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Philly bound: Duke – with help from Philly players – and Denver advance to Final Four at the Linc

Sunday, 19th May 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, NCAA Philly Final Four, Posted 5/19/13
From press Releases and Staff Reports

Senior captain David Lawson tallied a career-high five goals to lead Duke to a thrilling 12-11 comeback victory over No. 2 seed Notre Dame in front of 7,749 fans at the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinal at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The win launches Duke to its seventh straight championship weekend appearance and ninth overall in program history.NCAA logo

Duke will take on unseeded Cornell in the first NCAA semifinal game May 25 at 2:30 p.m., at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised live by ESPN2 with the winner advancing to the title game May 27 at 1 p.m.


For men’s tickets for Final Four Weekend at Lincoln Financial Field, click here


Duke (14-5) scored the game’s final three goals to rally from an 11-9 deficit in the fourth quarter and capture its second straight one-goal NCAA Tournament victory. The Blue Devils avenged the regular season loss to Notre Dame (11-5) in the NCAA Tournament for the third time since 2010.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for the entire 60 minutes, featuring nine ties and five lead changes with the largest lead being two goals by both squads. Junior attackman Jordan Wolf (Lower Merion) had four assists on the day, while classmate Josh Dionne had three tallies in the win.

Defensively, Duke’s Billy Conners (Malvern Prep) had two caused turnovers and a groundball, and Henry Henry Lobb (Malvern Prep) had two groundballs.

For the Irish, DEF Stephen O’Hara (St. Joseph’s Prep) had a groundball and a caused turnover, LSM Tyler Andersen (Radnor) had three groundballs and Liam O’Connor (Haverford School) won 10 of face-offs while grabbing six groundballs.

Trailing 11-9 with 9:29 to play, the Blue Devils defense buckled down and held the Irish scoreless while the offense made the final charge. Duke made it a one-goal game, 11-10, on an unassisted score from junior Christian Walsh with 8:31 to play.

With 3:30 to play and neither team having scored for five minutes, Duke goaltender Kyle Turri came up with his biggest play of the afternoon as he stopped Sean Rogers’ shot on the crease and sent an outlet pass to Greg DeLuca. The senior midfielder raced down the field and found Wolf who quickly dished it to Dionne for the game-tying score with 3:18 to play.

“The defender tripped on the back of the goal,” said Turri. “He came around and I just matched his stick. I kept the stick high, saw it all the way and it was really nice to get the last one.”

Duke rode the wave of momentum and won the ensuing faceoff, the 15th win of the day for Duke’s draw man Brendan Fowler. Just like he had done for much of the game, Lawson came up with another huge play as he beat Notre Dame goalie John Kemp low for what proved to be the game winner.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair featuring five ties and three lead changes. Notre Dame grabbed its first lead of the game 25 seconds into the second quarter before Duke responded with three unanswered for the 6-4 advantage. The Irish followed suit and responded with consecutive scores to send then the squads into halftime even at 6-6.

That trend continued in the third quarter with the two teams trading goals and ending 45 minutes of play knotted at 9-9. Notre Dame raced back in front, 11-19, five minutes into the fourth quarter to set up the thrilling comeback by the Blue Devils.

Fowler finished the game 16-of-26 at the faceoff X with seven ground balls. Turri finished with two saves, while Kemp made 13 for the game. Matt Kavanaugh led all Notre Dame scorers with three goals and three assists for six points.

Denver 12, North Carolina 11

Junior goalie Jamie Faus made 11 saves and allowed just five goals in 50:23 to jump-start the fourth-seeded Pioneers’ largest come-from-behind victory under head coach Bill Tierney, a win over the Tar Heels in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Denver is the first team in Men’s Lacrosse Championship Quarterfinal history to win after trailing by five goals or more. UNC led, 6-0, early on and 9-4 at halftime.

With the win, the Pioneers advance to their second Final Four in three seasons, and will face top-seeded Syracuse next Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field at 5 p.m.

The loss spoiled a potential homecoming for many Philly players on the UNC roster that made key contributions today.
Joey Sankey (Penn Charter) had two goals and an assists and Steve Pontrello (St. Augustine Prep) had a goal and a groundball. Ryan Kilpatrick (Salesianum School) had a goal and two groundballs from his LSM position and Ryan Creighton (Malvern Prep) had an assist and a groundball.

Senior Chase Carraro won 17-of-26 face-offs in the game, including six of the last seven to aid the Pioneers to a 6-1 run to close out the contest. Carraro also picked up a game-high six ground balls.

“North Carolina: what a train that was, trying to stop that coming downhill at us early,” Tierney said. “Mostly, I’m proud of these young men and teammates for persevering. You don’t get too many opportunities in life to fight through such adversity and come back ahead. I’m just proud for everybody at the University of Denver and everybody in our organization.”

On the scoresheet, senior attacker Eric Law led Denver with six points on his eighth hat trick of the season, to go along with three assists. Sophomore attacker Wesley Berg added four goals and an assist, good for his team-leading ninth hat trick of the year. Senior Cameron Flint distributed three assists, and classmate Colin Scott turned in his fourth multi-goal game of the season with two off the bench for the Pioneers. Freshman Gordie Koerber, junior Jeremy Noble and sophomore Eric Adamson added a goal apiece to round out the scoring for Denver.

Denver outscored North Carolina 8-2 in the second half, including 5-1 in the fourth quarter.


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