Facing an unranked, nonconference opponent, the Blue Devils were afforded one last chance to improve before their regular-season finale against No. 1 Virginia.
But it took a furious fourth-quarter rally to propel Duke to an 11-10 victory over Marist Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
Trailing 9-7 heading into the final period, the No. 8 Blue Devils (10-3) scored four times in the fourth quarter and limited the Red Foxes (5-4) to just one goal.
“I was pleased with our fourth-quarter effort,” Duke head coach John Danowski said. “We played a little bit more man-to-man offense against their zone, and we got better looks and better shots.”
Although the Blue Devils fired 49 shots, they struggled to convert due in part to Marist goalie Craig Goodermote, who recorded 19 saves on the afternoon.
“Their goalie played really, really well,” Danowski said. “We got some good looks, didn’t make them, and it was a game.”
The Red Foxes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 2:28 of play, but the Blue Devils answered with tallies from sophomore Christian Walsh, freshman Kyle Keenan and senior Justin Turri. With 3:48 remaining in the period, Jack Doherty scored off a Duke turnover, but the Blue Devils’ Brian Dailey, a freshman, netted his first career goal just seven seconds later.
The second quarter was all Marist until less than a minute remained on the clock. The Red Foxes exploded on offense with a four-goal run, including three from Doherty, who led all scorers with five goals.
“[Jack Doherty] was clearly the best player on the field,” Danowski said. “[At halftime] we changed assignments a little bit, and were just a bit more aware of him. Also in the second half we had a lot more ball possession.”
With 57 seconds left in the period, Duke freshman Will Haus pulled the game within two goals, and Marist headed into the locker room with a 7-5 advantage.
“Defensively, they played zone, something you don’t see every week,” Danowski said. “What you hope for when teams play zone is to get a lead. When you get a lead it’s hard for teams to stay in the zone. But we didn’t have a lead, so they could stay in it. They were gaining confidence, and the goalie was making saves.”
The Red Foxes kicked off second-half scoring with a goal from freshman Drew Nesmith and held the Blue Devils scoreless for the first 11:10. With less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Duke finally found its spark as junior Tommy Patterson and senior Robert Rotanz found the back of the net to bring the Blue Devils within one. Marist did not let Duke have the final goal of the period, however, as Red Fox freshman Colin Joka scored with 1:27 left on the clock.
In the first six minutes of the final quarter, junior Josh Offit and sophomore Jordan Wolf knotted the game at nine with a pair of goals. With 5:31 left, Doherty scored his fifth and final goal of the day, but was answered by a tally from Walsh and junior David Lawson’s game-winning goal.
The Blue Devils will face No. 1 Virginia in what might be their toughest matchup of the season Friday. Danowski emphasized the importance of going into it with the same mindset as any other game.
“It doesn’t matter that you’re playing Syracuse, it doesn’t matter that you’re playing Marist, it doesn’t matter that you’re playing Virginia—what matters is that you play the right way all the time,” Danowski said. “And hopefully that’s part of the lessons that our guys are learning.”