Duke vs. Butler
February 18, 2006
The Game Story:
Senior midfielder Kyle Dowd scored a career-high four goals to lead second-ranked Duke to a 20-3 victory over visiting Butler in collegiate men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon in Durham, N.C. The game, played with a consistent wintry mix falling, marked the season-opener for both squads.

"I thought we came out with good levels of intensity and aggressiveness," said Duke head coach Mike Pressler. "For a first game, we played pretty well, but we have a lot of areas to improve. We'll take this one and move on to next week against a very good Villanova team."

Dowd's assist on a Matt Zash goal just two minutes into the game gave the Blue Devils the lead for good, and Duke scored the game's first seven goals before Butler's Brian Welch tallied with 1:58 left in the first period to end the spurt. Dowd, Dan Flannery and Bret Thompson all scored twice as Duke took a 9-1 lead in the opening quarter. After the Bulldogs pulled within 9-2 on Jeremy Sieverts' extra man goal at the 9:25 mark of the second period, Duke used an 8-0 run to lead 17-2 when Ned Crotty found the back of the net less than three minutes into the fourth quarter.

Flannery, Zash and Zack Greer each contributed three goals for Duke while starting goalkeeper Dan Loftus was credited with eight saves against just one goal allowed in 46:19 of work. The Blue Devils secured 18-of-26 face-offs, with Dan Oppedisano leading the charge by winning nine-of-11 draws. David Evans recorded a game-high eight ground balls.

For the Bulldogs, goalies Ryan Kaiser (7 saves & 11 goals allowed) and Kyle Harer (9 saves & 9 goals allowed) split time in the net. Gary Gambarani and Carlos Navarro each scooped up six ground balls.

Next Saturday, Butler travels to face Rutgers (12 noon) while Duke remains at home to take on Villanova (1 p.m.).

** Saturday's win over Butler marks Duke's 12th straight victory at home dating back to the 2004 season
** Duke now leads the all-time series with Butler, 9-0
** Head coach Mike Pressler earned the 224th win of his career, moving into a tie for seventh place among active coaches ... Pressler and Towson's Tony Seaman each have 224 victories to their credit
** Duke is now 14-2 in season-openers under Pressler ... The Blue Devils have now won eight consecutive season lid-lifters
** Matt Danowski had one goal and two assists on the day, moving into 18th place on Duke's all-time scoring list with 137 career points (74 goals & 63 assists)
** Dan Flannery finished with three goals and two assists to move into 21st place on Duke's all-time scoring list with 130 career points (71 goals & 59 assists) ... Flannery has now scored three or more goals in nine career games
** With three goals against Butler, Zack Greer now has 60 career goals in 21 career games ... He has scored three or more goals in 13 career games
** Bret Thompson matched his career-best efforts of two goals and three points
** Matt Zash matched his career-best effort of five points set in last year's national semifinals against Maryland
** Kyle Dowd's previous high for goals in a game was three, set against both Mount St. Mary's and Ohio State last season
** Ned Crotty and Steve Schoeffel each registered the first goal of their careers ... Schoeffel also added an assist
** Goalkeeper Rob Schroeder saw the first action of his career, recording one save while allowing two goals in 13:41 of action in relief of starter Dan Loftus ... Schroeder was inserted into the game for the first time at the 10:18 mark of the second quarter when Loftus picked up an illegal body check penalty, and Butler responded with an extra man goal 53 seconds later