The Duke men’s lacrosse team’s amazing comeback fell just short at No. 1 North Carolina Friday night as the Blue Devils fell to the Tar Heels, 18-17. Duke closes out its regular season schedule May 5 at first-year program Marquette at 1 p.m. The NCAA will announce its field of 16 on the selection show May 5 at 9 p.m., on ESPNU.
Down but Never Out – Duke Mounts Valiant Comeback The Duke men’s lacrosse team fell behind in a big way against top-ranked North Carolina in the ACC Tournament semifinal Friday night. Trailing by nine goals, the Blue Devils never gave up and eventually clawed their way into a 17-16 lead with 6:12 to play. The 12-1 run spanned 19:15 and was highlighted by Jordan Wolf’s four goals and one assist. Josh Offit added two goals and two assists during the run and senior close defenseman Bill Conners gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the night with his fifth career goal. The nine-goal deficit was the second largest they faced this season, while the comeback was one of the best in recent history.
Fowler Excellent at the X – Again Junior faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler was a major force in Duke’s comeback against the No. 1 Tar Heels. The All-ACC selection won 14-of-18 (77.8%) of his draws in the second half and was 25-of-38 for the game. His second-half performance was one of his best of the season and upped his season total in the two quarters to 132-of-181 (7.29%) compared to winning 57.7 of his draws in the first half. His 25 victories at the X were a career-high and his second 20-win performance, while his 15 ground balls were also a career-best. His 159 ground balls this season are 15 more than CJ Costabile’s single-season record set a year ago.
The Magic Number – 10 Since 2007, Duke has not fared all that well when allowing 10-plus goals. After Friday’s loss, the Blue Devils are 25-23 in games when they allow 10-plus goals and 94-7 with at least 10 tallies. Duke has only lost six times when holding its opponents under 10 scores. Duke has allowed at least 10 goals in eight games this season, going 3-5 in those contests.
Wolf Moves into Top 15 on Duke Scoring Chart Junior attackman Jordan Wolf matched his career-high seven points against North Carolina Friday night to move into 15th place on Duke’s career scoring chart with 182 points. His five goals against the Tar Heels pushed his total to 108 for his career, tied for 11th all-time at Duke and 14th among active players. His 45 tallies this season are 11th in Blue Devils single-season history, while his six points are six shy of making the top 10 chart. He has nine hat tricks on the season and has consecutive five-goal games heading into the regular season finale. His 18 career hat tricks are second most among active juniors in Division I lacrosse.
Latest RPI Standings The loss Friday night dropped Duke to 11th in the most recent RPI released by the NCAA. Duke has losses to Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6, 12 and wins over Nos. 3, 9, 20. The RPI is taken into consideration by the NCAA selection committee when it is time to determine seeds and the 16-team field.
Trekking to the Midwest for Regular Season Finale The Blue Devils will take its longest road trip of the season this weekend when they travel to Milwaukee for a match-up with first-year program Marquette May 5 at 1 p.m. (ET). Over 2,400 tickets have already been sold to the game between Duke and the Golden Eagles. Marquette is 5-7 in its inaugural season and has played three top-20 programs.
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