Games 8 and 9
No. 3 Duke at Towson | March 17 | 12 p.m. | LSN
No. 3 Duke at Cleveland State | March 18 | 1 p.m. | LSN
Setting the Scene
- Duke continues its road swing with two games in two days in two different states this weekend.
- The Blue Devils are 6-1 and ranked third after cruising past Loyola 13-9.
- Towson is coming off of a 7-6 overtime upset over No. 13 Ohio State Saturday.
- Cleveland State is 2-6 overall with the wins coming at Air Force and against Lafayette.
- Both games will be broadcast and streamed by Lax Sport Network.
The Series History
- Duke and Towson are meeting for the first time since 2013 and for just the 10th time in the programs’ histories. The Blue Devils are 2-7 against the Tigers, but hold the most recent victory, a 15-7 win in 2013.
- The Blue Devils and Vikings are meeting for the second time. Duke bested Cleveland State 22-7 in the inaugural meeting last season.
Looking at Duke
- Duke enters the two-game road swing this weekend with a 6-1 record after a convincing 13-9 victory at No. 6 Loyola last weekend. The Blue Devils are ranked third nationally with the loss coming at Penn.
- Senior attackman Justin Guterding headlines one of the nation’s top offenses with 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points. Rookie Joe Robertson complements him on attack with 25 points. In the midfield, junior Brad Smith has 21 points and graduate student Peter Conley has chipped in 17.
- Defensively, Duke has been outstanding in holding opponents to just 7.57 goals and only 27 shots per game. The Blue Devils have held opponents without a goal for 15-plus minutes 11 times this season. Cade Van Raaphorst and JT Giles-Harris anchor the close defense with 10 caused turnovers apiece. In goal, Danny Fowler sports a 7.69 goals against average and a .565 save percentage.
- Joe Stein has performed well at the X in his past two outings. He is 36-of-64 overall and 29-of-46 as the top draw man.
- Towson enters Saturday’s contest after a 7-6 overtime win over No. 13 Ohio State in Columbus. The Tigers are 3-3 overall and have won two straight.
- Jon Mazza leads the offense with 20 points from 14 goals and six assists. Timmy Monahan has 12 points and Jean-Luc Chetner has 11. The Tigers are averaging just 9.00 goals per game and shooting .274. They have scored double digit goals in two games.
- Defensivley, Towson appears to be hitting its stride after holding UMBC and Ohio State to six goals in the past two games. Prior to those outings, the Tigers had given up double digit goals in all four games, including 13 to Mount Saint Mary’s. Sid Ewell is the top takeaway man on defense with five caused turnovers. Midfielder Zach Goodrich has a team-best six.
- At the faceoff X, Alex Woodall is outstanding at almost 65 percent (77-of-119). He ranks eighth nationally in win percentage and is 10th in ground balls (7.50).
- In the cage, Shane Brennan has started five games and owns a 10.22 goals against average and a.500 save percentage. He is averaging 7.8 saves per game.
Scouting Cleveland State
- Cleveland State welcomes the Blue Devils to Krenzler Field after posting a 12-6 home win over Lafayette Tuesday night. The Vikings are 2-6 on the year.
- Michael Wilson and Jack Frickleton lead the offense with 17 and 10 points, respectively. The Vikings are averaging 8.50 goals per game overall and 34 shots per outing.
- Michael Harris owns the most caused turnovers with nine, while Brandon Ruditz has seven. Cleveland State is allowing 11.59 goals and 36.3 shots per game. Danny Tesler sports a .286 win percentage (65-of-148) at the faceoff X. He has taken all but 37 draws for the Vikings.
- In goal, Stephen Russo has played the majority of minutes and owns a 9.55 goals against average and a .515 save percentage.
Something’s Gotta Give
- Saturday’s game features a red-hot Duke offense that leads the nation in scoring and a talented Towson defense that has held its past two opponents to six goals apiece. The Tigers struggled out of the gates, but appear to have found their stride on defense.
- Towson finished the 2017 season ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense and are trending in that direction in 2018.
Joe Robertson Rookie Impact
- Rookie attackman Joe Robertson is off to a strong start for the Blue Devils, tallying 19 goals and six assists for 25 points in his seven games. In the past five games he has 19 points from 14 goals and five assists. He was named to the USILA Team of the Week following his four-goal outing in the fourth quarter against Denver.
- Robertson, averaging 2.71 goals and 3.57 points per game, is tied for second in goals per game and is fourth in points per game amongst Division I rookie scorers.
- Duke returns home to begin ACC play, hosting Syracuse March 24 at 1:30 p.m., on ESPNU.