DURHAM, N.C. – Junior attackman Josh Dionne and senior midfielder David Lawson scored three goals apiece to lead seventh-ranked Duke to a 17-6 victory over visiting High Point in men’s lacrosse action on Friday night at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils outscored the Panthers 11-2 in the second half to earn the 11-goal victory.
“We wanted to create some tempo,” said head coach John Danowski. “We didn’t know if High Point had a lot of depth and we were going to rotate three short-stick d-middies, two longstick poles, five close defensemen and we thought we could create some tempo. And I thought we did. We created 32 shots in the first half, which was probably a season-high for us. I think we challenged the guys at halftime and I thought in the third quarter the guys did a better job of shooting overhand, putting the ball in people’s sticks and finishing their shots.”
The Blue Devils, who received a game-high five total points from rookie attackman Case Matheis, extended their nation’s best winning streak to seven games. Matheis has 15 goals and 11 assists during the win streak after posting just four points in the opening six games. Duke controlled the game from the faceoff X, where Brendan Fowler secured 15-of-18 draws while collecting eight ground balls. Fowler has won at least 10 draws in 12 of the 13 games this season and has at least seven ground balls in all 13.
After battling to a two-goal, 6-4 advantage after 30 minutes, Duke (9-4) broke open the contest with eight straight goals to start the third period. After the Panthers (3-9) snapped the run with less than one minute remaining in the quarter, Duke responded with three consecutive markers to open the fourth frame, pushing its lead to 12 goals at 17-5.
“While we had a lot of shots we didn’t think that we were fundamentally sound in the first half,” Danowski said. “While the game was going fast, one of our goals coming into this game was really to be fundamentally sound. We challenged them on that at halftime and I think the guys did a better job of executing in the third quarter.”
Matheis posted two goals and three assists while Josh Offit and Christian Walsh logged two goals and one assist apiece. In the Blue Devil net, Kyle Turri was credited with seven saves against five goals allowed.
Duke outshot the Panthers, 57-30, on the evening and held a 45-28 advantage on ground balls.
High Point’s offensive effort was spearheaded by Dan Lomas, who recorded three goals. Starting goalkeeper Austin Geisler posted 15 saves against 15 goals allowed in just under 46 minutes of action.
Duke remains home next Friday night to entertain ACC foe Virginia. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised live by ESPNU.