Duke Claims ACC Regular Season Title With 17-2 Win Over Virginia
April 16, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. – Attackmen Matt Danowski and Zack Greer combined for seven goals and the Duke defense held Virginia scoreless for the first 42:53 of the game as the second-ranked Blue Devils defeated the third-ranked Cavaliers, 17-2, to capture the ACC regular season men’s lacrosse title on Saturday afternoon in front of 6,824 fans at Koskinen Stadium in Durham.
The Blue Devils (12-1 overall; 3-0 ACC) win the league regular season crown for the second time under head coach Mike Pressler and the third time overall (1954 & 1999). After closing out the regular season next Saturday at Army, Duke will be the top seed in the ACC Tournament and play fourth-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals on Friday, April 29 (6 p.m.) in Baltimore. Virginia (8-2 overall; 2-1 ACC) earns the number two seed in the league tournament and will take on third-seeded Maryland in the second semifinal at 8:30 p.m.
The Duke defensive unit led the charge on Saturday against the Cavaliers as starting goalkeeper Aaron Fenton was credited with eight saves and four ground balls before giving way to Dan Loftus (4 saves) with just over seven minutes to play. The tandem of Casey Carroll and Tony McDevitt limited Virginia’s top scoring duo of John Christmas and Matt Ward to just one goal and one assist on the day. Christmas and Ward entered the game with a combined 40 goals and 20 assists through the Cavaliers’ first nine contests. As a team, Virginia began the day ranked second in the country behind Duke in scoring offense with an average of 12.67 goals per outing.
A goal by Greer on an assist from Danowski at the 8:14 mark of the first quarter put Duke on top for good. The Blue Devils led 3-0 at the end of one period and 7-0 at halftime after outshooting the Cavaliers by a 27-4 count in the first 30 minutes of action. Danowski tallied back-to-back goals in the first four minutes of the third quarter for a 9-0 Duke advantage, and Ryan Marshall’s unassisted goal at the 5:20 mark extended the margin to 10 before Ward’s unassisted tally with 2:07 remaining in the period got Virginia on the scoreboard.
Dan Flannery scored for the Blue Devils with 24 seconds left in the third quarter, and Ben Rubeor’s extra man goal for the Cavaliers made the score 11-2 one minute into the final period. Greer then scored consecutive goals to lead a 6-0 Duke run to close the contest.
With three goals and two assists, Danowski pushes his ACC-leading point total to 53 on 28 goals and 25 assists. Greer tallied four goals on the afternoon, and now leads the nation with 42 tallies on the year. Flannery, who finished with one goal and three assists, joins Danowski and Greer with 40+ points on the year with his season totals of 25 goals and 16 assists.
Carroll and Nick O’Hara each picked up a team-high five ground balls while Matt Zash contributed two goals and five ground balls while winning six-of-nine face-offs. Bret Thompson logged two goals while Kyle Dowd added one goal and two assists to aide the Duke offense. The Blue Devils finished with a 42-21 shot advantage on the day, and managed 17 goals against a Virginia defense that ranked second nationally entering the weekend by allowing just 6.0 goals per game.
In the Virginia net, starter Kip Turner allowed 11 goals while making nine saves in three quarters of action. The Cavaliers’ Jack deVilliers won 12-of-18 face-offs and finished the day with 10 ground balls. Overall, Virginia won 13-of-21 face-offs. The Cavaliers have a quick turnaround as Virginia hosts Denver on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.