Blue Devils Register 13-9 Win Over North Carolina To Advance To ACC Tournament Final
April 27, 2007
DURHAM, N.C. - Senior Matt Danowski scored two goals and added four assists as top-seeded Duke topped fourth-seeded North Carolina, 13-9, on Friday night in the opening round of the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
Duke improves to 12-2 with the win, while the Tar Heels fall to 9-5 on the year.
Duke opened the scoring with an unassisted goal by Brad Ross at the 13:51 mark. North Carolina responded with three straight goals, beginning with an unassisted goal by Nick Tintle at 12:31. Bart Wagner assisted on a Rob Driscoll tally just 25 seconds later and Michael Burns scored off a Gavin Petracca pass at the 10:37 mark to give the Tar Heels a 3-1 edge.
The Blue Devils responded with five consecutive goals to take a 6-3 advantage after one quarter. Zack Greer opened the rally with an unassisted goal at the 9:04 mark and Danowski netted goals at 5:43 and 3:44 to give Duke a 5-3 edge. Danowski's second goal of the quarter came with a man down. Long stick midfielder Nick O'Hara capped off the five-goal run with an unassisted goal with 1:10 remaining in the quarter. O'Hara carried the ball from the midfield and split seva pair of defenders before dropping a shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Tintle cut the Duke lead to 6-4 with his second unassisted goal of the night at the 13:10 mark of the second quarter. The Blue Devils regained the three-goal lead with 10:22 remaining in the half on a spinning goal by Max Quinzani. North Carolina tacked on a goal by Burns with three seconds left in the quarter to trail 7-5 at the half. Burns took a pass from Wagner on the left side of the cage and after a shot fake bounced a shot past Duke goalie Dan Loftus.
North Carolina trimmed the deficit to one goal at the 10:45 mark of the third quarter with a Wagner goal off an assist from Sean Burke. Junior Bo Carrington stretched Duke's lead back to two goals at 8-6 with 4:58 left in the third quarter with an unassisted goal.
Duke came out on fire in the fourth period, scoring the first five goals of the quarter to take a 13-6 advantage. Ned Crotty started the run with unassisted goal at the 13:28 mark. Following an illegal body check near the goal, Duke added an extra man goal by Greer with 12:02 remaining. Danowski, who absorbed the body check, found Greer in front of the net and the junior attackman deposited a shot into the back of the net for a 10-6 Duke lead. Crotty added another unassisted goal (10:39) and Danowski assisted on goals by Josh Coveleski (9:12) and Carrington (7:39) for a seven goal advantage.
North Carolina responded with three straight goals by Burns for a final margin of 13-9.
The Blue Devils posted a 44-35 edge in shots in the contest, while North Carolina had a 14-12 lead in face-offs. Duke was a perfect 3-of-3 in extra-man opportunities, while the Tar Heels were 0-of-4. Loftus recorded eight saves for the Blue Devils and North Carolina goalie Grant Zimmerman was credited with seven saves.
Danowski added five ground balls to his six-point (2 goals, 4 assists) night, while Casey Carroll picked up a team-high six ground balls. Greer recorded a hat trick with three goals and Carrington and Crotty each netted a pair of goals.
Burns finished with a career-best five goals to lead the Tar Heels. Wagner added four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and Tintle finished with three points (2 goals, 1 assist) for North Carolina.
Duke advances on to play Virginia on Sunday in the ACC Tournament championship game. The title game begins at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised live on Fox Sports Net.
Duke Head Coach John Danowski
On tonight's win: "One of the things I'm learning very quickly, which is something I thought, is that the ACC is a tremendous conference, and these are great athletes. North Carolina, boy, I thought they played hard. They're a terrific program. John Haus and his staff do a terrific job, and these games are physical and just some tremendous athletes on both sides. I was so impressed with that. With that being said, I was really happy with the way our guys fought. It's tough to beat a very tough team twice. That's something that's scared me the whole week. I thought our guys fought and scrapped and played hard, and I'm very proud of them."
On Duke's offense tonight: "You know, it's something we've been working on playing 6-on-6, and I thought, when teams don't slide, because they don't want to slide from Matt [Danowski] or from Zack [Greer], other guys have to make plays. I think today Ned Crotty stepped up. You know Ned missed a couple; he had gotten inside several times in the first half. He fought and then he got inside again scored, and then he scored from in front. Bo Carrington, great job, scored two goals and we needed that production out of that second midfield, and that was great. We had some good long possessions, and I thought we also did a good job riding. You know riding is more about character than it is about skill."
Senior Attackman Matt Danowski
On Duke's 5-0 run: "You know it's kind of a scary thing. You're on a 5-0 run and in the ACC there's no reason to give up three goals or four goals. You're on an emotional high, but you can't get to high on it. You've got to try and stay on an even keel and keep it going. We kind of went on a 5-0 run there, but we kind of flipped the pedal and let them get back in. It's definitely an emotional help but we've got to try and keep an even head."
On going down briefly in the second half: "I sort of fell on it a little bit. They kind of cleaned my clock a little bit. But all I needed was a second and a little shot of Gatorade, and I was back in there."
Senior Attackman Zack Greer
On looking forward to Virginia: "I think we've got to worry about ourselves again. That's something coach preaches to us is to learn our stuff and we go out and execute on our things on offense and shut down on defense, usually things are going to go our way. We had a great week of practice this week, so if we keep working as hard as we have been and putting the ball in the cage when we get a chance, if we just keep executing we should be fine."
On Matt Danowski's assists: "It makes my job a lot easier; I've just got to find the spots. And a lot of times it just ends up going in my stick. A couple times in there I didn't even have to move and I was like, 'Oh, look what I found.' It just goes in the net. When he's on his game like that, it just makes my job a lot easier."
Junior Midfielder Bo Carrington
On the second midfield's effort tonight: "(The) Second midfield (unit) has also kind of been in the ground, so we've been working very hard. It's kind of been one of those things where we work really hard in the week and try to fix things for the games, and coming out here is the fun part. Getting kind of the monkey off your back, and getting the ball in the back of the net; it was great. It helps your confidence a lot, but again, by no means is the second midfield doing as much as we need to be doing, so we're going to get back to work tomorrow."
North Carolina Head Coach John Haus
On playing against Matt Danowski: "He's a great lacrosse player. He's probably the top player in the country or at least one of the top two in the country. You've just got to do the best you can, and we've got a pretty good defender on him."
On North Carolina's effort: "You've just got to keep playing hard. You know, we didn't have the ball a whole lot, so it makes it a little more difficult. But when we did have it we got off some decent shots, and I thought we played hard until the end and did the best we could."