Duke Claims 2008 ACC Men's Lacrosse Title with 11-9 Win Over Host Virginia
April 27, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Dan Loftus had 17 saves to fend off a late Virginia rally and senior Matt Danowski added three goals and an assist to lead the Blue Devils to a 11-9 Sunday afternoon to claim the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The title is the fifth overall (1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008) for the Blue Devils and their second consecutive.
Duke, ranked No. 2 in the latest USILA poll, improves to 15-1 on the year with the win, while Virginia slips to 12-3 overall.
"Virginia did a great job today," said Duke head coach John Danowski. "They outshot us and I thought that they actually outplayed us in the second half. But we had built a big enough lead that they couldn't catch up. If the game was 65 or 66 minutes, who knows - Virginia could have won today."
Virginia midfielder Brian Carroll put the Cavs on the boards less than three minutes into the game, connecting with senior attacker Ben Rubeor, who tallied four goals in UVa's semifinal win over North Carolina, tying his season-high. Carroll's goal at 12:22 is the sophomore's 25th on the season, a mark that tops all Virginia middies and ranks fourth in the nation among midfielders.
Duke then scored four straight to conclude the first quarter - all from different players, including goals from senior midfielder Brad Ross, junior midfielder Steve Schoeffel, senior Zack Greer, who has recorded more than one goal in 57 of his 62-game career, and sophomore Max Quinzani.
Freshman attackman Zack Howell and junior midfielder Ned Crotty extended the Blue Devils' lead to 6-1 with a pair of unassisted goals at 11:27 and 7:43, respectively, in the second period. The goal marks Howell's tenth and Crotty's 15th goal of the season.
Junior attacker Garrett Billings trimmed the Virginia deficit to 6-2 at 6:37 with a score assisted by teammate Peter Lamade, while the two squads traded the next two goals. Crotty found the back of the net for Duke at 5:13, his second goal in the contest.
A pushing penalty was then called on Blue Devil midfielder Michael Ward, giving the home team an extra man opportunity, in which the Cavs capitalized on with 4:49 on the clock. The goal for Virginia came from a pass from Billings to junior Gavin Gill.
Despite a 7-3 Duke lead at the break, the Blue Devils and Cavaliers had both recorded 18 ground balls and Virginia held a one shot advantage (19-18) in the first half. UVa had 12 turnovers to the Blue Devils' nine.
Duke opened the third quarter with four straight goals to take an 11-3 lead at the 6:36 mark. 2008 ACC Player of the Year Danowski scored three of the four goals during that span, two of which coming in man-up situations. Danowski has now registered at least one point in 57 consecutive games, the nation's longest active streak, and has scored at least one goal in 35 straight games. To conclude the four-goal streak of the Blue Devils, senior Zach Greer scored, connecting with teammate Quinzani after his ground ball pick up.
Rubeor took a pass from Lamade to wrap up the third stanza with a goal at 4:56 for the Hoos, while the senior from Towson, Md., kept the Cavalier momentum alive, earning another goal for Virginia only 20 seconds into the fourth period.
Virginia rallied to score an unanswered six goals to conclude the game. In addition to Rubeor's initial pair, the All-Tournament team member notched the final goal of the contest at 1:32 on the boards. Carroll and freshman Rhamel Bratton also earned goals in that stretch.
Rubeor and Carroll both finished with a game-high three goals, while Danowski tallied three for Duke. Billings had a game-high three assists on the night.
In the cage for the Blue Devils was Loftus, who earned 2008 All-Tournament Most Valuable Player nods after recording 17 saves in all 60 minutes of action. Virginia's Bud Petit recorded 18 stops for the Cavs after facing 29 Duke shots on goal.
Below is a list of the 12 member ACC Men's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team.
2008 ACC Men's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Garrett Billings, Virginia
*Denotes ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player