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Courtesy: Andrew Fielding
Duke Earns No. 3 Seed; Will Host Syracuse in First Round
Thursday 05/06/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C.-The Duke University men's lacrosse team has been selected as the No. 3 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Blue Devils will host Syracuse in the NCAA first round on Saturday, May 12 at 12 p.m., live on ESPN from Koskinen Stadium.

Tickets are available for $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-877-375-3853. Due to graduations on Saturday, parking will be limited. Parking will be available on a first-come first-serve basis in the Bassett Drive/Grounds Lot, 751 Lot, and Science Drive visitor's lot. Parking in Whitford Drive will be by list only.  

"We are honored to be selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year," head coach John Danowski said. "It is such a thrill for our program to be associated with Syracuse's tradition of excellence and championships. We're looking forward to a great challenge."

Duke is making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament field and for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The Blue Devils are 22-14 all-time in NCAA postseason play and 13-4 under Danowski. Duke has advanced to championship weekend each of the past five seasons and captured the 2010 NCAA title.

The Blue Devils and Orange will face off for the fourth time in NCAA Tournament history and for the second time this season. Duke defeated Syracuse 12-10 on April 1 in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at MET Life Stadium.

Duke is 0-3 against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament with the most recent loss coming in the NCAA semifinals in 2009. It will be the first time the two teams have met in the first round of the tournament.

Duke earns the third seed for the second time in program history after garnering that distinction in 2009. The Blue Devils also earned a top-eight seed in 1994 (8), 1995 (5), 1997 (5), 1998 (7), 1999 (4), 2000 (7), 2002 (7) and 2005 (2), 2007 (1), 2008 (1), 2010 (5), 2011 (5). All-time by round, the Blue Devils are 11-3 in first round action, 7-5 in quarterfinal play, 3-4 in semifinals and 1-2 in national championship games.

The ACC regular season and tournament champion, Duke enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-4 overall record. The Blue Devils won 10 consecutive games before falling to Denver in the regular season finale. Sophomore attackman Josh Dionne paces the offense with a team-best 32 goals, while fellow sophomore Jordan Wolf has a team-high 57 points (29g, 28a). Senior Robert Rotanz leads the midfield with a career-best 37 points (30g, 7a), while sophomore Christian Walsh rounds out the attack with 41 points (24g, 17a).

Senior longstick midfielder and ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, CJ Costabile anchors the faceoff game, winning 119-of-231 draws and picking up a league-best 113 ground balls. He is a dual threat on offense and defense with six goals and four assists and 18 caused turnovers. Senior defenseman Michael Manley has a team-best 22 caused turnovers.

In goal, Dan Wigrizer is 9-3 overall with an 8.73 goals against average and a .518 save percentage. He made eight saves in the win over the Orange earlier in the season.

Syracuse earned the automatic qualifying spot after capturing the inaugural BIG EAST Championship. The Orange is making its 32nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament and is 9-7 overall this season. Syracuse captured two wins in the BIG EAST Tournament, beating St. John's 12-4 in the title game to earn the automatic bid.

The winner of the Syracuse-Duke game will meet the winner of Massachusetts and Colgate in the quarterfinals. The Minutemen won the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and received an automatic berth into the field. They are the only undefeated (15-0) team in the country and earned the tournament's No. 6 seed. Colgate is 13-3 and received an at-large bid.


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