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May 12, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. - Redshirt senior midfielder Justin Turri had three goals and two assists while junior goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer posted 12 saves as third-seeded Duke defeated visiting Syracuse, 12-9, in NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament action on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,672 fans at Koskinen Stadium.
"I think it was our most complete game to date," head coach John Danowski said. "Certainly as a coach we saw a lot of areas where we could be better. I thought in the clearing game we threw the ball away several times where situations we need to look at and practice. I thought the fourth quarter we handled very well. During the past we hadn't handled fourth quarters very well. And I thought the seniors, Robert Rotanz and Justin Turri, led the charge with some great decision making on the offensive end of the field."
While improving to 14-4 on the season, the Blue Devils advance next Sunday's quarterfinal round to meet the winner of Massachusetts-Colgate at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Duke has won 17 of its last 22 NCAA Tournament games dating back to 2005 and today picked up the program's first postseason victory over Syracuse in four tries.
"The NCAA tournament filled with tough teams," Danowski said. "Whoever you are going to play is going to be terrific. When we heard that it was Syracuse I think it got everybody's attention immediately. So the focus in practice all week was undeniable in terms of the guys' readiness to accept whatever it is that the coaching is going to throw at them. I thought that we had a great week of preparation. It's Syracuse. It's very hard to say that this is a different team. It's not. They are talented, athletic with a great coaching staff and a tremendous tradition. They are who we want to be one day. With all their championships and what they've accomplished in our sport. I thought their kids played hard. They played for 60 minutes. It was a hell of a Division I lacrosse game."
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Led by Mark Matthews and Jeremy Noble, 2011 NCAA Tournament semifinalist Denver began another run for a Final Four bid, outlasting eighth-seeded North Carolina 16-14 Saturday night before 1,344 fans at Fetzer Field. The Pioneers improved to 9-6 on the season while the Tar Heels' season ends at 11-6.
After trailing by four goals early, the Tar Heels rallied to lead by two goals at the half but a 5-0 scoring run by Denver in the third and fourth quarters proved to the be difference as it was able to stave off one last gasp effort by UNC which almost produced a tying goal.
Denver was dominant in the face-off circle as the Pioneers produced 15 extra offensive possessions behind the work of Chase Carraro who went 22 of 30 and had a Fetzer Field facility record 17 ground balls in the game. He was backed by brilliant offensive performances by Mark Matthews who matched his career high with five goals and by Jeremy Noble who had three goals and seven assists for a career high 10 points. We Berg has three ground balls and two assists for Denver.
Overshadowed was the play of UNC's Marcus Holman who matched his career high for goals in a game with six and also had two assists to lead Carolina with eight points, two short of his career high. Holman finished the year with 74 points, the third most in a single season for a Tar Heel and the most since Dennis Goldstein had 75 points in 1991.