DU Shocks #4 Duke In Men's Lacrosse

(above) DU Senior Director of Development Rob Revitte poses with the New York Islanders Ice Girls before the game
(above) DU coach Pat Tierney guided DU to a victory over the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon
From: LaxPower.com

Tenth-ranked Denver outscored Duke 7-4 in the second half to earn a 12-9 victory over the No. 4  ranked and defending national champion Blue Devils in men's lacrosse action this afternoon in front of a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Bethpage High School on Long Island, NY.

Duke falls to 8-4 overall with the loss, while the Pioneers improve to 8-2 on the year. Todd Baxter paced Denver with four goals and an assist, while Cameron Flint had three goals.
"Maybe today will change things a little bit,'' Tierney said after Denver's 12-9 victory. "Maybe people don't know or didn't know what Denver lacrosse was all about. So, we have to search a little bit harder than some of the guys where kids just want to show up at their places.''

Tierney built six national champions with plenty of Long Island talent. But Denver isn't Princeton. Not yet, anyway. "We have young men from Minnesota, California, Kentucky,'' Tierney said.

Giving up a home game in Denver to play Duke here was something of a stroke of genius for Tierney, who said, "We also want to make sure we have a [recruiting] presence here on Long Island. I can't tell you how many Final Fours and tournaments, but the care they took in making this an amazing experience for our players is just second to none. To win the game makes it real special . . . I would give up anything to play in an event like this again. It was just fantastic.''
The first half was a tight affair that featured three ties and two lead changes. Duke opened the scoring with a transition goal from senior Terrence Molinari. Howell assisted on the score. After six minutes of scoreless lacrosse, Denver evened the game as Chase Carraro snuck his shot past the stick of Duke Blue Devil goaltender Dan Wigrizer.

The back-and-forth action continued in the final 2:42 with the squads combing for three goals in that span. The Blue Devils opened a 3-1 lead with goals from David Lawson and Stephen Coyle. Seconds later, Flint notched his first goal of the game to make it a 3-2 game after 15 minutes of action.

Denver added two more goals in the first six minutes of the second quarter for its first lead, 4-3, of the contest. Rotanz responded with consecutive scores of his own to put the Blue Devils back in front with 48 seconds left to go. The Pioneers came out and won the ensuing faceoff and just 15 seconds later Baxter fired a shot in from Mark Matthews to tie the game going into halftime.

Duke held a narrow 20-19 advantage in shots and led 13-11 in ground balls after 30 minutes of play.

Denver started the third frame much the way it began the second quarter. The Pioneers scored twice in the opening six minutes to take a 7-5 lead for good at the 9:09 mark. Rotanz recorded his third goal of the game less than a minute later to pull Duke to within one, but Denver would never let Duke any closer.

The Pioneers scored three of the next four goals to open a 10-7 lead heading into the final minute. Rotanz added another goal for Duke with 24 seconds left in the stanza to send Duke into the final quarter trailing 10-8.

After the two teams combined for eight goals in the third quarter, the offense firepower slowed down in the fourth session. Neither team was able to get on the board until 5:56 left to play as Denver's Mark Matthews put Denver back in front by three goals. Flint netted an empty net goal at 2:09 to ice the victory for the pioneers. Howell closed out the scoring for the Blue Devils with a man-up goal.

Duke held a 42-34 advantage in shots for the game and Denver won the ground ball battle 28-26. Jamie Faus made 16 stops for the Pioneers, including seven in the fourth quarter.


vizoroo said...

A Big Step for DU Lacrosse!

dggoddard said...

A great win no doubt. Should really help at NCAA Tournament selection time.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, this win can open up Long Island as a recruiting zone for DU.

du78 said...

This was the biggest game in DU's Lax history. Today's Newsday (local LI newspaper) has a full page story on the game in the sports section. Every high school player on Long Island now knows DU Lax. This game has been the buzz all season on LI and it lived up to its billing.

Anonymous said...

Tierney coming to DU put Denver lax on the radar of every kid on the east coast. DU beating Duke means this program has arrived and is competitive at the highest level. Expect Denver lax to explode.

Anonymous said...

Free Video Highlights of DU beating Duke here: