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Courtesy: Duke Photography
Ground Ball Notebook: A Big February Win
Wednesday 02/17/2014  -  Duke Sports Information
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Blue Devils Garner Big February Win
Behind an outstanding team effort, the No. 3 Blue Devils upended fourth-ranked Denver 14-10 to pick up a big early-season win. The triumph over the fourth-ranked Pioneers is the first for the Blue Devils since 2007 and marks the highest-ranked win in February for the Blue Devils. Since 2005, Duke has seven top-20 wins with the most recent Denver win being the only top-five victory.
 

Early season Ranked Wins since 2005

Feb. 15, 2014

#4 Denver

W, 14-10

Mar. 8, 2014

#4 Loyola

W, 9-8

Feb. 24, 2014

#17 Penn

W, 12-8

Mar. 5, 2011

#5 Maryland

W, 9-8  (OT)

Feb. 19, 2010

#19 Bucknell

W, 12-11 (OT)

Feb. 14, 2009

#20 Bucknell

W, 11-7

Feb. 20, 2009

#15 Colgate

W, 9-8

Feb. 15, 2008

#15 Bucknell

W, 16-4

Mar. 1, 2008

#3 Maryland

W, 15-7

Feb. 25, 2007

#12 Denver

W, 13-9

Mar. 2, 2007

#6 Maryland

W, 14-7

 
Aaron Comes off the Bench to Give Spark
Sophomore goaltender Luke Aaron came off the bench at the end of the first quarter to provide a spark and held Duke to the 14-10 victory. Aaron made a career-high nine saves in his 45 minutes of action. After Denver’s Jeremy Noble scored to tie the game 5-5 at the 13:01 mark of the second quarter, Aaron and Duke held the Pioneers to just two goals over the next 34:56. Aaron made eight of his nine saves and the Blue Devils held the Pioneers to just 13 shots in that stretch.
 
Quick Strikes Spark Blue Devils Early
Duke’s first three goals came in about less than a minute of possession time for the Blue Devils. Sophomore Case Matheis started the scoring 11 seconds in after Will Haus kicked the faceoff draw in Matheis direction and the attackman threw it in for the 1-0 lead. Brendan Fowler gave Duke the 2-1 lead when he won the faceoff and ran down the field for a goal 13 seconds later. The third tally came from long stick middie Luke Duprey just 13 seconds after Denver turned the ball over on a clear attempt.
 
Midfield Shines Against the Pioneers
With Denver closing off lanes for the Duke attack, the Blue Devils’ midfield rose to the occasion with 10 goals and three assists for 13 of the team’s 22 points on the afternoon. Sophomore Deemer Class led all goal scorers with his first career hat trick, while classmate Myles Jones and Christian Walsh chipped in two scores and an assist from the first and second midfield lines, respectively. Kyle Keenan recorded his second straight two-goal game and faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler got into the mix with his first score of the year.
 
Matheis Scores Big in First Game
Sophomore attackman Case Matheis, after missing the first game of the year to injury, led all Duke scorers with two goals and two assists. The Darien, Conn., native has scored in 17 of his 22 career games and owns 30 goals and 26 assists for 56 points.
 
Duke’s Second Half Scrappin’ Game Excels
After barely edging Denver 15-14 in ground balls in the first half, Duke dominated the ground game with a 17-7 edge in the final two quarters. Faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler collected nine ground balls, while attackmen Jordan Wolf, Josh Dionne and Case Matheis combined for eight grounders. Casey Carroll led the close defense by scrapping to three ground balls to bring his total to eight for the year. In two games, Duke holds a 44-18 edge in ground balls in the second  half and a 78-46 advantage overall.
 
Wolf Continues Climb Up the Charts
Senior captain Jordan Wolf continued his climb up the Duke career scoring charts with a goal and two assists Saturday. Wolf’s three points pushed him past Steve Sachs for the No. 8 spot on the career points list with 210. He remains at No. 10 on the career goals list and is eighth in career assists. He needs just 13 more assists to become the fourth player in Duke history to record 100 career goals and 100 career assists.
 
Clearing Game on Solid Ground
Duke’s clearing game has been outstanding through two games this season. The Blue Devils have failed to clear just once, sporting a 31-of-32 (.969) success rate going from box to box. 
 
Double Game Weekend Ahead for the Blue Devils
The Blue Devils return to action this coming weekend with a pair of games in three days. Duke hosts No. 18 Pennsylvania Friday night and welcomes Stony Brook Sunday afternoon. Duke will be looking to go 4-0 in the month of February for the first time since 2008.
 
Former Blue Devils on the Sidelines in 2014
A quartet of former Duke players now man the sidelines as Division I head coaches. The 2002 national midfielder of the year Kevin Cassese has his Lehigh squad off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2014. The Mountain Hawks most recently defeated No. 20 Villanova in triple overtime to remain unbeaten. Dan Chemotti, a captain in 2002, leads the Richmond squad in its first year of lacrosse. Richmond took Virginia to the brink, falling to the Cavaliers by one goal in the program’s opening game. Taylor Wray, a 2003 graduate, patrols the sidelines for Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks are 0-1 after a season-opening loss to High Point. A 1991 team captain, Mike Murphy will return to Durham in his fifth year as the head coach at Penn. Murphy guided the Quakers to the NCAA Tournament in his second season and is 2-2 against his alma mater.
 
Quote of the Day
“Winning the ground ball game was huge. Especially in the second half we had a big advantage in ground balls. Brendan Fowler, Luke Duprey, all the close defense guys and Will Haus all did a great job in picking up those balls and keeping Denver from having extra possessions.”
  - Sophomore midfielder Deemer Class
 
Top Tweets
 
Jake Tripucka @JakeTripucka7
MONSTER shout to the boys in Durham @Duke_MLAX on the W! Did something our teams never did.... Get a big win in February. #scrappin'
 
Chris Collins @Chris_Collins33
Gotta give a shout to my cousin Luke Aaron for comin off the bench today and stepping in the pipes to lead @Duke_MLAX over Denver #Awesome
 
#GoDuke

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