No. 2 Duke vs. No. 17 Air Force
Feb. 3, 2018 | 1 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
Koskinen Stadium | Durham, N.C.
Setting the Scene
- Duke opens the 2018 season with Air Force for the second straight season. It will be the first of four home games to start the campaign.
- The Blue Devils are the preseason No. 1 team according to Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine.
The Series History
- Duke leads the series 6-4, but the Falcons own the two most recent victories. Air Force defeated the Blue Devils in Durham 11-10 last season.
- The Blue Devils are 3-2 versus Air Force under head coach John Danowski. Both losses have been by a single goal.
By the Numbers
1 – Preseason national ranking in two of the three polls - Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine
81 – Percentage of the team’s scoring returning from last year’s scoring, including five of the top six point producers
55 – Straight games with a point for senior Justin Guterding, the longest among Division I players
17 – Wins needed by head coach John Danowski to become the first Division I head coach to reach the 400 wins benchmark
8 – Of the 2017 NCAA Tournament teams on Duke’s schedule in 2018
43 – Points needed by Brad Smith to become Duke’s 45th 100-point scorer - he had 39 last season
9 – Regular season Duke games that will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s many platforms, including four on ESPNU
- Duke enters the 2018 season as one of the favorites to take home the NCAA title in May. The Blue Devils are ranked first by Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine and second by the coaches.
- The Blue Devils were picked as co-favorites with Notre Dame to win the ACC Championship in 2018, while seniors Danny Fowler and Justin Guterding, and junior Cade Van Raaphorst were voted preseason All-ACC by the league’s five coaches.
- Guterding, the league’s top scorer in 2017, returns for his senior season looking to leave a mark on the Duke and NCAA records book. He is on pace to become just Duke’s fourth player to amass 300 career points.
- Duke has nine of the USILA’s top 20 teams on its schedule, including four in the top 10.
- Five of of the Blue Devils’ regular season games will be aired by ESPNU, beginning with the Feb. 16 matchup with No. 4 Denver.
- Head coach John Danowski is 17 wins shy of becoming the first Division I head coach to reach 400 career victories.
Last Time We Met
- Air Force goalkeeper Paxton Boyer registered 14 saves and midfielder Nick Hruby scored four goals to lead the visiting 19th-ranked Falcons to an 11-10 win over No. 7 Duke last season in Durham.
- Trailing 8-6 midway through the third period, Air Force scored five consecutive goals to claim an 11-8 advantage on Andrew Tien’s marker with 8:52 remaining in the contest. Less than two minutes later, Duke’s Justin Guterding scored twice in a 41-second span to pull the Blue Devils within one goal, but the Falcon defense stymied the home team over the final seven minutes to win the season opener for both squads.
- Duke was led by Guterding with three goals while Jack Bruckner and Joey Manown added two markers apiece. At the faceoff X, Kyle Rowe secured 16-of-21 draws and logged 11 ground balls while goalkeeper Danny Fowler posted nine saves.
- In addition to Hruby’s four tallies, Air Force received two-goal outings from Tien, Chris Walsch and Grant Gould. The Falcons earned the victory despite picking up just 12 ground balls compared to Duke’s 28.
Scouting Air Force
- Air Force enters the 2018 season as the preseason No. 17 squad according the nation’s coaches. The Falcons also were picked to win the Southern Conference crown for the third straight season. Attackmen Nick Hruby and Chris Walsch were voted to the preseason all-league squad and joined by faceoff specialist Trent Harper and defensive midfielder Joe Matarazzo.
- Walsch is the two-time SoCon Player of the Year and is back after posting 64 points from 36 goals and 28 assists. Hruby was behind him with 45 points, while Trent Harper won 58 percent of his faceoffs.
- Paxton Boyer is back between the pipes for Air Force. He played in 12 games and for 521 minutes overall his rookie season, posting a 7.82 goals against average and a .443 save percentage. He was 5-3 overall on the year.
A Win over Air Force Would
- Be head coach John Danowski’s 384th career win
- Be the program’s 554th overall victory
- Make Duke 55-15 all-time in the month of February
- Make Danowski 10-2 in season openers at Duke
Duke in the Month of February
- Duke is 54-14 (.794) all-time in the month of February. The Blue Devils first played in the second month of the year in 1983.
- Since 2007, Duke is 29-12 (.707) and has played five games in the month in three of previous four seasons.
