March 12, 2016

Duke Rebounds in Big Way, Routs Loyola

by Gary Lambrecht | | Twitter | Lambrecht Archive

BALTIMORE — After watching his team play too carelessly during back-to-back losses last week to Harvard and Richmond, Duke coach John Danowski was curious to see how the eighth-ranked Blue Devils would respond to their next opponent.

By halftime in Saturday's clash with No. 7 Loyola, Duke essentially had delivered the answer Danowski wanted.

It was all Duke, which rolled to a 15-6 rout of the Greyhounds at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

Before 3,014 spectators, Duke senior midfielder Myles Jones looked once again like the dominant force he's been for three years, as he tied his career-high with five goals and eight points. Junior faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe continued his excellence in 2016 by stifling Loyola's offense with 19 wins out of 23 draws. Attackmen Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner also finished with hat tricks, as Duke's crisp ball movement and deadly shooting translated to a 15-for-43 afternoon.

The Blue Devils (5-3) improved to 9-3 against Loyola under Danowski. Duke beat the Greyhounds (4-2) in Baltimore for the first time since 2010. And the Blue Devils earned their first signature win of the season with their old style and swagger.

"It's not [just] losing that makes you analytical. It's how you lose," Danowski said. "We [coaches] were somewhat surprised — and disappointed — at how our seniors performed [last week]. You need your students to have that sense of urgency."

The urgency abounded with the Blue Devils, who took the cues from Rowe and Jones in the first half and sprinted out to an 8-3 lead at halftime. The urgency showed in the second quarter, when Rowe, who took turns dominating Graham Savio and Mike Orefice, went 8-for-8. And it showed in the imposing form of the 6-feet-5, 240-pound Jones, who dodged and bulled his way into good shooting positions and made Loyola pay all day.

"I took advantage of a lot of space today," said Jones, who entered the contest with 10 goals and 13 assists. "There's always a sense of urgency when you're a senior, you've lost two games [in a row] and you look at the schedule and see how many games are left. Our backs were against the wall."

"The hard thing for Myles has been trying to live up to this 'Mr. Lacrosse' [label]," Danowski added. "He wants to deliver that. But it's hard."

Jones made it look easy — changing hands and directions, drawing double teams and finding open shooters, occasionally using a shoulder to create space easily, ripping shots from unpredictable angles.

"It's one thing to see a guy like Myles Jones on film and game-plan for him," said Loyola defensive midfielder Jared Mintzlaff, whom Jones bumped out of his path, before one of his two, second-quarter scores. "It's another thing to do it when you actually go against him. We knew what we were getting into with [Jones]."

Duke's faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe stifled Loyola's offense with 19 wins out of 23 draws.

Duke cleaned up its offensive game notably. After committing a combined 37 turnovers and failing on a combined 13 clears in the Harvard loss last Saturday and the Richmond stumble two days later, the Blue Devils were much sharper.

They went 11-for-14 on clears. They also turned the ball over only eight times while building a 12-4 lead after three quarters.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey lamented the Greyhounds' lack of possession time. Between that and Duke's ability to work the ball deep into Loyola's defense, it put too much pressure on the Greyhounds defense in general, and goalie Grant Limone in particular. He was pulled midway through the third quarter for Sam Beazell, after midfielder Deemer Class scored his first of two goals to give Duke an 11-3 lead.

"It was make-it-take-it for [Duke]," Toomey said. "It's tough on you defensively. We're a bend-but-don't-break team. Today, they broke us."

The Greyhounds, who never led, got two goals from freshman attackman Pat Spencer, but continued to have shooting problems. After entering the game shooting just 25 percent on the season, Loyola missed on 30 of 36 attempts. Only 13 shots were on goal. Senior attackman Zach Herreweyers went 0-for-5, with one shot on goal.

After Jones and Bruckner scored to give Duke a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Blue Devils started to take the drama out of Ridley. Rowe was unstoppable in the faceoff circle. Loyola got a lift from Mintzlaff, who took a long feed from Limone after one of his eight saves and finished the fast break with a 13-yard runner that pulled the Greyhounds to within 5-3 with 4:55 left in the first half.

Then, Jones beat Mintzlaff to answer with his third goal. Bruckner and Guterding followed with goals that gave Duke an 8-3 lead at the break.

The Blue Devils pounced to start the second half. Jones went to his left hand and scored with 12:04 left in the third quarter. Guterding took a nice feed from Jones and finished to make it 10-3 with 10:09 left in the quarter. With 6:57 left in the third, Class took a feed from Case Matheis (two goals) and buried an eight-yarder, and the Greyhounds were done.

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