Duke Begins 2018 as Preseason No. 1
Inside Lacrosse tabbed Duke as the top-ranked team in its preseason poll. The Blue Devils edged No. 2 Albany. They earned the nod as the No. 1 team thanks to the return of the core of the lineup from 2017, including five of the six starters on offense, 81 percent of the team’s scoring and two of the three on close defense. The talented returning group will be bolstered by a host of rookies who are anticipated to contribute immediately.
Guterding Looks to Continue Climb up Record Lists
Senior Justin Guterding will begin his final season as a Blue Devil ranked sixth on the Duke career points list with 238. He is one point behind current volunteer assistant coach Ned Crotty and 115 away from tying assistant coach Matt Danowski. He is on pace to become just the third Blue Devil and only 12th NCAA Division I player to reach 300 career points. If he matches his 97 points from last season he will rank second at Duke and fifth in NCAA history.
In addition, Guterding will be the sixth to record 100 goals and 100 assists in Duke history. He owns 146 career goals, needing 60 to tie Zack Greer’s record of 206 and 54 to become just the second player in NCAA Division I history to score 200. In assists, he is 10th with 92 and will be the seventh Blue Devil to finish with at least 100.
Duke Welcomes Two New Veterans
Danowski welcomed a pair of graduate school transfers to the team as Kevin McDonough and Peter Conley join the program from Penn and Georgetown, respectively. Both are enrolled, along with goalkeeper Danny Fowler, in the Duke Fuqua School of Business’ Master of Management Studies program.
McDonough missed the majority of the 2017 season due to injury, leaving him with a year of eligibility remaining. In his three-plus seasons with the Quakers, the New Canaan, Conn., native played in 47 games with 21 starts on close defense. He picked up 50 career ground balls and 18 caused turnovers.
Conley, an attackman, started all 14 games for the Hoyas in 2017. He was second on the team in scoring with 27 goals and 18 assists for 45 points. He also picked up 33 ground balls. He was an All-BIG EAST first team choice in 2014 and 2017 and also garnered USILA All-America honorable mention recognition last season. During his time in the nation’s capital, Conley recorded 77 goals and 43 assists.
Duke’s 2018 Schedule by the Numbers
8 – Of the 16 NCAA Championship teams Duke will face in 2018
2 – Of the four 2017 NCAA Semifinalists on the slate
10 – Preseason top 25 teams according to Inside Lacrosse on tap
6 – Road contests for the Blue Devils, including a trip to second-year program Cleveland State in March
5 – Different states Duke will visit for its six road games, including a trip to Ohio for the second time in program history
4 – Of Inside Lacrosse’s preseason top 10 Duke is slated to face in 2017
Earliest Start in Program History
Duke and Air Force will face off Feb. 3 in Durham, marking the earliest start for the Blue Devils in program history. The previous record was Feb. 5, 2017 when Air Force edged Duke 11-10 at Koskinen Stadium. It was just the second time under John Danowski Duke lost its season opener – Denver beat the Blue Devils 14-12 in 2013.
Penn Returns to the Duke Slate
Penn returns to the Duke schedule in 2018, while longtime foe Georgetown will not. The Blue Devils and Quakers have squared five times in Danowski’s 11 seasons and every year from 2010-2014. Duke is 3-2 against Penn with both losses coming in Philadelphia in February. The Quakers have held Duke to single digit scoring in three of the five meetings and this season will feature the return of Penn defensemen Kevin McDonogh after he transferred to Duke.
Hoyas Not Among Duke Opponents
For just the second time since 1992, Georgetown and Duke are not scheduled to play. The two teams did not square off in 2014. Duke has won eight straight since the Hoyas upset the No. 1 Blue Devils in 2008.
Busy February on Tap for Devils
Duke will play five games in 21 days in February. It is the third straight season the Blue Devils will play five games in the year’s second month. The Blue Devils have 11 losses in February since Danowski took the helm in 2007.
Spring Break Road Swing
The Blue Devils will take a three-game road swing during Spring Break this season. It will feature back-to-back trips to Baltimore and a third to Cleveland. Duke opens the break with its traditional Loyola opponent and then follows with Towson and Cleveland State the following weekend. The Blue Devils will make the 317-mile trip up I-95 to Towson for a March 17 matchup and then will tack on 376 more miles as it heads west to Cleveland for a March 18 afternoon game with the Vikings.
Duke and Towson are meeting for the first time since 2013 and for only the second time in Danowski’s tenure. It will be a highly-anticipated matchup between the 2017 NCAA semifinalist Tigers and the perennial power Blue Devils.
With a Division I record 383 victories to his name, Danowski will be chasing 400. Needing 17 wins will be a tall task as the Blue Devils have reached that mark just four times in program history. The longtime leader needs just 11 wins before earning his 175th win at Duke. Danowski became Division I’s winningest coach last season. He has a two-game edge on Denver head coach Bill Tierney’s 381. The longtime friends will face off Feb. 16 in Durham.
Opening Practice Jan. 10
The Blue Devils open the 2018 season with their first practice Jan. 10. Duke will have just over two weeks of practice before hosting Ohio State in a scrimmage Jan. 27 in Durham.
2018 Duke Men’s Lacrosse Schedule
|Feb. 3||Air Force||Durham, N.C.||1 p.m.|
|Feb. 8||High Point||Durham, N.C.||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 10||Jacksonville||Durham, N.C.||1 p.m.|
|Feb. 16||Denver||Durham, N.C.||5 p.m.|
|Feb. 24||at Penn||Philadelphia, Pa.||3 p.m.|
|Mar. 3||Richmond||Durham, N.C.||1 p.m.|
|Mar. 10||at Loyola||Baltimore, Md.||3 p.m.|
|Mar. 17||at Towson||Towson, Md.||12 p.m.|
|Mar. 18||at Cleveland State||Cleveland, Ohio||1 p.m.|
|Mar. 24||Syracuse||Durham, N.C.||1:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 30||North Carolina||Durham, N.C.||5 p.m.|
|Apr. 7||at Notre Dame||Notre Dame, Ind.||4 p.m.|
|Apr. 14||at Virginia||Charlottesville, Va.||1 p.m.|
|Apr. 20||Marquette||Durham, N.C.||7 p.m.|
|Apr. 27||ACC Semifinals||Charlottesville, Va.||1/3:30 p.m.|
|April 29||ACC Championship||Charlottesville, Va.||12 p.m.|
|May 6||Boston U.||Durham, N.C.||12 p.m.|