Duke Returns Defensive Core
- Duke returns the core of the 2017 defense that turned in its best season since 2009. Last season the Blue Devils posted a 8.39 goals against average, the best for a Danowski-coached Duke squad since the 2009 team sported a 7.85 GAA.
- The Blue Devils welcome two of the three starting close defensemen in Giles-Harris and Cade Van Raaphorst, with the hole being filled by fifth-year senior Kevin McDonough of Penn. Top defensive midfielders Sean Cerrone and Terry Lindsay are back, while John Prendergast is expected to help fill the void left by Tommy Zenker. Danny Fowler is between the pipes in his final season in a Duke uniform, while junior Turner Uppgren will back him up.
Guterding Aiming to Leave His Mark
- Attackman Justin Guterding will be climbing the Duke and NCAA record books this season. The veteran scorer enters the season ranked sixth at Duke in career points and 62 points shy of becoming the third Blue Devil and 12th player in NCAA history to 300 career points. He is 30 points from moving into the top 25 in NCAA history.
- If Guterding matches his 51 goals from last season, he will finish with 197, which would currently be tied for third in NCAA history. Zack Greer is the lone player in Division I lacrosse history to score 200 career goals. Guterding needs 54 to reach that mark and 60 to tie Greer’s 206.
Guterding Point Streak
- Justin Guterding will open the 2018 season riding a 55-game point streak, totaling 146 goals and 92 assists for 238 points in that span.
|1.||55||Justin Guterding, Duke, Jr., A*||146-92-238|
|2.||53||Connor Fields, Albany, Jr., A*||162-113-275|
|3.||48||Shack Stanwick, Johns Hopkins, Jr., A*||74-82-156|
|4.||42||Jack Wilson, Boston U., Jr., A||73-42-115|
|5.||34||Pat Spencer, Loyola, So., A*||65-107-172|
|34||Ben Reeves, Yale, Jr., A||91-74-165|
* denotes player has scored a point in every game of his career
Guterding Goal Scoring Streak
- Justin Guterding, with a hat trick in 10 of 18 games in 2017, will enter 2018 on the nation’s longest goal streak of 27 games, dating back to March 26, 2016.
- Duke seniors Danny Fowler, Justin Guterding and Greg Pelton are among the most experienced in Division I lacrosse, with all having played at least 53 games.
- They are among the eight players nationally to have seen action in 53 contests in their careers. Duke and Albany both have three players on the list and Maryland the other two.
Career Games Played Entering 2018
58 - Connor Kelly (Maryland)
57 - Adam DiMillo (Maryland)
55 - Justin Guterding (Duke)
53 - Connor Fields (Albany)
53 - Troy Reh (Albany)
53 - AJ Kluck (Albany)
53 - Danny Fowler (Duke)
53 - Greg Pelton (Duke)
NCAA Active Leaders
- Duke has a trio of players peppered throughout the top 10 NCAA DI active leaders lists.
- Justin Guterding is second in points (238) and goals (146), third in assists (92), fourth in points per game (4.33), fifth in goals per game (2.65) and eighth in assists per game (1.67).
- Danny Fowler is fourth in career saves (447).
|Guterding||Points Per Game||4.33||4|
|Guterding||Goals Per Game||2.65||5|
|Guterding||Assists Per Game||1.67||8|
|Fowler||Saves Per Game||8.43||22|
Freshmen Tid Bits
- Duke welcomed a group of 10 freshmen to campus this fall. It is a talented group with four listed among Inside Lacrosse’s top 100. Inside Lacrosse tabbed Duke’s class No. 3 nationally.
- Nakeie Montgomery, a midfielder from Dallas, was considered the top player in the group after a heralded career at Episcopal School of Dallas.
|Rk.||School||Top 100||Top 50||Top 25||Top 10||Total|
Power 100 - Inside Lacrosse
Top 40 Attackmen - Inside Lacrosse
Top 40 Midfielders - Inside Lacrosse
|3.||Nakeie Montgomery||7.||Cameron Badour||34.||Matthew Chmil|
Top 40 Defensemen - Inside Lacrosse
- Duke stays at home for two contests next week. The Blue Devils host High Point, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. and then Jacksonville Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. Both games will be aired on ACC Network Extra. Duke concludes its four game-homestand to start the season against No. 3 Denver Feb. 16 at 5 p.m., on ESPNU.