Duke Outlasts North Carolina in Thriller
The Blue Devils picked up their first ACC win Friday night in heart-stopping fashion, outlasting North Carolina 11-10. Duke trailed 4-1 early in the second quarter, only to battle its way to a 5-5 halftime score. Down 9-8 after three quarters, thanks to a last-second goal from Joe Robertson, the Blue Devils outscored the Tar Heels 3-1 in the final 15 minutes to grab win No. 9 of the year. Justin Guterding and Brad Smith with the leaders on offense with a combined 13 points. Sean Cerrone had three caused turnovers, including forcing the final turnover to ice the victory for Duke. Danny Fowler made nine saves, four of which came in the fourth quarter and Joe Stein and Brian Smyth combined to win 17-of-24 faceoffs.
Justin Guterding Joins 300 Club
Senior captain Justin Guterding joined elite company Friday night, becoming the third Blue Devil and the 13th Division I player overall to reach 300 career points. Guterding tallied seven points overall to push his career total to 304 and tie him with Jordan Wolf for third on the Duke career chart. He is tied for 11th in NCAA history and is four points shy of the No. 10 spot, which includes Syracuse great Michael Powell. He is still 49 points shy of Matt Danowski’s Duke record of 353. Overall, Guterding owns 183 goals and 121 assists. He ranks third in career assists and fourth in goals at Duke and 13th in NCAA history in goals.
More Weekly Honors for Guterding
For the third time this season, Justin Guterding earned a spot on the USILA Team of the Week. He also earned the recognition the first two weeks of the season with his red-hot start to 2018. Overall this year, Guterding has been named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week three times and to the USILA Team of the Week three times. He also was the Warrior/US Lacrosse National Player of the Week Feb. 12 after his efforts against High Point and Jacksonville.
Brad Smith Continues Upward Trend
Junior midfielder Brad Smith had been on a scoring tear heading into the North Carolina game Friday. Nothing changed on that front as the Mountain Lakes, N.J., native tallied four goals and two assists to complement Guterding’s seven points. The six points matched his career best and pushed him to 90 points for his career – 10 shy of becoming Duke’s 45th 100-point man. In the past five games, Smith has 22 points, seven more than he had in the first six games of the year. He has at least four points in four of the five outings after registering four points just once in the first six games.
March: In Like a Lamb and Out Like a Lion
We are not referencing the weather here, but rather the excitement level on the lacrosse field. The Blue Devils opened March with a convincing 14-4 win over Richmond. Duke grabbed a big first-half lead 9-2 and coasted to the 10-goal victory. The month gained intensity with four hard-fought battles for the Blue Devils and grew to a full roar of 4,000 fans at Koskinen Stadium Friday night with the 11-10 win over North Carolina.
Welch a Winner on the Wing
Duke continued to find success at the faceoff X this past Friday, with Joe Stein (13-of-19) and Brian Smyth (4-of-5) winning 17-of-24 draws. Helping lead the charge on the wing was junior Peter Welch with three faceoff pickups and then a fourth ground ball grab late in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Wlech, having battled injuries in previous seasons, also added a goal for Duke and was instrumental in keeping North Carolina to just one goal in the fourth quarter. The four ground balls matched a season high.
Conley, Smith A Special Duo
Graduate student Peter Conley and Brad Smith make quite the dynamic duo as two thirds of Duke’s first midfield. Smith paces the midfield group with 21 goals, while Conley has 20. Only 11 midfielders in Division I lacrosse have scored at least 20 goals and Duke is the only program with two players on the list. Deemer Class holds the Duke single-season goals record for a midfielder with 50 in 2016 – a feat only five other midfielders in NCAA history has reached.
Midfielders with 20 Goals
|Brent Noseworthy, Michigan||33|
|Max Tuttle, Sacred Heart||33|
|Dox Aitken, Virginia||27|
|Ian MacKay, Vermont||27|
|Griffin Brown, Colgate||25|
|Jay Drapeau, Loyola||24|
|Sean O’Brien, Bucknell||23|
|Connor Kelly, Maryland||22|
|Brad Smith, Duke||21|
|Jordan Dowiak, Cornell||21|
|Peter Conley, Duke||20|
Inside Lacrosse Announces Midseason All-Americans
Inside Lacrosse recently announced its Midseason All-Americans and five Blue Devils were among the dozens of players selected. Justin Guterding headlined the group on the first team, while Brad Smith and Cade Van Raaphorst were voted to the second team. JT Giles-Harris picked up third team recognition and Peter Conley got a nod with an honorable mention selection. Albany and Maryland both had six players voted to the teams, while Duke was the only other team to have five.
Stein Sits at Front of Freshman Faceoff Pack
Joe Stein has emerged as Duke’s go-to guy at the faceoff X since he filled in for an injured Brian Smyth against Richmond. The Bullis School product currently ranks 18th nationally and leads all freshmen with a .582 faceoff win percentage. He is tied for second in the ACC with Notre Dame’s John Travisano Jr. Ten other freshmen draw men are ranked in the top 50 nationally and eight of the 11 rookies overall have win percentages above .500.
Looking Ahead to Notre Dame
Duke makes the trip west to Notre Dame (5-3) this weekend for a matchup against the No. 10 Fighting Irish. The Blue Devils are 13-8 all-time against Notre Dame and are 5-3 against them as an ACC foe and 2-2 in ACC regular season games. Saturday will be the seventh meeting against Notre Dame for Duke’s seniors, who are 3-3 in the six previous outings. The past four games have been decided by a total of seven goals, while the overall scoring margin in the games under head coach John Danowski is 3.5 with six of the 14 being decided by two goals or less.
Notre Dame’s No. 10 ranking in the USILA coaches poll this week is the lowest when Duke has faced the Fighting Irish since the NCAA Championship game in 2010 when Notre Dame was 20th. The top 10 matchup will be the 12th between the two teams since 2010. Duke is 4-4 when ranked higher.
|Year||Duke Rank||ND Rank||Result|
|2010 %||5||20||W, 6-5 (OT)|
|2011 %||6||5||W, 7-5|
|2013 %||4||6||W, 12-11|
|2014 %||3||5||W, 11-9|
|2015 +||6||1||W, 13-8|
|2016 +||13||4||W, 10-9 (OT)|
|2017 +||3||6||L, 6-7|
% NCAA Tournament | + ACC Tournament