No. 5 Duke (8-2, 0-1) at North Carolina (6-3, 0-0)
March 30, 2019 | 2 p.m. | ESPNU
Fetzer Field | Chapel Hill, N.C.
Setting the Scene
- Duke continues its ACC slate Saturday at North Carolina. Faceoff is set for 2 p.m., at the newly renovated Fetzer Field. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN.
- The fifth-ranked Blue Devils are coming off of an overtime loss to Syracuse last weekend, while North Carolina lost to Maryland 16-9 in College Park. It is the ACC opener for the Tar Heels.
The Series History
- Duke and North Carolina meet for the 75th time Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels hold a 41-33 edge in the all-time series, but Duke has fared better since 2007, going 15-4.
- Five of the past six games have been decided by a single goal with Duke going 2-3 in those outings. The Blue Devils edged the Tar Heels in Durham by an 11-10 score last season.
By the Numbers
21 – Consecutive games Joe Robertson has scored a goal
3 – Points needed for sophomore Joe Robertson to become the 46th Blue Devil to amass 100 career points.
2.2 – Average margin of victory in the past 10 meetings between Duke and UNC
5 – Of the past six games between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels that have been decided by a single goal
17-7 – Duke’s record in true road games since 2016, including going 3-1 this season
3.33 – Points per game average for Brad Smith in his three outings against the Tar Heels
148 – Career points for Brad Smith, ranking second among players in the ACC and 17th overall among active Divison I players
32.5 – Shots per game allowed by the Blue Devils this season
44.3 – Shots per game average for North Carolina this season
34 – Goals tallied by the Blue Devils in the third quarter this season
14 – Goals allowed by Duke in the third quarter in 2019
.412 – North Carolina’s man-up offense percentage, scoring on 14-of-34 opportunities, and ranking 16th nationally
.548 – Duke’s man-down defense, 17-of-31, ranking 63rd nationally
- The Duke and UNC rivarly has had its share of nailbiters recently with five of the past six meetings being decided by a single goal and two of them going into overtime. The sixth game was a four-goal victory for Duke, 12-8, in Chapel Hill in 2017.
- The Tobacco Road rivalry has been a roller coaster for both programs. After North Carolina won 18-of-20 meetings between 1980 and 1995, Duke regained control by winning eight of the next 10 outings and 13 of the 16 games between 1996 and 2006.
- Under head coach John Danowski, Duke fared well winning eight straight and 15-of-19 overall. With Joe Breschi at the helm of North Carolina, Duke holds a 10-4 advantage. The margin of victory in those 14 games is 3.0 goals per game, while it is 1.5 in the previous six.
Looking at Duke
- Duke had its seven-game win streak halted Sunday with a 9-8 overtime setback at Syracuse. The Blue Devils are 8-2 overall, 0-1 in league play and ranked fifth in the polls. Duke is led offensively by sophomore Joe Robertson’s 27 goals and 10 assists. Brad Smith is hitting his stride and has 30 points from 15 goals and 15 assists.
- On defense, the duo of All-Americans Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris anchor the close defense along with senior Jack Fowler, who is a first-year starter. Van Raaphorst has 27 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers, while Giles-Harris has 24 and 17, respectively. They have been matchup nightmares for opponents all season. Van Raaphorst also has a goal and two assists on the season.
- Brian Smyth has been solid at the X with a 106-176 (.602) record. He has picked up ground balls on 68 of his 106 wins and owns two goals.
- In goal, senior Turner Uppgren is the starter and owns a 9.18 goals against average and a .481 save percentage.
- North Carolina will be looking to stop a two-game skid Saturday after suffering setbacks to Johns Hopkins and Maryland. The Tar Heels are 6-3 overall and recently fell out of the top 20 for the first time this season.
- Timmy Kelly and Andy Matthews are the top point scorers with 24 points apiece. Kelly has 13 goals and 11 assists, while Matthews has 10 and 14. William Perry is the team’s top goal scorer with 17 tallies. North Carolina is averaging 13.67 goals per game and an impressive 44.3 shots per game.
- Defensively, Jack Rowlett anchors the defense with 16 caused turnovers and 25 ground balls. He also has four goals. Michael Nathan also has double digit takeaways with 10 and Jack Halpert has 28 ground balls. In goal, Jack Pezzulla and Alex Bassil have shared time this season. Pezzulla has five starts, a 10.50 goals against average and a .429 save percentage. Bassil has four starts, a 9.33 goals against average and .512 save percentage.
- Zachary Tucci is the draw man, sporting a 121-of-226 (.535) record at the X. He has 42 ground balls and a goal and an assist. He has taken all but 19 faceoffs this season.
- The Blue Devils return home for their final two regular season home games, April 6 and April 13. Duke hosts Notre Dame first and Virginia caps the 2019 home slate. Both games face off at 12 p.m., on ESPNU.