DURHAM, N.C. – Headlined by Justin Guterding’s four tallies, five Blue Devils scored multiple goals as No. 2 Duke defeated visiting Jacksonville, 19-8, on Saturday afternoon at a damp Koskinen Stadium. Rookie Joe Robertson added three goals and five assists as he and Guterding combined for 17 points on the day.
“I thought overall we were delighted with our preparation during the week and how our guys responded today,” said head coach John Danowski. “The hope is that this is preparation for later on down the road when you’re playing perhaps at the ACC Tournament and you have to play on a Friday and a Sunday.”
Duke improves to 3-0 on the year while the Dolphins fall to 1-1. The Blue Devils have scored at least 18 goals in each of its first three games this season and held every opponent to fewer than nine.
“Joe Robertson so far early in the season has proved that he’s an old fashioned player,” Danowski said. “He can play with both hands. He can feed the ball. He can shoot it. He picks up timely ground balls. He rides. His teammates love him and he makes so many subtle and invisible plays for us.”
Guterding added five assists to finish the day with nine points as the Garden City, N.Y., native pushed his season scoring total to 27 points on 12 goals and 15 assists. His four goals put his career total at 158, fifth in Duke history, while his five assists move him to sixth on that chart with 107.
Sean Lowrie and Kevin Quigley each carded three goals while Peter Conley chipped in a pair of markers. The hat tricks for Lowrie and Quigley tie their career highs and are their first hat tricks of 2018.
The Blue Devils jumped on top, 5-0, at the end of one quarter as Guterding and Quigley each scored twice in the opening 15 minutes. After holding a 9-4 advantage at halftime, Duke outscored the Dolphins by a 5-1 ledger in the third quarter for a commanding 14-5 lead.
Defensively, Duke was excellent in holding Jacksonville to just 24 shots overall and only three in the first quarter. The Blue Devils finished the day with 12 caused turnovers and won the ground ball battle 42-30 despite winning just 12-of-30 faceoffs.
“I thought we got to 19 [goals] today because of the defense,” Danowski said. “Ground balls, run outs from the defensive end … guys were athletic. I think when you have depth you can play faster and I thought that was a key to us getting to 19.”
For Jacksonville, Eric Applegate logged three goals and one assist while Hunter Forbes won 18-of-28 draws at the faceoff X. Starting goalkeeper Adam Baker had seven saves against nine goals allowed.
Duke remains at home to entertain No. 4 Denver on Friday at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live by ESPNU.