DURHAM, N.C. – Eight different scorers powered the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils offense to post a 17-6 season and home-opening win over the High Point Panthers at Koskinen Stadium on Friday.
Midfielder Deemer Class (4 goals) and attackmen Jack Bruckner (4 goals, 1 assist) and Case Matheis (3 goals) led an offense that combined for 28 total points.
Myles Jones led all of them with six, scoring two and helping on four others while goalkeeper Danny Fowler (6 saves) earned the win with help from backup Luke Aaron (4 saves).
“It’s been such a long time since we competed,” Duke head coach John Danowski said.
“We got knocked out in the first round last year. We don’t compete in the Fall. We don’t have any scrimmages in preseason, and I think it was more of a function that the guys were just really anxious to play. They wanted to play against a different color jersey and it’s been a while since we’ve done that.”
Faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe won 13-of-20 draws at the faceoff-X while on the other side, the High Point tandem of Jamie Piluso and Alex Woodall won five draws apiece.
Dan Lomas’ two-goal finish led the Panthers offense that clashed with a Duke squad that returned 87 percent of its offense from last season.
The Blue Devils finished with a perfect 3-for-3 conversion rate in man-up situations while limiting the Panthers to 1-for-6 with theirs.
High Point keeper Zach Tuell made an impressive start with 12 saves on 29 shots of 46 that made it to the goal, but he and the Panthers defense couldn’t slow nor contain the Blue Devils’ scoring machine.
“I thought Zach Tuell did a good job in the cage and was poised in the clear,” High Point head coach Torpey said.
“I think we did a good job of not turning the ball over on offense. We just didn’t have it that much. Thing is, you play against a team like Duke, I don’t know what it is, but they do a great job of comin’ out in the third quarter with adjustments. To put us (down) 6-0 in the third quarter, put us in a huge hole. It was tough to bounce back from that.”
The Blue Devils led 7-4 by halftime, but blew the game open with a decisive 10-2 finish during the final 30 minutes of play.
Bruckner scored his final three goals of the game in the final quarter and finalized the win for the Blue Devils.
“We just knew that if we played together and shared the ball, it was all gonna come back around,” Class said.
“I think guys really took pride today in making other guys look good.”