DURHAM, N.C. – Senior attackman Jordan Wolf’s goal at the 2:34 mark of the first overtime period propelled No. 6 Duke to a 9-8 win over No. 4 North Carolina in ACC men’s lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
“Christian Walsh came down and made a nice move,” said Wolf. “We’ve been playing together for a long time and have great chemistry and I knew he was going to throw it to me and set a pick. I attacked the ball, got to five-on-five, inside roll and stuck it fortunately.”
The Blue Devils improve to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play while the Tar Heels fall to 5-2 overall and 0-2 in league action.
“I thought it was a terrific college athletic event,” said head coach John Danowski. “It was a great crowd, two teams playing really hard and fans cheering for both teams. I just thought it was everything that is good about our sport. I thought it was a great display for college lacrosse.”
Trailing 8-7 with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth period, Duke notched the equalizer when junior Kyle Keenan utilized a roll dodge on the right-hand side for his career-high third marker of the day at the 1:47 mark. The Blue Devils later had possession for the final 45 seconds of regulation, but the stingy Tar Heel defense did not surrender a shot attempt.
“I was just looking for the slide to come to me and I got my hands free. The slide came and I had the opportunity to shoot. That last [goal] the ball came back around and I dodged both ways a couple times and just let it fly.”
In overtime, Brendan Fowler won the faceoff, and following a Duke timeout, Wolf pushed the Blue Devils to their 17th win over North Carolina in the last 19 meetings. Fowler had won just six of his previous 18 faceoff battles with UNC’s Stephen Kelly, who took all 20 draws for the Tar Heels, winning 13.
Wolf’s overtime heroics capped a four-goal, one-assist performance for the Wynnewood, Pa., native, who now has career totals of 143 goals and 94 assists. Deemer Class and Case Matheis each had one goal and one assist while Matheis, Luke Duprey and Henry Lobb registered five ground balls apiece.
Both goalkeepers – North Carolina’s Kieran Burke and Duke’s Luke Aaron – were sensational all afternoon, both making 15 saves. Aaron posted five of his saves in the fourth period.
Two Tar Heels – Jimmy Bitter and Miachel Tagliaferri – carded three goals apiece while Joey Sankey had two tallies.
Saturday’s tilt featured five ties and three lead changes. Bitter’s third goal of the day with 1:33 left in the third quarter gave the Tar Heels a two-goal cushion at 7-5, but Class and Wolf had consecutive tallies at the 11:25 and 6:27 marks of the fourth period to knot the score. North Carolina then responded with Tagliaferri’s third counter with 5:13 remaining.
Duke will travel to Furman Tuesday evening before hosting Syracuse next Sunday, March 23 at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.