DURHAM, N.C. –Brendan Fowler won 21 faceoffs and Christian Walsh scored five goals to lead No. 3 Duke to the 500th victory in program history with a 17-11 decision over visiting Harvard in men’s lacrosse action on Saturday at a rain-soaked Koskinen Stadium.
“Christian spends a lot of time working extra,” said head coach John Danowski. “He comes to practice really early and stays late – the classic coaching cliché. Matt Danowski has spent a lot of time working with him before and after practice so we’re not surprised to see him have the success he had today.”
Winners of five straight games, the Blue Devils improve to 9-2 on the year while Harvard falls to 5-4. Duke stretches its home win streak to 10 games dating back to March 2, 2013.
“I’m really proud of the guys on a couple of levels,” Danowski said. “Number one we’re playing a terrific opponent. I thought bumping up the game an hour is not easy. You’d like to play in nice weather, you’d like to play with more people in the stands so it’s not easy on a lot of different levels. So I’m very happy with the team and the maturity level just seemed to take over a little bit today.”
Duke’s Will Haus opened the day’s scoring just eight seconds into the contest. Harvard responded with consecutive goals by Sean McDonagh and Will Walker, but the Blue Devils then used an 8-1 spurt – during which Walsh, Myles Jones and Jordan Wolf scored two markers apiece – as Duke took control of the game with a six-goal advantage.
Thanks to Walsh’s tally with just eight seconds remaining in the second period, the Blue Devils held a 10-4 lead at intermission. Each team scored seven goals over the final 30 minutes of play.
“I think I was just lucky to be the guy this week,” said Walsh. “I did more of the feeding last week and it happened to be that I was on the receiving end this week and I hit the cage. We’ve been working hard to score and I kind of feel like I’ve been snake-bitten a bit and finally today they went in.”
Jones finished the day with four goals while Deemer Class added one goal and three assists. Fowler dominated at the faceoff X by winning 21-of-31 draws and securing 14 ground balls. Luke Duprey chipped in seven ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.
In the Duke net, Luke Aaron was credited with 10 saves.
For Harvard, Walked posted four tallies while Devin Dwyer had one goal and three assists. Crimson goalkeeper Jake Gambitsky recorded eight saves.
Duke travels to meet Notre Dame next Saturday, April . Faceoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will be televised live by ESPNU.