DURHAM, N.C.—The fifth-ranked Duke men’s lacrosse team scored eight first-quarter goals and never looked back en route to a 17-7 victory over Penn this afternoon at the West Campus Turf Fields. Joe Robertson and Brad Smith led all scorers with six points apiece.
Inclement weather forced the game to be moved from Koskinen Stadium to the West Campus Turf Fields hours prior to faceoff, but the Blue Devils didn’t bat an eye. Feeling at home on its practice field, Duke raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first 2:34, thanks to a pair of goals from senior Jake Seau, and eventually built it to a 12-3 halftime advantage.
Penn got on the board at the 8:10 mark of the first quarter to make it 3-1, but would never get any closer as the Blue Devils rattled off five of the quarter’s final six goals for an 8-2 lead after 15 minutes of action. Five different Blue Devils tallied goals in the first period and five of the eight were assisted.
Duke tacked on four goals in the second quarter and held Penn to only six shots in the stanza to take the nine-goal halftime lead. Both Robertson and Smith had two goals and two assists apiece in the 30 minutes, while Seau had two of his three overall goals in the game. It marked Seau’s first career hat trick and pushed his season points total to 12.
The Blue Devil defense, with the assist from an outstanding day at the faceoff X, kept the clamps on the Quaker offense that put up 12 goals against No. 3 Maryland the week prior. Penn managed only one goal in the third quarter, being held scoreless from 8:02 in the second until 59 seconds left in the third – a span of 22:03.
Penn was led on offense by Adam Goldner and Simon Mathias with two goals apiece.
Duke extended its lead to 16-4 in the fourth quarter before Penn tallied three of the game’s final four goals to make it a 17-7 final.
Brian Smyth was 13-of-19 at the X and picked up seven ground balls to give Duke the possession, while the quartet of Jack Fowler, JT Giles-Harris, Cade Van Raaphorst and Turner Uppgren all had two caused turnovers apiece while stifling the Quaker offense. Giles-Harris and Van Raaphorst also scooped up three ground balls.
Overall on offense, Robertson finished the day with four goals and two assists, while Smith had three goals and three helpers. The six points for Smith matched his career high, while Robertson pushed his career points total to 83. Sean Lowrie had a trio of points and long stick midfielder Peter Welch notched his first of the season. Eight different Blue Devils netted goals and 10 had points.
In goal, Uppgren made seven saves in 55 minutes of action. Reed Junkin had 11 stops as Duke outshot the Quakers 45-32 in the game. The Blue Devils finished the day 17-of-27 at the faceoff.
Duke returns to action Friday, March 1 when it travels to Richmond. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m., on ESPN+.