EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.-Duke senior Robert Rotanz tallied four goals and junior goaltender Dan Wigrizer made four fourth-quarter saves to guide the eighth-ranked Blue Devils to a thrilling 12-10 victory over No. 14 Syracuse today at MetLife Stadium in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic.
The win is the second overall for Duke over the Orange and the first since 1978. The Blue Devils improve to 9-3 overall and stretch their win streak to six games. Syracuse falls to 4-4 overall.
Duke led 10-9 after a frenetic three quarters to set up an exciting final 15 minutes of lacrosse. In a game that featured five ties over the course of three quarters, Syracuse opened the final frame with a goal from JoJo Marasco to even the score for what proved to be the final time.
The final 12 minutes was all Duke as the Blue Devils held Syracuse to six shots, forced four turnovers and held it scoreless for the final 13:41. Having not trailed since 7:28 of the second quarter, Rotanz came up big for the fourth time in the afternoon to put Duke in front, 11-10 with 12:04 to play. Jordan Wolf provided the assist for Rotanz's score as the senior midfielder matched his career high four goals. Wolf finished with two goals and three assists to lead all Duke scorers.
The Blue Devils defense frustrated the Orange throughout the final 12 minutes of the game, holding the Orange scoreless for the last 13:41. Junior midfielder Jake Tripucka iced the victory for Duke with his first goal of the game at the 3:05 mark of the fourth quarter.
The first 30 minutes were back and forth, featuring four ties overall. The Orange led 5-3 early in the second quarter before the Blue Devils went on a 4-1 run to end the first half with a 7-6 advantage.
Rotanz led the charge in the second frame with three of Duke's four goals, including the man-up score that put the Blue Devils in front 7-6 with 1:31 to play in the quarter. Wolf chipped in a goal between Rotanz's strikes, while junior David Lawson and sophomore Christian Walsh also contributed scores in the second quarter.
Duke carried that momentum into the third quarter with consecutive goals for the largest lead of the entire game by either team at 9-6. Justin Turri started the scoring, while Wolf added his second to push Duke's run to four unanswered and six of the previous seven.
The Orange stopped Duke's run at the 8:28 mark of the third quarter with a fast-break goal from Tommy Palasek. The goal ended Syracuse's 14-minute scoreless stretch and jump-started a three-goal run by the Orange that tied the game 9-9 with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter. Palasek led the Orange with four goals and an assist for five points.
Sophomore Josh Dionne put Duke up again with his first tally of the game with 36 seconds left in the third session and set up the thrilling fourth quarter.
Duke outshot Syracuse 42-29 for the game and won the ground ball battle 25-20. Syracuse won 14-of-25 faceoffs, including 3-of-4 in the fourth quarter. Seniors CJ Costabile and Michael Manley both picked up a game-high six ground balls. Wigrizer finished with eight saves for Duke, while Dominic Lamolinara had 10 stops.
Duke closes out its regular season home schedule next weekend, hosting Marist on April 7 at 3 p.m.