Blue Devil men's lacrosse wins regular season finale, clinches top seed in NCAA Championship
In their final regular season game as Blue Devils, Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne made sure the team could shake off the rust after final exams and earn a bounce-back road win.
The two senior attackmen combined for nine goals and five assists to spark No. 3 Duke’s 16-11 victory against Boston University at Nickerson Field in Boston. The Blue Devils struggled early on, falling behind 2-0 in the first 5:06 of the contest against a team with no wins outside of its conference, but quickly gathered their footing to outscore the Terriers 9-3 during the rest of the half.
Wolf—the ACC Offensive Player of the Year—scored all four of his goals in the opening half, making sure Duke (13-3) would be in position down the stretch to rebound after losing a heartbreaker to Syracuse nine days prior in the semifinals of the ACC Championship.
Led by freshman goaltender Christian Carson-Bannister—who had a season-high 25 saves—the Terriers cut the Duke lead to two with 6:18 left in the third quarter. But Dionne dampened the home team’s comeback hopes by scoring three consecutive goals—all assisted by Wolf—during the next 7:22 of game time.
Despite Carson-Bannister’s heroics, the Terriers’ 19 turnovers proved too costly against a team gunning for its second straight national championship.
When the Blue Devils have been successful this season, their role players have stepped up, and Sunday’s contest was no different. Junior attack Kyle Keenan rose to the occasion with the Terrier defense focused on Wolf and Dionne, cashing in for three goals, just his second career hat trick.
Sophomore midfielders Myles Jones and Deemer Class also combined for three goals.
Although Boston (2-12) faceoff specialist Sam Talkow won more than half of the faceoffs against last year’s NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player Brendan Fowler, the efficiency of Keenan and the rest of Duke’s playmakers allowed the Blue Devils to attempt 17 more shots than the Terriers.
Duke will look to continue wreaking havoc with its offense as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Championship when it takes on either Air Force or Richmond May 10. The Blue Devils will be seeking seeking their eighth consecutive Final Four appearance.