CHESTER, Pa. - Duke University used a 13-0 run over the course of three quarters en route to a convincing 17-6 win over Colgate in front of 10,770 fans the NCAA Men's Lacrosse quarterfinals at PPL Park. Senior Robert Rotanz had six points and CJ Costabile picked up 15 ground balls to lead the third-seeded Blue Devils to the NCAA semifinals for the eighth time overall and sixth consecutive.
Duke, which improves to 15-4 overall, will battle ACC foe Maryland in the NCAA semifinals in Foxborough, Mass., on May 26 on ESPN2. The winner advances to the championship game on May 28. The Blue Devils are 1-1 against the Terps in 2012.
"First of all I'd like to congratulate Colgate and Coach [Mike] Murphy, who is in his first year at the helm," head coach John Danowski said. "A phenomenal season and a great win last weekend against previously undefeated UMass and a great win over Maryland to get to the tournament. So we thought going into this game they were an extremely scary opponent for a lot of different reasons. But with all of that being said we're extremely proud of our group, our seniors especially. They are playing like seniors, playing with a sense of urgency, playing like they have a lot of experience. Guys just playing lacrosse and making the right plays. We always say each week there are new heroes to be had and today wasn't any different. But I'm very proud of our senior group. "
Colgate (14-4) and Duke traded goals in the opening nine minutes before the Raiders netted consecutive scores to take a 4-2 lead with 3:58 to play in the first quarter. The Blue Devils, behind JustinTurri and Rotanz, battled to tie the game 4-4 after 15 minutes and jumpstarted Duke's monster 13-0 run that spanned over the court of three quarters and 26:14.
"Everybody knew we just needed to settle down," Turri said. "It was a big deep breath timeout, regain our focus. You could tell some guys early on had to get some jitters out and after that everyone just calmed down. WE knew that they were going to keep coming at us for 60 minutes as they did last week. WE knew no matter how many goals we went up it was never going to be enough because they were just going to keep coming at us and coming at us. Everybody collectively did a really good job staying settled and keep playing our way. We pushed it when we had to and we slowed it down when we had to. Defensively, we played great team defense against two of the better players in the country. So I think it was a collective team effort. As Coach [Danowski] said there were a ton of heroes. It's going to be a different guy every week the way we play so you never know."
During the scoring run, Duke held Colgate to just nine shots and received goals from eight different players. Ten of Duke's 13 goals in that span were assisted. The Blue Devils' defense was outstanding as well, forcing eight turnovers in the second quarter, winning 5-of-8 faceoffs and holding the Raiders to only three shots in the 15 minutes.
With the game even at four heading into the second quarter, Duke scored seven goals in a span of 9:35 for an 11-4 halftime advantage. Rotanz and sophomore Jordan Wolf both had a pair in the second session, while Turri handed out two assists. Jake Tripucka also contributed a goal and an assist in the second quarter.
"I think we just had the momentum at that point," Rotanz said. "All week in practice we were working on playing fast, getting from the defensive end to the offensive end. Momentum is a funny thing. I think everyone was feeling it and was on the same page at that point. I think that run was just a product of everybody being on the same page."
The Blue Devils continued to fire on all cylinders in the third quarter as they put up four more goals before Colgate got on the board again with 7:44 remaining in the frame. Walsh posted all three of his goals in the third period.
Defensively, Duke held the nation's second-ranked offense to its fewest goals all season and to fewer than 10 for just the second time in 2012. The Blue Devils forced 23 turnovers, a season-high, and collected a season-best 16 caused turnovers.
Overall, Duke outshot the Raiders 41-35 and won the ground ball battle 39-27. The Blue Devils won 15-of-26 faceoffs and held Colgate's No. 3-ranked man-up offense to just 1-of-3 for the day. In goal, Dan Wigrizer made nine saves to push his NCAA Tournament career total to 59 and had three caused turnovers and three ground balls.
Head coach John Danowski advances to his sixth consecutive NCAA semifinals ... Danowski is just the second coach in NCAA history to go to championship weekend in his first six seasons as the head coach at an institution - John Desko is the other with Syracuse (1999-2004) ... Duke has 15 wins for the sixth time in program history and for the fifth time under head coach John Danowski ... Duke is now 24-14 in NCAA Tournament games and 15-4 since 2007 ... Duke improves to 19-6 in NCAA Tournament games when it scores 10-plus goals ... Robert Rotanz's five goals mark just the seventh time in program history that a Blue Devil player has scored at least five goals in a NCAA Tournament game ... Rotanz's six points push his NCAA Tournament career total to 17 to tie for 10th in program history ... Justin Turri registered four points to move to 26 NCAA Tournament points in his career, just two shy of tying for sixth in Duke history ... Dan Wigrizer's 21 saves through two NCAA Tournament game rank tied for eighth in Duke goaltending NCAA Tournament history ... Duke will play an ACC opponent in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time since 2001 ... Duke is 10-10 against ACC opponents in the NCAA Tournament since 2001 and 4-1 since 2007.