March 27, 2010

Duke Runs, Guns Its Way Past Georgetown

by Joel Censer | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog

WASHINGTON D.C.-- During the second half Saturday of 7th-ranked Duke’s 15-10 victory over 10th-ranked Georgetown, it wasn’t hard to see how effective the Blue Devils are in transition.
Long poles Parker Mckee, Tom Montelli, Mike Manley,and C.J. Costabile showed they could handle and get up and down the field in a hurry, while attackmen Ned Crotty, Max Quinzani and Zach Howell played unselfishly and finished their opportunities.

Despite their obvious talent at pushing the rock, Duke’s vaunted transition game was mostly bottled up for the first two quarters by a Georgetown team that was winning faceoffs and controlling tempo. But after junior attacker Ryan Shuler’s garbage goal put the Hoyas up 8-6 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, the Blue Devils went to work, scoring nine of the game’s next 11 goals, many of which came from capitalizing off of unsettled situations.

Two of those goals even came from junior pole Montelli, including one with a second left in the third quarter which broke a 9-9 tie. The rest of the damage came primarily from Duke’s attack, where Crotty finished the game with a goal and three assists, while Quinzani and Howell each had a hat trick and a helper.

For coach John Danowksi, Duke’s success running and gunning is no coincidence.

“We’ve practiced it from day one. We have the athletes and it’s a fun way to play,” he said.

Still. it took awhile with Georgetown’s Brian Tabb dominating faceoffs (winning  8 of 12 in the first half) and Georgetown taking its time on offense.

That was, until midfielder Sam Payton raised his game, going better than even with Tabb on faceoffs in the second half.

“Sam’s kind of figured it out. He’s seen so many draws over his career,” Danowski said of the fifth-year senior.

For the preseason favorite Blue Devils, who started the season off slow with losses to Notre Dame, Maryland and North Carolina, the win helped in getting them in position for an NCAA tournament bid. It was also nice to see freshman keeper Dan Wigrizer, who has struggled at times this season, finish with 13 saves and hold off the Georgetown advances, particularly in the first half.

For Georgetown, junior Max Seligmann (two goals) and senior captain and quarterback Craig Dowd (one goal, three assists) led a balanced attack on offense that got at least a goal from seven other players.

But the defensive breakdowns, clearing problems and a lack of composure that have plagued the Hoyas all season continued. With Nixon guarding Crotty (and with seniors Barney Ehrmann and Eric Bicknese both out with injuries), Georgetown had a hard time finding a defensive answer for Quinzani.

“It definitely wasn’t the Jerry Lambe-Matt Danowski matchup game,” Nixon (1 goal) said, referring to the defensive slugfest his freshman year which Duke won 6-4.

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