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Courtesy: Michelle Pettit
Blue Devils Fall to No. 5 Loyola
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/09/2014
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BALTIMORE, Md.—Loyola’s Matt Sawyer and Nikko Pontrello combined for 11 goals to lead the fifth-ranked Greyhounds to a 14-7 victory over No. 4 Duke this evening at Ridley Athletic Complex. Christian Walsh led the Blue Devils with two tallies.

Loyola improves to 5-1 overall, while Duke drops to 4-2 on the year with both losses coming to top-five opponents.

“First off we’d like to congratulate Loyola University and Coach Toomey and his staff,” said head coach John Danowski. “It was a great coaching job. I thought their kids shot the ball terrifically and they played very very well. So we tip our caps to Loyola and we move on. We move on and look forward to playing Marquette Tuesday night.”

Similar to the game eight days ago at Maryland, Duke traded goals with Loyola in an opening quarter that featured two lead changes and three ties. A Jordan Wolf goal put the Blue Devils up 4-3 after 15 minutes, but it was all Greyhounds in the next quarter as they ran off five unanswered and six of the next seven for an 8-5 lead at halftime.

Loyola held Duke without a goal for 16:08 before Walsh notched his second of the evening to make it 8-5. Matt Sawyer threw in three scores for the Greyhounds during the run and posted four overall in the opening half. Overall, Sawyer and Pontrello combined for six of the Greyhounds’ eight tallies before halftime.

The Greyhounds added two more in the third quarter before Duke sophomore Deemer Class put the Blue Devils on the board to make it 10-6. Duke’s defense stifled the Greyhound attack in the final eight minutes of the third, but was unable to get any closer than four.

With plenty of time for Duke to rally from a four-goal deficit, Loyola quickly made life much more difficult for the Blue Devils with a pair of scores in the first 1:52 for a 13-6 advantage.

Myles Jones stopped Duke’s 11-minute scoreless stretch at the 8:11 mark of the fourth, but the seven-goal deficit was too much to overcome for the Blue Devils.

Sophomore Luke Aaron and Kyle Turri shared time in goal. Turri had five saves in 15 minutes of action, while Aaron finished with three saves in the loss. Loyola senior Jack Runkel finished with nine saves in 60 minutes.

Loyola outshot Duke 39-31 and held a 35-34 edge in ground balls. Brendan Fowler won 13-of-23 restarts and picked up seven ground balls. Casey Carroll led the defensive effort with two caused turnovers and three ground balls.

The Blue Devils take a day off before playing Marquette March 11 at 7 p.m. Duke hosts ACC rival North Carolina March 15 at 2 p.m., on ESPNU.