FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - University of Maryland outscored Duke 6-3 in the fourth quarter to earn a 16-10 victory over the No. 3 seeded Blue Devils in the NCAA men's lacrosse semifinals at Gillette Stadium. The Terrapins scored six unanswered in the final frame to advance to the NCAA title game against top-seeded Loyola.
Duke finishes the 2012 season with a 15-5 overall record. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the sixth consecutive year and for the eighth time overall. Maryland improves to 12-5 and moves onto the championship game for the second straight season.
"We'd like to congratulate the University of Maryland, their players and their staff on a terrific performance," head coach John Danowski said. "They were certainly up to the task today, and I thought they were terrific in many phases of the game. I think we were disappointed. If I have time to look back, I'm just so emotional and so close to the game, I don't know if we played as well as we think we're capable, but that may have been due to the University of Maryland and how well they played. We know that by maybe looking at the film. I'm very proud of my guys. Very proud of the way they fought, you know, tried to give it a run."
Justin Turri led all Duke scorers with two goals and an assist, while Robert Rotanz also netted two goals. Eight different Blue Devils scored in the game, including Eddie Loftus and Andrew Vekstein late in the fourth quarter. CJ Costabile finished with a goal, eight ground balls and went 10-of-21 at the faceoff X.
The Terrapins were led by Kevin Cooper's one goal and four assists, while Drew Snider posted four goals. Maryland goaltender Niko Amato made 10 saves in the victory.
Maryland jumped out to a 3-0 lead, holding Duke scoreless for 13:30 to start the game. The Blue Devils rallied back to make it a one-goal game with a pair of goals from Josh Dionne and Robert Rotanz in 1:03 to end the first quarter trailing 3-2.
The Terrapins' offense was a model of efficiency in the second quarter, scoring four goals on five shots. Defensively, Maryland held Duke to just two goals and took a 7-4 lead into the break. Duke was able to pull the game within one at 4-3, but the Terps pushed its advantage back to three at 6-3 and added the seventh goal with 13 ticks left in the first half.
Duke had four different goal scorers in the first half as Dionne, Rotanz, Costabile and Christian Walsh all netted scores.
Maryland, leading 7-4 at the break, jumped all over the Blue Devils in the third quarter. After holding Duke off on a pair of man advantage opportunities, the Terrapins added two scores for its largest lead of the game, 9-4.
Facing a five-goal deficit, the Blue Devils started to mount a comeback midway through the third quarter. Turri netted his first goal of the game at 5:08 of the third and junior Josh Offit added a goal 1:10 later to make it a 9-6 contest.
After Maryland responded with a goal to go ahead four again, Turri put up another tally to pull the Blue Devils within three heading into the final 15 minutes of action.
Duke quickly made it a two-goal game 1:26 into the fourth quarter as Rotanz raced past the Maryland defense and fired a shot over the shoulder of Amato. The two goals were the closest the Blue Devils had been since it was 6-4 with 3:13 left in the second quarter.
Trailing by two, Duke seemingly made it 10-9 as Walsh got loose on the doorstep, but he was whistled for stepping in the crease to keep it a two-goal spread.
Maryland took advantage of the call and Snider responded just over a minute later to put the Terrapins in front by three again, 11-8. The Terrapins added a couple more before getting a few empty net scores for the 16-10 victory.
Loftus and Vekstein both came off the bench to get scores late in the game, their first career goals in NCAA Tournament play.
Maryland scored 16 goals on 29 shots, while Duke had 10 goals on its 32 shots. The Blue Devils won the ground ball battle, 27-23 and won 15-of-28 faceoffs overall. Duke was 1-for-6 on extra man opportunities. In goal, Dan Wigrizer had seven saves in 52 minutes of action.
Duke has won 15 games in a season six times overall and five times under head coach John Danowski ... Justin Turri finishes his career with 29 career points in NCAA Tournament play ... Robert Rotanz led all Duke midfielders with 40 goals, a Duke single season record for a midfielder ... Rotanz's 10 goals in the 2012 NCAA Tournament are tied for fifth all-time in Duke history.