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Courtesy: Nat LeDonne
Ground Ball Notebook: Duke Cruises Past Air Force
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/06/2018
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Season Opener Tid Bits

Duke cruised in its season opener Saturday, beating 17th-ranked Air Force 18-4. The win was the 11th victory in 13 season-opening games for head coach John Danowski, while the 18 goals scored are the second most behind a 20-6 victory over Siena in 2011. The 14-goal margin matched the biggest with the win over the Saints seven seasons ago. It was Duke’s 188th win since 2007 and 102nd victory over a ranked opponent since 2006.


Justin Guterding Continues Climb; Passes Crotty

With three goals and seven assists against Air Force, senior attackman Justin Guterding continued his ascent in the Duke records book. He pushed his career points total to 248 to take over fifth place from assistant coach Ned Crotty on the Duke career points list. He is seven points away from moving into fourth and 52 shy of becoming the third member of the 300-point club. Guterding’s next assist will make him the sixth Blue Devil to register 100 goals and 100 assists in his career. He is now seventh on the Duke career assists chart and needs two goals to jump to seventh on the goals list at 151.


Duke Efficient on Both Ends in Victory

The Blue Devils were incredibly efficient on both ends of the field Saturday. Duke scored 18 goals on just 38 shots and put 27 of the 38 on cage as Air Force goalies combined for nine saves. The Blue Devils were scoring on just about every two shots it took. Defensively, Duke held the Falcons to only 11 shots in the first half and 26 for the game and allowed just four goals. The trio of backstops for the Blue Devils combined for 10 saves for a .714 save percentage on the afternoon.

Duke’s efficiency numbers courtesy of Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy are as follows:

Defense: 4 goals allowed on 27 possessions

Offense: 17 goals on 32 possessions

Individually, a host of Blue Devil offensive players were stellar. Guterding notched his three goals on only five shots, Joey Manown and Sean Lowrie both scored two goals on two shots. Junior midfielder Brad Smith netted his third career hat trick on five shots.


Blue Devil Firsts

Rookies Joe Robertson made his first start as a Blue Devil, while fifth-year senior transfers Peter Conley and Kevin McDonough also started in their Duke debuts. Robertson posted two goals and an assist in his first collegiate game and freshman Nakeie Montgomery notched his first collegiate point with an assist. Matthew Giampetroni had his first multiple-goal outing and sophomore faceoff specialist Brian Smyth dished out his first assist. Overall, nine Blue Devils made their collegiate lacrosse debuts, including senior Cody Brinkman who joined the lacrosse team after being a four-year starter with the Duke men’s soccer squad.


Players of the Week

Duke swept the opening week of the ACC Players of the Week awards. Guterding garnered the Offensive Player of the Week and sophomore JT Giles-Harris earned his first Defensive Player of the Week accolade. Duke and North Carolina were the lone two programs playing this past weekend. All five teams will be playing this coming weekend as Syracuse and Virginia debut Feb. 10 and Notre Dame Feb. 11. Guterding also was named to the USILA Team of the Week, which consists of 10 players throughout Division I. The USILA will announce its Team of the Week every Monday afternoon.


The Streaks Continue

With his three goals and 10 points overall, Guterding extended his nation’s best point and goal scoring streaks to 56 and 28, respectively. The senior captain has scored at least one point in every game of his career and has netted at least one goal in every game since being held to only one assists against Air Force in 2016. He has a seven-game lead on North Carolina’s Chris Cloutier in the goal streak and a three-game edge on Connor Fields of Albany on the points list.

Points Streak

56, Justin Guterding: 149g, 99a, 248pts

Goals Streak

28, Justin Guterding: 84 

Double Action for the Devils this Week

The Blue Devils will host two games in three days this week, welcoming High Point Thursday night and Jacksonville Saturday, Feb. 10, afternoon. Duke is 4-0 against the Panthers and 7-0 versus Jacksonville – both of which are new programs. Guterding has fared well against both teams, averaging five points per game overall against High Point and Jacksonville.







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