No. 7 Duke Uses Possession Game, Sharp Shooting To Down Men’s Lax

March 12, 2016

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BALTIMORE - Six players had two or more goals for No. 7 Duke University on Saturday, and the visiting Blue Devils went 19-of-24 on faceoffs to beat ninth-ranked Loyola University Maryland, 15-6, at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Myles Jones matched his career-highs with five goals and eight points, while Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner each added three goals for Duke (5-3 overall). Kyle Rowe went 19-of-23 on restarts, winning 15 via his own ground ball pickups.

Duke got off to a quick start, scoring on the first possession of the game as a saved Jones shot was redirected right to the stick of Bruckner just below goal line. He hit Guterding in front of the cage 39 seconds in to put Duke in front, 1-0.

The teams traded empty possessions for nearly five minutes before Loyola had a set that saw Brian Sherlock and Romar Dennis shoot hard shots off the cross bar with less than seven minutes to go in the quarter.

After Dennis’ shot ricocheted out of bounds and possession remained with the Greyhounds, Pat Spencer came from behind the cage to score and even the game at 1-1 with 5:32 to go in the frame.

Duke, however, would win the next two faceoffs and Jones and Bruckner scored goals to put the Blue Devils in front, 3-1, going into the second quarter. Bruckner’s goal came with just 3.6 ticks left on the clock after Duke forced a Loyola turnover on the Greyhounds’ offensive end.

Jones scored his second of five early in the second, but Romar Dennis got a head of steam with a run from midfield and hit a 12-yard right-handed shot to make it 4-2 Blue Devils with 10:22 remaining before halftime.

The Blue Devils had an answer just 57 seconds later as Guterding flipped a pass to Case Matheis on the left side of the crease for a one-time goal at 9:25.

Minutes later, Loyola’s Grant Limone made a clean save on a shot by Brad Smith, and Limone sent an outlet pass to Jared Mintzlaff in between the top of Duke’s box and the midline.

Mintzlaff ran unmarked into the offensive end, and he buried a high-to-high shot to trim Duke’s lead to 5-3 with 4:55 left before the break.

Duke came back to score on a Jones shot 43 ticks later, starting a 6-0 Blue Devils run that spanned both halves.

A Deemer Class goal with 6:57 left in the third put Duke in front 11-3 before Brian Sherlock hit a high-to-low look off a Zack Sirico feed with 4:48 left in the quarter. Sherlock’s goal snapped a Loyola scoreless stretch that went 15-minutes, seven-seconds.

The Blue Devils finished with a 40-24 advantage on ground balls, buoyed by Rowe’s career-high tying 15.

Spencer added a fourth-quarter goal, as did Sirico, and they led Loyola with two points each.

The Greyhounds return to Patriot League play on Saturday, March 19, when they face the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, at 1 p.m. on the American Sports Network.