ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior attackman Zack Greer registered a career-high 11 points on six goals and five assists to lead top-ranked and top-seeded Duke to a 21-10 victory over 12th-ranked Ohio State in NCAA Quarterfinal action on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y.
While winning their 10th consecutive game, the Blue Devils establish a new NCAA single-season record with 18 victories against just one defeat. The previous standard of 17 wins was held by Duke (2005 & 2007), Hofstra (2006) and Virginia (2006). Duke will make its fourth overall and third trip in the last four seasons to the national semifinals and will meet Johns Hopkins on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The Buckeyes conclude their season at 11-6.
Duke’s 21 goals rank as the fourth-highest total in NCAA Quarterfinal play and stand as the third-best total in playoff action for the Blue Devils. In addition, Duke pushed its team season totals to 295 goals, 172 assists and 467 points. The point total ranks second on the NCAA single-season list, nine behind the record of 476 set by Cornell in 1976 while the goal total also is second on the NCAA chart, five back of the record of 300 established by Yale in 1990.
Ohio State’s Mario Ventiquattro scored the first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity 30 seconds into the contest to take a 1-0 advantage, but Duke responded with nine straight goals to make the score 9-1 after one period of action.
To begin the Blue Devil rally, Greer scored on a pass from Michael Young at 12:47 for his 200th career tally. Brad Ross netted an unassisted goal at 10:39 before Matt Danowski scored on a Sam Solie feed 16 seconds later and Ross struck again for a man-up goal at 8:22 on an assist from Ned Crotty. Steve Schoeffel and Max Quinzani each scored twice in the spurt, while Greer added a second tally. Crotty dished out two more assists, while Greer also recorded two helpers.
Ross netted his third goal of the day at the 12:59 mark of the second period to increase Duke’s lead to nine at 10-1 before Joel Dalgarno ended the Blue Devils’ run at 12:43 to make the score 10-2.
Greer then scored twice to increase Duke’s lead to 12-2 as the Whitby, Ontario, Canada native converted a man-up opportunity on a pass from Ross at 10:23 then netted a rebound goal at 7:50. Ohio State’s Peet Poillion scored at 7:22 to make the score 12-3. Both squads were held scoreless for the remainder of the half.
Duke’s nine goals in the opening quarter marked the second-most in a period this season, trailing only the 10-marker output in the first quarter against Vermont. The 12 goals in the first half matched the Blue Devils’ best effort, equaling 12-goal halves versus both Lehigh and North Carolina.
Ohio State began the second half scoring with a goal from Kevin Buchanan at 14:14 to put the score at 12-4, but Quinzani found the net at 13:24 on a pass from Greer to make it 13-4 and Greer recorded a goal of his own at 13:24 to give Duke a 14-4 advantage.
Poillon and James Green each scored for the Buckeyes to bring Ohio State within eight at 14-6 with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter before Duke retaliated with goals by Mike Catalino and Quinzani. Quinzani struck again on a pass from Chris Loftus at 2:30 to give Duke a 17-6 advantage.
Greer scored his sixth goal of the day on a pass from Quinzani at 1:56 before Nick O'Hara scored on a helper from Danowski 10 seconds later as the Blue Devils held a 19-6 advantage heading into the final period.
Chris Loftus threw in a pass from Greer at 12:35 and Catalino scored an unassisted goal at 9:15 to put the score at 21-6 before Andrew Stimmel and Ventiquattro each netted a score to make the score 21-8 with just over six minutes remaining in the contest before Ohio State accounted for the final margin with two markers in the final 3:02.
Greer’s 11-point afternoon eclipsed his previous best of 10 points on seven goals and three assists set in the 2007 NCAA Quarterfinals against North Carolina. The left-handed attackman has now scored at least one goal in 61-of-66 career games while today’s win pushes Duke to 39-0 when Greer scores three or more goals. Greer also has netted five or more markers in 15 career outings.
In three career NCAA Quarterfinal games, Greer has totaled 16 goals and eight assists.
The six goals by Greer increase his NCAA all-time record to 205. He currently leads the nation with 64 tallies, a total that ranks seventh on the NCAA’s single-season list. Greer also moved into 11th place on the NCAA’s all-time points chart with 281 career points.
Quinzani scored five goals on the day to push his season total to 59 – second-most in the country behind Greer’s 64. The Duxbury, Mass., native has now scored at least one goal in 25 of his last 26 outings dating back to last year as Duke improves to 32-2 when he tallies at least one marker.
Other multiple point producers for the Blue Devils included Catalino (two goals), Crotty (career-high four assists), Danowski (one goal & two assists), Chris Loftus (one goal & two assists), Ross (three goals & one assist) and Schoeffel (two goals).
With a combined 20 points on 12 goals and eight assists versus the Buckeyes, the Blue Devil attack unit of Danowski (94), Greer (91) and Quinzani (67) moved into third place on the NCAA’s all-time chart for scoring trios with 252 total points. The national record for scoring trios is 265 points set by Jim Weller (98), Chris Corin (83) and Lee Vosburgh (84) of Massachusetts in 1981. Danowski and Greer now have a combined 185 points on the year, five shy of the ACC mark of 190 set by the same duo last year and eight short of the NCAA standard of 193 set by Cornell’s Mike French and Eamon McEneaney in 1975.
Danowski’s three points increase his NCAA career record to 350 and his nation-leading 2008 total to 94. He has now scored at least one goal in 38 straight games and produced at least one point in 60 consecutive contests. Danowski’s 55 assists on the year lead the country and rank as the 18th-highest single-season total in NCAA history.
Duke’s starting midfield unit of Crotty, Ross and Schoeffel combined for 10 points on five goals and five assists – their highest total of the season.
Duke posted scoring runs of 10 and seven goals during the game and now has 24 scoring spurts of five goals or better on the year. The 10-goal run matches Duke’s third-highest spurt in 2008. Also, the Blue Devils’ current winning streak of 10 games ranks tied for second in school history, one victory shy of the record of 11 set in 2005.
Blue Devil goalkeeper Dan Loftus secured the 41st win of his career against just seven losses by making 13 saves and allowing six goals in 48:44 of action.
For Ohio State, Buchanan, Poillon and Ventiquattro each finished with two goals and two assists. Goalie Stefan Schroeder was credited with 12 saves while surrendering 21 goals.
|Zack Greer||(6, 5)|
|Max Quinzani||(5, 1)|
|Ned Crotty||(0, 4)|
|Brad Ross||(3, 1)|
|Matt Danowski||(1, 2)|
|Chris Loftus||(1, 2)|
|Mike Catalino||(2, 0)|
|Steve Schoeffel||(2, 0)|
|Michael Young||(0, 1)|
|Nick O'hara||(1, 0)|
|Sam Solie||(0, 1)|
|Dan Loftus||13 (0.684)|
|Rob Schroeder||3 (0.429)|