DURHAM, N.C.-The 2013 Duke men's lacrosse season gets underway in only five days as the preseason No. 6 Blue Devils host No. 9 Denver Feb. 9 at 12 p.m. Since the Atlantic Coast Conference started awarding player of the year honors, Duke has had five different players collect and ACC Player of the Year award.
Matt Ogelsby (1995), Kevin Cassese (2001), Matt Danowski (2005, 2007), Ned Crotty (2010) and CJ Costabile (2012) all were voted by the league's coaches as the top players in the ACC during the course of the respective seasons. Costabile shared the inaugural ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, while the remaining four were named the ACC Players of the Year.
Ogelsby became the Blue Devils' first ACC Player of the Year after he tallied 31 goals and 16 assists for 47 points. The Bryn Mawr, Pa., native dominated the action on the ground that season, picking up 99 ground balls in just 16 games. He garnered on ACC Player of the Week award and was named a USILA first team All-American after guiding Duke to a 12-4 record and to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Cassese, a midfielder, captured the ACC Player of the Year award as a sophomore after helping Duke to an 11-6 record with 23 goals and 14 assists for 37 points. A presence on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field, Cassese led the team on the ground with 85 groundballs. He won 47-of-72 faceoffs for the Blue Devils en route to garnering second team All-America recognition.
Like he did for much of his career, Danowski made Duke lacrosse history by becoming the only Blue Devil to win multiple ACC Players of the Year awards. The NCAA's all-time leading points scorer earned his first award in 2005 after guiding Duke to the NCAA runner-up trophy with 50 goals and 42 assists for 92 points. Two seasons later, Danowski brought home the hardware again when he led the Blue Devils to a 17-3 overall record with 96 points from 44 goals and 52 assists.
Crotty followed three years later after a standout season at attack for the Blue Devils. The New Vernon, N.J., native compiled a school-record 63 assist and 86 points overall as he led Duke to its first NCAA Championship. He tallied five-plus points in eight games and scored at least one point in 18 contests. He dished at least four assists nine times and had the game-winning assist in the NCAA semifinal win over Virginia.
In the inaugural year of ACC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Costabile shared the award with Maryland's Jesse Bernhardt. Costabile, a longstick midfielder, led the Blue Devils at the faceoff X (143-of-272) and collected a career-high 144 ground balls. Duke's career leader in ground balls with 376, the New Fairfield, Conn., native caused 21 turnovers in 2012 and added seven goals and four assists for 11 points en route to being selected as a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist.
Duke opens the 2013 season this weekend, hosting Denver Saturday, Feb. 9 at 12 p.m.
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