Fenton's 20 Saves Help Duke Defeat UNC In ACC Semis, 13-11
April 29, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Duke senior goalkeeper Aaron Fenton made 20 saves to help fend off a spirited second half rally by North Carolina as the second-ranked Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels 13-11 in the semifinals of the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at M&T Bank Stadium. The Blue Devils improved to 14-1 on the season while Carolina finished at 5-8.
Zack Greer had four goals and an assist to lead the Duke offense while attackman Matt Danowski, midfielder Matt Zash and midfielder Peter Lamade had two goals and two assists. Dan Flannery added two goals and an assist for Duke.
The Tar Heels were led by junior attackman Ryan Blair who had three goals and three assists. Senior Mike McCall scored three goals to pass the 100 goal mark in his career.
Carolina outshot the Blue Devils in the match 43-37, won the ground ball battle 32-31 and won the face-off battle 16-11.
The Tar Heels scored off the opening face-off as attackman Ryan Blair took a feed from midfielder Mike Munnelly and beat Duke goalkeeper Aaron Fenton low. Duke tied the match with 6:48 left in the first quarter on an unassisted goal by Kyle Dowd that deflected off Tar Heel goalkeeper Paul Spellman past him into the goal. Duke took the lead for good in the game with 4:03 left in the first quarter as Dan Flannery scored from about eight yards directly in front of the goal off an assist by Matt Zash. The opening period ended with Duke ahead of the Tar Heels 2-1.
Duke extended its lead to 3-1 on a goal by Peter Lamade from about 12 yards out with 6:43 to play in the second quarter, ending a scoreless run of over 12 minutes for both teams. UNC came right back and scored off the faceoff as defenseman Billy Staines bounced one in from his position to the right of the crease after taking a pass from Jed Prossner. The goal came only 23 seconds after the Blue Devil goal. It was the third successive game with a point for the Staines who had only two points in his career prior to that time. But Duke would run off the last three goals of the first half to take a 6-2 lead into the locker room. The Blue Devils had six different players score in the opening half of play as Zack Greer, Matt Zash and Matt Danowski contributed the final three goals of the period.
Zash put the Blue Devils up 7-2 on an unassisted goal exactly one minute into the second half. Kyle Henderson answered back for the Tar Heels 48 seconds later with a shot into the lower left corner. Duke made it 8-3 on a goal by Zack Greer, assisted by Peter Lamade, with 8:28 to go in the third quarter. The Devils made it 9-3 on an extra-man goal by Lamade with 3:13 to play in the third quarter off an assist by Danowski. Danowski scored just 10 seconds later to push the Blue Devils lead to 10-3. Immediately after that goal, Duke had an extra-man opportunity and the Blue Devils launched three shots at Tar Heel goalkeeper Paul Spellman during the span but the Blue Devils were not able to convert.
Ryan Blair stopped the Duke scoring run as he scored for Carolina on an extra-man situation with 1:11 to play in the third quarter. The Tar Heels made it back-to-back goals with 39 seconds left in the third quarter as Jed Prossner cut to the crease and took a pass from Ryan Blair to make it 10-5. Just 17 seconds after that goal, Lance Zimmerman fed Mike McCall for McCall's 100th career goal, cutting the Duke lead to 10-6 on a three-goal run in 54 seconds.
UNC sliced into the lead further with 13:45 to play in the final period when Ryan Blair fed Mike McCall for an extra-man goal to make the score 10-7. Carolina then made it 10-8 just 24 seconds later when Mike Munnelly quick sticked a pass from Ryan Blair pass Aaron Fenton to make the score 10-8. UNC had taken five goal off the Duke lead in just 2:50 and it prompted Duke to call a timeout.
The timeout was helpful for the Blue Devils as on the next possession Dan Flannery scored for Duke with 11:52 to play to push Duke¹s lead back to three goals at 11-8. Shortly after that, Carolina's Ryan Walterhoefer took a pass from Jed Prossner at 10:24 and scored left-handed from the right side to cut the lead to 11-9. But Duke answered 23 seconds later after a failed clearing pass by Carolina led to a Duke goal as Zack Greer tallied from in front with a Danowski assist. Duke then scored in transition on a goal by Zack Greer with 4:14 to play to make it 13-9 in favor of the Blue Devils.
UNC cut the final margin to 13-11 on goals by Ryan Blair, his third of the game, with 1:13 to play, and by Mike McCall, his third of the game, assisted by Lance Zimmerman, with eight seconds remaining in the match.