DURHAM, N.C.óDuke outscored visiting Loyola College 4-2 in the fourth quarter to capture a thrilling 11-9 victory over the No. 14 Greyhounds in non-conference men’s lacrosse action today at Koskinen Stadium. The contest featured six ties and four lead changes as the 13th-ranked Blue Devils prevailed by two scores.
Senior Ned Crotty and junior Max Quinzani paced the Blue Devils again with five and three points, respectively. Crotty finished with a tally and four assists, while Quinzani had three goals, two of which were assisted by Crotty. Duke (4-2) had eight different goal scorers and six players with multiple points.
Crotty becomes the 35th Blue Devil to record 100 career points in the win. He currently has 55 goals and 48 assists for 103 points.
Shane Koppens led the Loyola attack with four scores and five points overall, while Cooper MacDonnell had two tallies.
“First of all, I thought Loyola was really well-prepared,” head coach John Danowski said. “They’re terrific. Since 2000, the series is like 5-4 and in the history of the Loyola-Duke series the games are always close. We knew it was going to be a really tough game and I thought it was a great college lacrosse game to be a part of. We have freshmen, redshirt freshmen who need to play, older guys who are playing new positions who need to play and I thought a lot of them made a lot of little plays over the course of the game that are going to help us later on.”
The first three quarters were a back-and-forth affair as the two teams battled to five ties and two lead changes and left the Blue Devils and Greyhounds knotted at seven after 45 minutes of play.
Loyola regained the lead for the third time on the afternoon, 9-8, just 31 seconds into the frame when Collin Finnerty scored a man-up goal. Duke came right back and won the next three faceoffs as the Blue Devils went on a three-goal run in a span of 3:31 to go in front for good 10-8.
“We have some terrific athletes individually defensively, but the hardest thing to kind of complete is to play team defense,” Danowski said. “I thought the guys really bought into playing great team defense today. It is really important for them to stop the opponent and today it happened to be Loyola. I thought the guys were vocal, fundamentally sound, and really did a great job.”
Quinzani started the run at the 12:57 mark, taking a pass from Justin Turri and slipping it past Greyhound goalie Jake Hagelin. Quinzani and Crotty hooked up 47 seconds later to give Duke the 9-8 advantage. On the man-up, Crotty held the ball on the left side of the cage and zipped a pass right in front of the crease to Quinzani who dropped it in the cage. The lead was the team’s first since the Blue Devils led 6-5.
Steve Schoeffel put Duke in front by two, 10-8, a few minutes later, beating his defender to the right side of the crease and pushing his shot past Hagelin with 9:26 left on the clock.
Koppens came back nearly two minutes later to pull the Greyhounds within one at 10-9. That proved to be all the Blue Devils would allow in the game, marking the fifth game this season Duke has held its opponents to under 10 goals.
Loyola was able to get a few looks at goal following the faceoff win by John Schiavone, but Duke forced a turnover in the run of play and picked up the loose ball to gain possession with just under four minutes remaining.
After a good clear by the Blue Devils, Crotty took the ball to the cage and iced the victory for Duke with 3:10 left on the clock.
“We had been kind of running the same thing for a while,” Crotty said. “I go behind and dodge and either look to score or to feed, it’s a pretty basic play. But that time I got a pretty good step on him. He was trying to force me one way and I beat him the other [way]. I wrapped the shot around him and I don’t think the goalie could see it.”
Senior Sam Payton won the ensuing faceoff as Duke was able to run out the clock for the two-goal victory. Payton went 11-of-21 at the X for the game and picked up a team-high six ground balls.
In goal, Schroeder made three saves in 60 minutes of action, while Hagelin had 10 stops for Loyola.
Duke held a slight 36-27 advantage in shots and won the ground ball battle 29-22. The Blue Devils went 3-of-6 on the man-up, while Loyola converted on both of its man-up scoring opportunities.
“I do believe that there are games that a gut checks,” Danowski said. “This is a gut-check game where you do have to play for all 60 minutes. It’s hot, we’re playing on grass and we’re normally on turf, so maybe you have a tendency to get tired or to not be fundamentally sound. I thought our guys did a great job of staying on task, of understanding of how to get to where you are by being fundamentally sound and disciplined so I was really proud of them for that.”
Duke returns to action March 8, hosting Yale at 1 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium.