DURHAM, N.C. - Junior attackman Zack Greer scored six goals and No. 6 Duke overcame an early 3-1 deficit as the sixth-ranked Blue Devils defeated Dartmouth, 17-11, in men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon as 6,485 fans looked on at sun-soaked Koskinen Stadium. The game marked the season-opener for both squads.
“It is a relief for this to be over; I can feel it in my body," said Duke's first-year head coach John Danowski. "Certainly the amount of emotion that’s been carried forward for everyone has been tremendous. The amount of positive energy in this locker room was really indescribable. It was great. Nevertheless, emotion is emotion and it takes its toll. What happened in the first quarter was about what I expected. I thought that we may get a little overzealous and that we may foul a little bit, but I also thought that Dartmouth is a really good team. They’re well-coached and they were really well-prepared. They played very well. I was really pleased with the number of assists we had and I was pleased with the play of some of our seniors. Some of them were unsung heroes and they really stepped up.”
The six goals push Greer's career total to 80 in just 29 games. He added two assists on the day to push his career point total to 104, becoming the 33rd player in Duke lacrosse history to reach the 100-point plateau. Greer's 104 points stand in a tie for 28th with Scott Diggs on that list.
“Our goal was to come out here and just be back on the field and play our game," Greer said. "There’s not much more to it than that. We were looking forward to getting out there and being able to play a game with another color jersey rather than practicing all the time. It was just great to be back out there.”
Senior attackman Matt Danowski contributed three goals and four assists to move into 11th place on Duke's all-time scoring chart. He now has 167 points on 88 goals and 79 assists. The 79 assists rank in a tie for eighth place on the school's all-time list. It marked the second-largest crowd to watch a Duke lacrosse game at Koskinen Stadium, trailing only the 6,824 fans that witnessed the Blue Devils' 17-2 victory over Virginia on April 16, 2005.
“It was more than I expected," said Matt Danowski. "It was pretty hyped up, saying 'There’s going to be so many people here. The students are going to come out and support us,' but we didn’t know what was going to happen. I couldn’t be happier with the students. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support we got from everybody.”
After Brad Ross put Duke ahead 1-0 with an unassisted goal less than two minutes into the game, the Big Green produced three goals in a row over a six-minute span as Nick Bonacci sandwiched two scores around a Ari Sussman tally. The Blue Devils countered with five consecutive goals while holding Dartmouth scoreless for just under 12 minutes. In the run, Greer scored twice with Gibbs Fogarty, Michael Ward and Steve Schoeffel also finding the back of the net.
Each team then scored twice over the final 3:30 of the second quarter, with Danowski's unassisted goal with 12 seconds left sending the teams into halftime with the Blue Devils ahead, 8-5.
Brian Koch's goal at the 9:27 mark of the third period pushed the Duke lead down to two at 8-6, but the Blue Devils responded with a 6-1 run to claim a 14-7 advantage on Max Quinzani's goal from Greer with 12:10 left in the final quarter. The spurt included three goals in a 30-second span by Fogarty, Dan Oppedisano and Danowski. The Big Green then scored twice midway through the fourth quarter to trim the lead to five, but Duke then received two goals from Greer and one from Danowski for a 17-9 cushion with four minutes left.
Fogarty had three goals and one assist while both Ross (1 goal & 1 assist) and Carrington (2 assists) posted multiple point totals. In goal, Dan Loftus was credited with eight saves while allowing nine goals.
“The national anthem was pretty special," said Duke defenseman Tony McDevitt. "There’s no doubt about that. Just looking up and seeing the whole crowd, the moment of silence, that was just unbelievable. You felt chills all over you. Your hairs were standing up. It was a great feeling.”
For Dartmouth, Bonacci finished the day with four goals and two assists while Koch had three goals. Goalkeeper Michael Novosel picked up 12 saves against 17 goals allowed in his 60 minutes of action.
“I think that it’s the season opener and both teams were extremely excited to be out there," said Dartmouth head coach Bill Wilson. "Obviously there was a lot of media attention coming into the event. Duke did a great job today; they ran up and down the field played an awful lot of personnel between the lines and created a lot of transition for their team.”
Duke hosts Denver on Sunday at 3 p.m. while Dartmouth travels to face North Carolina at 12 noon.
Duke vs. Dartmouth
|Zack Greer||(6, 2)|
|Matt Danowski||(3, 4)|
|Gibbs Fogarty||(3, 1)|
|Bo Carrington||(0, 2)|
|Brad Ross||(1, 1)|
|Peter Lamade||(0, 1)|
|Ed Douglas||(0, 1)|
|Michael Ward||(1, 0)|
|Steve Schoeffel||(1, 0)|
|Max Quinzani||(1, 0)|
|Dan Oppedisano||(1, 0)|
|Chris Loftus||(0, 1)|