The top-seeded Blue Devils (15-3) upended the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 19-11 in their quarterfinal matchup in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament played at Delaware Stadium on Sunday.
Duke’s attack led the way in the dominating win over the Blue Jays as Jordan Wolf (5 goals, 3 assists), Josh Dionne (4 goals) and Case Matheis (3 goals, 2 assists) piled it on from the goal line extended and in.
Myles Jones (3 goals, 4 assissts) along with Christian Walsh (2 goals, 1 assist) and Kyle Keenan (2 goals, 1 assist) rounded out the scoring while goalkeepers Luke Aaron (3 saves, 35 minutes) and Kyle Turri (1 save, 24 minutes) split duties in the cage at the other end.
With the victory, the Blue Devils will make an unprecedented eighth consecutive semifinal appearance under head coach John Danowski, the only coach to do so in his first eight seasons in leading a program.
“First I want to congratulate Johns Hopkins University on a phenomenal season,” Danowski said.
“This game in preparation scared the heck out of us. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute battle. With that being said I couldn’t be more proud of the group of athletes representing Duke.”
Brendan Fowler won 17 of 33 faceoffs he took and his teammates did the rest in helping scoop up balls on the draw and everywhere else on the field, as the Blue Devils picked up almost twice as many ground balls (37-19) as the Blue Jays.
Duke took a commanding 6-0 lead during the first 10 minutes of play, but Johns Hopkins (11-5) began to work its way back into the game, trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Even with a commanding lead, the Blue Devils struggled through a stretch that enabled the Blue Jays to cut significantly into their lead which stood at 12-8 by halftime.
While Hopkins keeper Eric Schneider made 10 stops throughout the game and Rob Guida and Holden Cattoni tallied three goals apiece, the Blue Devils continued to create the opportunities necessary to extend the lead considerably when they needed to.
“We first came out and played well,” Danowski said.
“We knew they were going to make a run. The guys withstood the run and played with tremendous poise and maturity at the end, which isn’t something we haven’t always had this season.”
The Blue Devils will use the week to prepare for another trip to championship weekend to be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
However, in doing so, Duke may need to adjust its lineup as Dionne was injured in the game against the Blue Jays, suffering a right leg injury after being checked during a shot attempt.
The severity of the injury was not yet known, or whether he will be able to practice and be in the lineup for the team’s next game in the semifinals against the fifth-seeded Denver Pioneers, 15-6 quarterfinal winners over Drexel.