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Defense Lifts No. 5 Blue Devils Past No. 7 Georgetown, 6-4
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/24/2007
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Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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WASHINGTON, D.C. Goalkeeper Dan Loftus registered a season-high 19 saves and the Duke defense limited Georgetown to just one goal in the second half as the fifth-ranked Blue Devils earned a 6-4 victory over the seventh-ranked Hoyas on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,246 fans in Washington, D.C.

Duke improves to 6-2 on the year while Georgetown falls to 4-2.

The save total of Loftus fell one shy of his career-best performance of 20 set last year against Maryland. Defensemen Casey Carroll and Nick O’Hara each were credited with four ground balls to pace the Blue Devils.

"We’re starting to play the type of team defense I thought we could play," said Duke head coach John Danowski. "I don’t think we helped Danny out too much in the first couple of games, but we’re starting to get there."

The Hoyas took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game when Andrew Baird tallied an unassisted goal at the 13:03 mark. The advantage was increased to 2-0 when Cullen Molinari scored with 9:09 left in the opening period.

The Blue Devils got on the scoreboard at the 12:42 mark of the second quarter when Ned Crotty got by his defender down the left side and scored over Georgetown goalkeeper Miles Kass’ left shoulder. With 6:41 remaining the second period, Trevor Casey netted a goal to give the Hoyas a 3-1 cushion.

Zack Greer’s goal just 28 seconds into the third period pulled the Blue Devils to within 3-2. Greer was able to beat Kass from just above the crease following a nifty feed from Gibbs Fogarty. Georgetown answered with a fastbreak goal by Jake Samperton to claim a 4-2 lead with 10:36 left in the third quarter.

At the 8:39 mark of the third period, Crotty dodged from behind the goal and scored his second goal of the day to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Hoyas. Following a takeaway by Carroll and Georgetown penalty, Matt Danowski used a bounce pass to find Greer in front of the net and the Canadian deposited his 20th goal of the year to tie the game at 4-4 with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter. The assist extended Danowski’s streak of consecutive games with at least one point to 30
the fifth-longest active streak in the nation.

The Blue Devils took their first lead of the contest at the 11:28 mark when a Brad Ross pass led to a transition goal by Danowski. The goal marked the 106th career tally for Danowski, matching Duke great Tony Cullen for ninth place on the school’s all-time chart. Ross then pushed the advantage to 6-4 with an unassisted goal with 8:04 left.

Duke returns home next week to host Delaware on Friday (3 p.m.) and Bellarmine on Saturday (3 p.m.).