DURHAM, N.C.—For the 22nd time overall and the 12th year in a row, the Duke men’s lacrosse team earned a spot in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship as announced Sunday on ESPNU. The Blue Devils were tabbed as the No. 4 seed and will host Villanova, Saturday, May 12 at 2:15 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Duke is seeded fourth for just the second time in program history and is 0-1 as the No. 4 seed. The Blue Devils and Villanova will meet for the first time in NCAA Championship history. It will be the first NCAA Tournament game for the Blue Devils at Koskinen Stadium since a 2015 loss to Ohio State.
Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students. Fans can purchase tickets online at http://www.GoDuke.com/tickets starting Monday.
In 21 NCAA appearances, Duke is 33-18, 10 NCAA Championship Weekend appearances and three NCAA titles in 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Blue Devils are 14-6 all-time in first-round contests.
Duke enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-3 overall record after besting Boston University 13-9 to close out the regular season. Senior attackman Justin Guterding continues to shine on offense and headlines one of the nation’s top offenses with 56 goals and 40 assists for 96 points. The veteran captain recently joined former Blue Devil Zack Greer as the only two players in NCAA Division I history to record 200 career goals. He has 202 to his name and needs five to break Greer’s NCAA record. Rookie Joe Robertson complements him on attack with 44 points. In the midfield, junior Brad Smith has a career-best 55 points.
Defensively, Duke is holding opponents to 8.25 goals per game. Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris anchor the close defense with 18 and 20 caused turnovers, respectively. In goal, Danny Fowler sports an 8.14 goals against average and a .546 save percentage.
Joe Stein and Brian Smyth share duties at the faceoff X. Stein is 96-of-171 (.561), while Smyth is 91-of-196 (.462). They have 39 and 44 ground balls, respectively.
Villanova earned an at-large bid with a 10-5 overall record. The Wildcats most recently fell to eventual BIG EAST Champion Georgetown in the BIG EAST semifinals. Duke and Villanova share common opponents in Penn, Marquette and Denver.
Christian Cuccinello paces a Villanova offense, averaging 10.73 goals per game, with 55 points. Keegan Khan has 43 points and Danny Seibel 40. The Wildcats are allowing 11 goals per game and have given up 10-plus goals eight times this season. Matthew Webster is one of the top defensemen with 12 caused turnovers and 22 ground balls, while TJ Comizio has 15 and 48, respectively, as defensive midfielder.
At the faceoff X, Dan Fisher takes the majority of the draws and sports a .474 win percentage (129-of-272) with 51 ground balls. Luke Palmadesso has had some success at .511 (24-of-47). In goal, Nick Testa has started 11 games and owns an 11.03 goals against average and a .468 save percentage.
The winner advances to the NCAA Quarterfinal against the winner between Johns Hopkins and Georgetown May 20 in Annapolis, Md.