Blue Devils Open the Season
The Blue Devils opened the 2013 campaign against ninth-ranked Denver and Jacksonville last weekend at home in Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. Sixth-ranked Duke kicked off the season in exciting fashion as a late comeback fell short against the Pioneers, 14-12. Duke returned the next day to cruise past Jacksonville, 21-9.
On Saturday, Duke and Denver found themselves as the only two ranked teams to face a ranked opponent to start the 2013 campaign. The Blue Devils came out against the Pioneers as the aggressor, jumping to an 8-5 lead at intermission. The Pioneers responded by scoring nine consecutive goals and held Duke without a score for 23:08 to take a 14-8 lead in early in the fourth quarter. The resilient Blue Devils answered with four straight to pull within 14-12 with 33 seconds remaining, but the Pioneers held on for the victory.
The loss to Denver was Duke's first loss in a season opener since the 1998 season in which the Blue Devils lost to Maryland, 15-9. Duke now owns a 49-25 record in season openers.
The Blue Devils returned to the field on Sunday for a showdown with Jacksonville. Meeting for the fourth straight season, Duke again came out on top against the Dolphins. In the game, Duke got assists from 11 different players and goals from 15 different players, including six players who notched their first career goals as Blue Devils routed the Dolphins, 21-9.
Attack of the Wolf
After two games junior attackman Jordan Wolf is the nation's leading scorer with 12 points from eight goals and four assists. His back-to-back four-goal performances marked the second time he has done so, while his seven points tied his career high for the fourth time. Wolf has now tallied seven four-goal games in his career, including a combined nine goals against Jacksonville in the previous two meetings. He has 11 career hat tricks, which is tops among all Division I juniors and ranks 15th overall nationally.
Wolf, a native of Wynnewood, Pa. led the Blue Devils last season with 32 goals and 33 assists for a team-best 65 points. With his 12 points on the season, Wolf has propelled himself into a tie for 26th on the Duke all-time points list with 128, tied with Pete Gustafson. Duke assistant coach Matt Danowski sits atop the list with 353 points in his career.
Duke at the X
In his first season as the main draw guy, junior Brendan Fowler posted a pair of strong performances at the X. Fowler, after donning a Duke football jersey this past fall, won 18-of-30 restarts and picked up a career-high 11 ground balls. He followed that up with a 12-of-21 performance against Jacksonville with eight ground balls. Overall, the Blue Devils won 56.6% (35-of-63) of their restarts this season.
Blue Devil Rookies
Duke freshman midfielder Myles Jones earned starts in his first two collegiate games, running on the top midfield line for the Blue Devils. The Huntington, N.Y., native fired four shots and had a caused turnover in his debut. The following afternoon, Jones tallied his first career goal, an unassisted score, to put the Blue Devils ahead 3-1 in the first quarter against the Dolphins. Rookies Case Matheis and Deemer Class also recorded their first collegiate minutes against the No. 9 Pioneers with Class handing out his first career assist in a Duke uniform. The next day against Jacksonville, Jones, Class, Matheis, Seamus Connelly, John Shaffer all recorded their first collegiate goals.
Duke 21-9 victory over Jacksonville was the perfect example of unselfish lacrosse as 15 different Blue Devils registered a goal and 11 different players dished out assists. The 15 goal scorers matches the highest total under head coach Danowski - Duke had 15 as well in an 18-6 win over Presbyterian in 2011- while the 11 different players with assists are the most under Danowski.
A Visit from a Familiar Foe
The Blue Devils' daunting home schedule continues this weekend with preseason No. 3 Notre Dame, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. It will be the fourth straight meeting between Duke and the Irish in the month of February with Notre Dame owning all three regular season wins. Duke is 2-0 against Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament in that span, including winning the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Blue Devils have never scored more than seven goals against the Irish in the past four seasons, while only twice in five meetings has Notre Dame netted more than 10 goals. The Fighting Irish last defeated Duke in Durham, Feb. 20, 2010 - an 11-7 triumph.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Justin Turri @Justweetin12
Back in sunny NC! Feels like home to me. Can't wait to watch all the boys do some work on Denver tomorrow @Duke_MLAX
Abby Waner @CoachAbbyW
Following @DU_MLAX vs. @Duke_MLAX...rooting for our Pios and@DUCoachTierney...two of the best lax programs in the nation!#Pioneers
Duke Basketball @dukeblueplanet
Best wishes to our friends @Duke_MLAX starting their season today... Looking for a 7th straight Final 4 and another ACC crown. Impressive.