2007
|March||6, 2007||Saint Joseph’s||W, 18-4|
|March||10, 2007||Loyola||L, 7-8|
|March||11, 2008||Presbyterian||W, 18-4|
|March||15, 2008||North Carolina||W, 19-9|
|March||18, 2008||Colgate||W, 15-7|
|March||22, 2008||Georgetown||L, 7-11|
|May||4, 2008||St. John’s||W, 16-9|
|May||10, 2008||Loyola||W, 12-7|
|May||18, 2008||Ohio State||W, 21-10|
|May||24, 2010||Johns Hopkins||L, 9-10|
|March||1, 2014||Maryland||L, 6-10|
Guterding’s Record Pace Continues
Senior attackman Justin Guterding is on a torrid scoring pace so far in 2018. He is averaging a nation’s best nine points per game and has 27 overall from 12 goals and 15 assists. In his three outings, he has scored 10 [Air Force], eight [High Point] and nine [Jacksonville]. The 27 points has launched him to fourth on the Duke career scoring chart with 265 career points. He is fifth in career goals  and sixth in career assists . With 35 more points he will be just the third Blue Devil to score 300 points in his career. He is now 89 points shy of surpassing Matt Danowski and only 40 from taking over the No. 2 slot from Jordan Wolf.
Joe Robertson Leaving His Mark
Rookie attackman Joe Robertson had a good two-game stretch for the Blue Devils, tallying six goals and five assists for 11 points last week. He registered a career-best eight points (3g, 5a) against Jacksonville, missing Justin Guterding’s mark if nine his rookie season by one. He has eight goals and six assists in three game to rank fifth among freshmen with a 4.67 points per game average. Robertson is the lone freshman out of the top five to have played in more than one game.
Top Five Matchup Set for Friday on ESPNU
Top-ranked Duke will face off against No. 4 Denver Friday at 5 p.m., on ESPNU. It will be the first nationally televised game of the 2018 campaign and will be called by Paul Carcaterra, Quint Kessenich and Anish Shroff. The Blue Devils will be looking to avenge recent setbacks to the Pioneers as Denver has won three straight. Here are some more notes about the rivalry since 2009.
- Since 2011 Denver leads the series 6-2. All six of its wins have come in the regular season. Duke defeated the Pioneers twice in 2014 en route to the NCAA title.
- Justin Guterding is averaging three points per game against Denver, 1.43 points per game lower than his current career scoring average. He has six goals and three assists versus the Pioneers in the past three meetings.
- At the faceoff X, Trevor Baptiste has won 67 percent of the draws (60-of-89) in his three outings.
- Blue Devil returners scored seven of the nine goals last season and has 18 players back from the 2017 contest.
- Denver’s quality shooting has shined recently as Duke is allowing 14.33 goals per game in the six losses and 11 in the two victories. Blue Devil goalies are sporting just a .398 save percentage in the previous eight meetings and only .411 in the past three outings.
- Offensively, Duke is averaging 11.63 goals per game against Denver and is shooting .305 in those eight games.
Since 2009 – Denver leads series 6-2
In February: Denver leads 4-1
In Postseason: Duke leads 1-0
|4/9/2011||Bethpage, N.Y.||L, 9-12^|
|4/27/2012||Denver, Colo.||L, 9-15|
|2/9/2013||Durham, N.C.||L, 12-14|
|2/15/2014||Durham, N.C.||W, 14-10|
|5/24/2014||Baltimore, Md.||W, 15-12%|
|2/14/2015||Kennesaw, Ga. !||L, 13-17|
|2/20/2016||Kennesaw, Ga. !||L, 12-14|
|2/18/2017||Denver, Colo.||L, 9-14|
! Cobb County Classic, Kennesaw, Ga.
% NCAA Semifinal
Hall of Fame Coaches Meet Again
The nation’s top two winningest Division I coaches will meet again Friday evening. Duke head coach John Danowski holds the top spot in the records book with 386 career victories, while Denver leader Bill Tierney is right behind him with 382. Between them they won 768 victories and 10 NCAA titles – Tierney with seven and Danowski with three. Danowski is 8-13 all-time against Tierney during his career – 3-6 at Duke and 5-7 at Hofstra.
Duke’s Defensive Stands
The Blue Devil offense has been the beneficiary of outstanding play from the Duke defense. Duke is allowing just six goals per game and holding opponents to only 23.7 shots per game. The 6.00 goals against average is seventh nationally and second among teams that have played more than one game – Vermont sports a 4.67 GAA after three outings.
This past weekend Duke held Jacksonville to only 24 shots after the Dolphins had fired 46 in their season-opening win over Navy. Led by junior Cade Van Raaphorsts three caused turnovers, Duke finished with 12 on the day. In the two games last week, Duke held its foes scoreless in the first quarter as it took High Point 19:23 to get on the scoreboard and Jacksonville 15:55. In fact, Duke has yet to allow a goal in a first quarter this season, outscoring teams 14-0 in the first 15 minutes.
First Road Trip Awaits
Following Friday’s game against Denver, Duke will hit the road for the first time to take on No. 19 Penn Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. It will start a stretch of four of five games on the road for the Blue Devils that culminates March 18 at Cleveland State.