May 15, 2010

Duke Crushes Hopkins, Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

by Jonathan Jones | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog

Ned Crotty had two goals and six assists in Duke's 18-5 throttling of Johns Hopkins in an NCAA tournament first-round game Saturday.

© Kevin P. Tucker

DURHAM, N.C. — No. 5 Duke entered its NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament first-round game against Johns Hopkins with Max Quinzani and Ned Crotty near the nation’s top in goals and assists per game, respectively.

By the end of the Blue Devils’ 18-5 romp of the Blue Jays, they further solidified their position.

Crotty and Quinzani played a role in 12 of Duke’s goals. Quinzani scored a game-high four goals, while Crotty added six helpers to lead the Blue Devils into the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament.

“They’re a function of the team,” Duke coach John Danowski said. “When the rest of the team plays well, it allows them to make plays.”

Quinzani scored at least three goals for the 13th time in 17 Blue Devil games this season. He extended his scoring streak to 63 straight games and bumped his career goal total to 192, good for second all-time in Duke history.

“We walked into this very confident,” Quinzani said. “I know the goal looked about as big as the ocean for me, and [Crotty] seems to be getting me the ball well and everybody else.”

Crotty stayed as the nation’s No. 1 player in assists, advancing his total to 57 on the season and 3.35 per game.

“Our [midfielders] really did a great job of dodging hard and drawing double teams, making it so my defender would have to come off me,” Crotty said.

“We’ve really meshed over the last three weeks, so finding guys has been easy.”

In the first quarter, there was as much defense on the field as there is blue on the campus. Duke was 5-for-5 on shots during the first until missing its last five attempts. Likewise, the Blue Jays went 3-for-4 on their attempts at the goal in the first frame.

The Blue Devils scored back-to-back goals within 37 seconds to get on the board 2-0. The Blue Jays didn’t get primed until nearly seven minutes into the game, when leading scorer Steven Boyle found the net.

What would follow would be a flurry of goals on both ends. Within one three-plus minute stretch, four goals were scored, three of which belonging to Duke to put the Blue Devils up 5-3 at the end of the quarter.

With six minutes left in the first half, Quinzani missed an opportunity from point-blank range in front of Blue Jay keeper Pierce Bassett. Duke’s leading scorer couldn’t handle the ball, but made up for it on his next trip down the field.

Justin Turri bullied his way to force a Johns Hopkins turnover and lofted the ball across to Quinzani, who planted and delivered a fundamentally sound shot for the game’s first goal in nearly six minutes.

Steve Schoeffel played Scottie Pippen to Quinzani’s Jordan just before the end of the half. The senior midfielder took several Blue Jay hits before finding a wide-open Quinzani for his third goal of the game to bring Duke’s lead to 8-4.

Duke tallied eight goals in the third frame to run away with the game. Crotty scored two goals in the second half to go along with his six assists in the shellacking.

“When we gave up those first two of the second half, that really hurt us and we fell apart,” Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said.

Duke dominated in nearly every statistical category, including faceoffs. The Blue Devils took 18 of 27 faceoffs, enabling them to set the tempo for much of the game.

The Blue Devils suffocated Johns Hopkins' offense for much of the match, allowing the Blue Jays to get off only 10 shots. Johns Hopkins was held scoreless for 33 minutes and 31 seconds, which was the second-longest drought Duke had forced upon an opponent all year long.

“For us to just throw fresh bodies at the faceoff, make their guys stay on the field after the draw and then we put three new guys out there -- that constant grind wears you down,” senior defender Parker McKee said.

Johns Hopkins (7-8) hadn’t allowed 18 goals in the tournament in nearly two decades, when it lost to Syracuse 21-16 in 1992.

Duke (13-4) advances to the second round in Princeton, N.J., to play the winner of tomorrow’s match between North Carolina and Delaware.

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