DURHAM, N.C. – Justin Guterding posted his second consecutive hat trick of the season and led the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils to a 10-5 win over the High Point Panthers at Koskinen Stadium on Friday.
Midfielder Kevin Quigley and attackman Joey Manown each added two goals to help lead the Blue Devils offense.
Compared to an 11-10 loss to Air Force last week, it was an improved effort for Duke, once again led by Guterding’s effort and leadership.
“This week we had a lot of preparation leading into a dangerous team,” the junior attackman said.
“High Point’s very athletic and we knew that comin’ in, so we put in a lot of work offensively and defensively as it showed in the second half.”
The Blue Devils offense and defense looked more poised to face an energetic High Point squad that played its first game of the season.
While the Panthers got a valiant effort from goalkeeper Tim Troutner Jr., who fought to keep this one close throughout, and made 11 stops in the loss, the High Point offense stalled in the final quarter.
“Last week was a huge disappointment,” senior Duke defender Brian Dunne said.
“This week we made it a point to stand our ground and finally get one (win) under our belt, and really hold it down in the defensive end and help the offense out and get the ball back up to them.”
The Blue Devils used the goalkeeping tandem of Danny Fowler and Turner Uppgren to split equal time while combining for six saves on the night as High Point stayed close throughout most of the game.
Duke led 5-4 at halftime and held a modest 7-5 lead heading into the final period before shutting down the Panthers offense.
Kyle Rowe dominated at the faceoff-X for Duke, allowing High Point’s Chris Young and Jack Marshall to win just five total draws of 19.
The Blue Devils picked up twice as many ground balls as the Panthers – a 32-16 differential – and took advantage of their possessions late in the game.
“We fixed some things at halftime,” Guterding pointed out.
“It wasn’t as clean as last game, we had a few more turnovers, but we made a few more plays. That’s what’s really important – to put the ball in the back of the net and we got the victory.”
HPU held possession and moved the ball around for the first two minutes of play before Jason Ashwood opened the game’s scoring on a door-step quick-stick on a feed from Tyler Moyer.
Ashwood crept up from X to Fowler’s right behind the Duke defense and was wide open to put High Point ahead 1-0 at the 12:47 mark.
Guterding quickly answered back just under a minute later as he finished a setup from Sean Lowrie and tied it up at a goal apiece.
Duke went up 2-1 with 8:13 to play in the period on a 10-yard high-low snipe from Tripp Transou from Troutner’s top-right.
Young scored his first on a similar set up as Trounsou’s, stepping in a release from top-center that beat Fowler low and to the left.
Following a High Point timeout, Ethan Powley checked Sean Harrison’s crosse and caused a turnover that eventually led to John Prendergast putting Duke ahead 3-2 with 2:09 remaining.
Duke took advantage of its second extra-man opportunity (EMO) of the period when Manown beat Griffin Basile, the Panther’s backup keeper, as starter Troutner served the penalty for an illegal body check.
Play during the first five minutes of play went back and forth as tight defensive play at the top of the box, between the lines, and on the ride caused turnovers from both sides.
High Point had a chance to pull closer with its first EMO of the game, but it missed wide on successive shots.
However, just as both teams returned to even strength, Harrison unleased a high-to-high release on the run after bumping with Thomas Zenker and beat Fowler to cut the Duke lead to 4-3 at the 9:25 mark.
Quigley’s bouncer from eight yards in front of Troutner reinstated the Blue Devils’ two-goal lead with 2:40 remaining.
Sean Cerrone assisted on the goal.
After getting the ball back on a save by Troutner on Jack Bruckner, the Panthers worked the ball around the Duke cage with under a minute to play.
In a one-on-one battle with Duke defender Greg Pelton, Michael LeClair drop-stepped towards Fowler’s right post before lunging right to avoid stepping in the crease, and scored to cut the Blue Devils lead at halftime to 5-4.
Uppgren started in the cage for Duke, replacing Fowler.
Rowe looked to quickly extend the lead off the draw, but a high bounce shot attempt cleared over Troutner and the goal.
Duke maintained a long possession, peppering shots in and around the High Point goal until Brad Smith finally beat Troutner low from 12 yards out.
The Blue Devils led 6-4 with 12:51 remaining in the period.
High Point couldn’t pull closer as successive possessions ended in turnovers while a save by Troutner provide another.
The Blue Devils defense clamped down and denied another shot attempt and the ball went the other way.
Guterding eventually got the pass from Quigley, faked a passed and then ripped a shot high past Troutner and with his second of the game, and gave Duke its largest lead, 7-4, with 5:24 remaining.
A 90-second man-up opportunity allowed High Point to pull back to within two as Zenker had a one-minute unsportsmanlike penalty tacked on to a his original 30-second holding call.
Connor Robinson was wide open as LeClair found him to beat Uppgren and cut the Blue Devils’ advantage to 7-5 with 1:42 remaining.
Duke carried its two-goal lead into the final quarter.
Possession was critical to begin the period.
While High Point got the ball back following a save from Troutner, a missed passed gave it back to Duke.
However, another save by Troutner on a low shot attempt from Guterding while driving from X put the Panthers in position to cut their deficit.
They couldn’t do it.
A shot wide by LeClair after driving from X gave the ball back to the Blue Devils with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Quigley’s snipe from top-right beat Troutner between his legs, and put Duke back up by three, leading 8-5, with 9:47 to play.
Another missed pass on their possession denied the Panthers the opportunity to further test Uppgren.
Troutner did his best to regain ball control, and did so with another save, and High Point cleared the ball successfully.
Another loss of possession on the end line put the ball in Duke’s crosses and ended with Guterding netting his third of the game.
Trailing 10-5 with five minutes to play, High Point pressed to score, but Rowe denied the opportunity at the faceoff-X, while the Duke defense regained possession on Panthers turnovers, and allowed the offense to ride out the remaining time on the clock.