After losing to Duke 12-8 at Koskinen Stadium last season, Penn was determined to get revenge on its home field this year. In the Quakers’ season-opener Friday night, they got exactly what they wanted, toppling the No. 13 Blue Devils 14-9.
“I thought the Penn kids were hungrier,” Duke head coach John Danowski said. “They executed what they needed to do and were the better team.”
Unable to cling on to its 7-6 halftime lead, Duke (2-3) was outscored 8-2 in the second half by the Quakers (1-0), who took more than twice as many shots as the Blue Devils in the final two quarters. Duke pulled the game within one in the fourth period, but Penn scored four unanswered goals to put the game away for good.
“The Penn kids played with great emotion and passion,” Danowski said. “When they delivered a blow, we didn’t fight back. We were very passive.”
After scoring one goal during the course of a quiet rookie season, sophomore Isaac Bock led the Quakers in scoring with four goals off the bench. Penn senior captain Tim Schwalje had a hand in more than half of the Quakers’ tallies, notching a hat trick and five assists.
“Having some of the top midfield guys graduate last year was an opportunity for [Isaac] to step up, and he did that on Friday night,” Schwalje said. “As a team we played fast and physical just like we wanted to.”
Duke junior Jordan Wolf scored the first of his two goals less than a minute into the game, giving the Blue Devils a short-lived advantage before Penn responded with a 5-1 run during a span of 5:09. Behind a balanced scoring effort, Duke chipped away at the deficit and took an 8-6 lead fewer than four minutes into the third quarter, but the Quakers exploded for four unanswered tallies. Duke junior Christian Walsh answered by capitalizing on a man-up opportunity to bring the Blue Devils within one.
Duke appeared poised to stage a comeback, but Penn did not let the Blue Devils inch any closer to victory. Senior captain Anthony Santomo opened the Quakers’ 4-0 run in exciting fashion, sending the home crowd into a frenzy after he grabbed a loose ball on the defensive end, sprinted down the field and found the back of the net. The Blue Devils had no answer, dipping below .500 with the loss.
“We’re disappointed in that I don’t know how much fight this team has,” Danowski said.
Duke will need all the fight that it can muster as it prepares to host No. 1 Maryland this weekend. The Terrapins dashed the Blue Devils’ NCAA championship hopes last season when they defeated Duke 16-10 in the tournament semifinals.