Greer Breaks NCAA Goals Record in 16-9 St John's Win

Greer Breaks NCAA Goals Record in 16-9 St John's Win

Greer Breaks NCAA Goals Record in 16-9 St John's Win

Greer Breaks NCAA Goals Record in 16-9 St John's Win

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke's Zack Greer set the NCAA all-time record for goals as the top-ranked Blue Devils closed out the 2008 regular season with a 16-9 home victory over St. John's on Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.

The Blue Devils, winners of eight in a row, improve to 16-1 while the Red Storm closes the year at 2-11. Duke extended its home winning streak to 18 games and have now won 37 straight contests versus unranked opponents. The Blue Devils' 16 wins this season match the fifth-highest single-season total in NCAA history, trailing only the 17 triumphs secured by Duke (2005 & 2007), Hofstra (2006) and Virginia (2006).

Greer, a senior from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, broke former N.C. State standout Stan Cockerton's 28-year old record of 193 goals with his 194th career tally at the 8:44 mark of the third period. Greer finished the day with seven goals to give him a nation-leading 56 on the season and 197 in his 64-game career. He also joined former Cornell great John French as the only two players in NCAA history to register three seasons with 55 or more goals. Greer posted an NCAA single-season record for freshmen with 57 goals in 2005 and added 67 markers last year.

The Blue Devils improved to 54-5 when Greer scores at least one goal and 38-0 when he posts three or more tallies. Greer has now scored seven goals in five career games.

“I knew the record was there but it was in the back of my mind," Greer said. "Obviously, we’re looking to the playoffs now and individual records are something we don't concern ourselves with. It’s nice to get it done and it’s cool that it happened at home in the last regular season game, but we’re looking forward to the playoffs. I came in as a midfielder and was just looking to get some playing time. We’ve had four great teams and I’ve been here for four great years with great players and that’s what does it. It’s the guys around you that make something like this happen.”

The Red Storm jumped on top 2-0 with a pair of goals in the first three minutes of action. Malcolm Miles broke the ice at the 13:48 mark with a tally and Tom Michaelsen added a goal just 36 seconds later. Duke responded with consecutive goals by Ned Crotty and Zach Howell, but St. John's claimed a 3-2 lead with 8:33 left in the opening period on a goal by Jack Rosson.

Greer then scored three consecutive goals over a 14-minute stretch to push Duke ahead, 5-3. The two teams traded markers in the final five minutes of the second quarter as the Blue Devils took a 6-4 advantage into intermission.

Duke's attack unit got rolling in the third quarter as the Blue Devils outscored the Red Storm by a 5-1 margin to take an 11-5 lead. In the period, Greer and Max Quinzani scored two goals apiece while Matt Danowski logged one goal and one assist. Greer scored two goals in the first minute of the fourth quarter to round out his day. St. John's tossed in four goals in the final 11 minutes of play to account for the final margin.

Quinzani finished the afternoon with three goals to increase his season total to 52. The Blue Devils are now 30-2 all-time when Quinzani scores at least one goal and the Duxbury, Mass., native has notched multiple markers in 14 of his 16 games played this season. Greer and Quinzani pair together to become just the third set of teammates to each score 50 or more goals in the same season, joining Cornell's Mike French (63) and Jon Levine (50) in 1975 and Danowski (50) and Greer (57) in 2005.

Greer's 56 goals this season rank tied for 18th on the NCAA's single-season list. On the ACC's single-season chart for goals scored, Greer owns the top two places with 67 in 2007 and 57 in 2005 and is tied for third at 56 this spring along with Virginia's Doug Knight, who had 56 tallies in 1996.

Danowski carded two goals and two assists versus St. John's and now leads the country with 84 points on 36 goals and 48 assists this year. The senior from Farmingdale, N.Y., now has 340 career points to sit just three shy of matching the NCAA all-time record of 343 held by Air Force's Joe Vasta. Danowski also moved into fourth place on the NCAA's career listing for assists (175) and into a tie for 13th place on the NCAA's all-time chart for goals (165). He is just four goals away from becoming the first player in NCAA history to produce three seasons of 40-plus goals and 40-plus assists and needs just two assists to join Syracuse's Tim Nelson (1983-84-85), Towson's Bobby Griebe (1974-75) and Cornell's Eamon McEneaney (1975-76) as the only players in NCAA history to have two seasons with 50 or more assists.

In the Duke net, Dan Loftus improved his career record to 39-7 by making 12 saves against five goals allowed in 47:04 of action. His counterpart, Gavin Buckley, was credited for 18 saves while surrendering 16 goals on the day.

Michaelsen paced St. John's with a three-goal, three-assist effort while Justin O'Donnell added two goals and one assist. Rosson won 17-of-27 face-offs and had 11 ground balls.

Duke awaits the NCAA Selection Show scheduled for Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

Photos: Mark Abbott

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