FOXBORO, MASS. – Fourth-seeded Duke scored the game’s first six goals en route to a wire-to-wire 13-8 win over top-seeded Maryland in the NCAA semifinals Saturday afternoon in front of 30,616 spectators at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
The Blue Devils (16-3) advance to Monday’s national title game and will face third-seeded Yale at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.
"I'm very proud of our guys for jumping -- executing really well offensively early on, with standing the run that you knew that Maryland was going to make, and then again executing really well and with a lot of contributions from a lot of people," said head coach John Danowski. "So I thought it was a real team effort, and we're delighted to be together for another two days."
Celebrating his 19th birthday, Duke freshman Nakeie Montgomery scored three goals – including two in the Blue Devils’ 6-0 spurt to open the day – to pace Duke’s eight-goal first half. After Joe Robertson’s marker at the 12:44 mark of the second quarter provided Duke with a 6-0 advantage, the Terrapins (14-4) used a 5-2 run to trim the margin to 8-5 at intermission.
Coming out of the locker room, Maryland used goals from Connor Kelly and Bubba Fairman to close to within 8-7 midway through the third period. But the Blue Devils responded with timely saves from Danny Fowler and a 4-0 run to claim a 12-7 advantage on Justin Guterding’s second of three goals of the afternoon with 6:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. The two teams split the final two tallies to account for the final margin.
Guterding led the Duke offense with three goals and three assists while Montgomery (3 goals) and Robertson (3 goals & 1 assist) added multiple tallies. Montgomery now has eight goals in Duke’s three NCAA Tournament victories this season. Joey Manown and Brad Smith handed out two assists apiece.
In the Duke net, Fowler was credited with 12 saves. The Blue Devil defense received major contributions from Kevin McDonough, who scooped up six ground balls while causing one turnover, and J.T. Giles-Harris, who drew the primary coverage responsibility on All-American midfielder Connor Kelly and limited the Tewaaraton Trophy finalist to just one goal on 10 shots.
For Maryland, Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas scored two goals each while goalkeeper Dan Morris posted 14 saves.
** Duke improves to 6-5 all-time in NCAA semifinal contests including a 5-4 ledger under head coach John Danowski
** In Monday’s national title tilt, Duke will meet Yale, who is 16-3 on the year after defeating second-seeded Albany, 20-11, in the semifinals
** Duke is 3-2 all-time in NCAA championship games including a 3-1 record under Danowski … The Blue Devils previously played in the title game in 2005 (L, 9-8, Johns Hopkins), 2007 (L, 12-11, Johns Hopkins), 2010 (W, 6-5, OT, Notre Dame), 2013 (W, 16-10, Syracuse) and 2014 (W, 11-9, Notre Dame)
** Justin Guterding scored three goals vs. Maryland to extend his NCAA career record to 210 … Guterding also extended his Duke single-season total points record to 110 … Guterding now has 64 goals this season to match the fourth-highest single-season total in school history, trailing Max Quinzani (68 in 2010) and Zack Greer (67 in 2007 & 65 in 2008) and matching Jordan Wolf (64 in 2014) … Guterding now sits at 348 career points to sit five shy of matching the Duke all-time record of 353 held by Matt Danowski
** Duke head coach John Danowski now has 399 career coaching wins against 193 defeats … His record at Duke is 180-54