No. 8 Duke (2-1) vs. No. 5 Denver (1-0)
February 16, 2019 | 11 a.m. | ACC Network Extra
Koskinen Stadium | Durham, N.C.
- Public parking for Saturday’s game will be in the Science Drive Parking Deck near Koskinen Stadium. Science Drive Garage will be available for Men’s Lacrosse parking from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- General Public Tailgate Parking is available in the Jogging Trail Lot on NC 751/Cameron Blvd. between Science Drive and Duke University Road and in the Circuit Lots on Circuit Drive. Tailgate parking for men’s lacrosse will open at 9:00 a.m. There is a $10.00 charge to park after 2:00 PM – CASH ONLY. Tents, tables, games, etc. are not permitted in adjacent parking spaces or drive lanes – please use the grass areas around the lot.
Setting the Scene
- Duke enters its first ranked matchup of the year after beating Jacksonville on the road 15-8 last Saturday.
- The Blue Devils are 2-1 overall on the year and ranked eighth in the most recent USILA poll.
- Saturday’s game will be the fourth for the Blue Devils since Feb. 2, the most of any Division I program.
The Series History
- Duke and Denver are meeting for the 13th time overall and for the ninth straight season. The series is knotted at six apiece with the Blue Devils winning the most recent one, 15-12 in Durham last season.
- Bill Tierney features a 10-3 mark against Duke all-time and a 6-3 record versus the Blue Devils since becoming the Pioneer head coach. Duke is 4-1 against Denver in Durham.
By the Numbers
13 – Career hat tricks in Joe Robertson’s 23 career games after netting four tallies at Furman
796 – Combined wins for Duke head coach John Danowski and Denver head coach Bill Tierney entering Saturday’s game
11 – National Championships won by Danowski and Tierney - Danowski with three and Tierney with eight (seven at Princeton and one at Denver)
11.33 – Ground balls per game for junior Brian Smyth, tops in the ACC and fifth nationally
79 – Percentage of faceoffs won by Denver faceoff specialist Brett Boos in his first collegiate game
5 – Goals for Joe Robertson against Jacksonville last weekend, one of 17 Division I players this season to score at least five goals in a game
104 – Ground balls in the first three games for a 34.67 per game average, 10th nationally
28 – Points needed for sophomore Joe Robertson to become the 46th Blue Devil to amass 100 career points.
The Best vs The Best
- Saturday’s matchup features two of the best head coaches in the game of lacrosse. Duke leader John Danowski and Denver boss Bill Tierney both have been coaching for over 30 years and currently sit at No. 1 and No. 2 on the Division I wins leaders chart, respectively.
- The two head coaches have combined for 796 wins - Danowski with 401 and Tierney with 395 – and 11 NCAA Championships. Danowski is 9-13 all-time against Tierney during his career – 4-6 at Duke versus Denver and 5-7 at Hofstra against Princeton.
Last Time Out
- Led by Joe Robertson’s five goals overall, No. 2 Duke outscored Jacksonville 9-2 in the second half to post a 15-8 victory at Jacksonville last Saturday.
- Brian Smyth provided a big spark to Duke, winning 17-of-23 draws and scoring a pair of goals. He also picked up 14 ground balls, matching his season high.
- Defensively, Duke limited the Dolphins to six shots in the fourth quarter and only 12 in the entire second half. Cade Van Raaphorst and goaltender Turner Uppgren both had three caused turnovers. Jack Fowler scooped up four ground balls. Uppgren also made nine saves in the game.
Last Time We Met
- Freshman Joe Robertson scored four goals in the fourth quarter as No. 1 Duke rallied from a four-goal deficit in the final 15 minutes to post a 15-12 victory over No. 4 Denver last season. Justin Guterding produced six points in the win.
- Denver seemingly took control of a tight game with a 5-1 run over the final 10 minutes of the third period and entered the final frame with a 12-8 advantage. The Blue Devils responded, however, with a stellar fourth quarter by outscoring the Pioneers, 7-0, holding the visitors to just three shots and forcing seven turnovers.
Looking At Duke
- Duke, ranked eighth this week after a loss to High Point last week, enters Saturday’s top-10 matchup with a 2-1 record. The Blue Devils are led offensively by sophomore Joe Robertson’s nine goals and three assists. Joey Manown has seven goals and nine points overall, while Reilly Walsh has four goals and five assists.
- Senior Brad Smith is joining the attack after playing midfield in his three previous seasons. Jake Seau is having a strong season thus far with five goals and eight points.
- On defense, the duo of All-Americans Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris anchor the close defense along with senior Jack Fowler who is playing full time for the first time in his career. Van Raaphorst has five ground balls and five caused turnovers, while Giles-Harris has four and five.
- Brian Smyth has been solid at the X with a 49-75 (.653) record. He has picked up ground balls on 34 of his 49 wins and owns two goals.
- In goal, senior Turner Uppgren is the starter and owns a 10.24 goals against average and a .464 save percentage.
- Denver, ranked fifth in the first poll of the 2019 season, is 1-0 after an 11-4 win over Air Force last Saturday. Senior Colin Rutan and sophomore Jack Hannah led the way with four points apiece against the Falcons, while freshman Ellis Geis had a hat trick in his collegiate debut. Overall, the Pioneers return their top three point scorers from 2018.
- The biggest piece the Pioneers needed to replace was that of faceoff standout Trevor Baptiste, who graduated as the NCAA’s all-time faceoff wins leader. Freshman Brett Boos, in his debut, didn’t miss a beat in winning 15-of-19 draws and picking up four ground balls en route to being named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week.
- The Pioneers also return their three primary defensemen and goaltender Alex Ready this season. Denver allowed just four goals and 25 shots in the opener. Ready posted an 8.33 goals against average and a .503 save percentage in 539 minutes last season.
Duke in Top 10 matchups
- When Duke and Denver meet Saturday morning, it will be the 88th top 10 meeting for the Blue Devils since 2007. The Blue Devils are 54-33 when both teams are ranked among the top 10.
- They are 18-16 when ranked lower in top 10 matchups and 25-21 all-time against top-five foes when ranked in the top 10 since 2007. Duke is 8-6 against top-five opponents when ranked between 5-10.
Robertson Approaching 100
- After registering 60 points his rookie season, sophomore Joe Robertson is on pace to join the century club this season. With 12 points so far this season, he needs 28 more points to become the 46th Blue Devil to reach the mark.
- At his current pace (4.0 points/game), Robertson will reach the benchmark at 30 games, five games more than Justin Guterding’s 25 and three more than Matt Danowski’s 27.
- The Blue Devils return home next weekend to host Penn Feb. 23 . Faceoff is set for 3 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.