The Terrapins scored 16 goals when they knocked Duke out of the NCAA tournament semifinal last year, and they scored 16 goals when they routed the Blue Devils this year. No. 19 Duke lost to No. 1 Maryland 16-7 Saturday at Koskinen Stadium in the first ACC lacrosse game of the season.
“Maryland was terrific and has certainly earned the No. 1 spot in the country,” Blue Devil head coach John Danowski said. “It didn’t work out on the field, but our guys competed and were beat by a better team.”
The Terrapins (4-0, 1-0 in the ACC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Duke junior Christian Walsh put the Blue Devils (2-4, 0-1) on the scoreboard, marking the smallest scoring deficit that they faced all game.
Maryland controlled the pace of the game, winning 17-of-27 faceoffs. Duke’s failure to find an answer for Terrapin's offense doomed the Blue Devils to their fourth loss of the season.
“We had a hard, good week of practice,” Duke senior Josh Offit said. “We’re still trying to find out what it takes on game day to come together as a team and translate practice onto game day.”
Offit, a midfielder, led the Blue Devils in scoring with two goals. Duke’s trio of junior attackmen—Walsh, Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne—combined for just two scores. Maryland sophomore defender Gorran Murray, who earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors following a successful rookie season, shut down Wolf, who currently leads the Blue Devils with 15 goals. In all four of his matchups with Wolf, Murray held the attackman scoreless.
In addition to struggling to find the back of the net, Duke failed to contain the Terrapins’ high-powered offense. The Blue Devils played a game of musical chairs in the goal, utilizing all four goalies on their roster. Starting goaltender Dan Wigrizer was pulled out of the game 43 seconds into the second quarter after surrendering five goals on the first seven shots he faced. Sophomore Kyle Turri played for 39:47, allowing nine goals, and freshman Luke Aaron and sophomore Ben Krebs saw a combined 4:30 in net. The third quarter was the highlight of Duke’s game on the defensive end, as the Blue Devils only let in one goal.
“I thought that third quarter was maybe our best quarter of the year,” Danowski said. “We defended, played hard and cleared the ball.”
Duke junior Brendan Fowler, who entered the game ranked fifth in the nation with a 63.9 faceoff percentage, won just 41 percent of his faceoffs against Maryland. The midfielder won the faceoff battle against every opponent he faced this season prior to Saturday’s contest.
“There are games where you aren’t going to win faceoffs, and you still have to figure out how to be successful,” Danowski said.
Fowler won the opening faceoff, but after freshman Myles Jones’ shot was blocked, Maryland senior Landon Carr scooped up the ground ball, swiftly moved the ball in transition and set up senior Owen Blye for a goal less than a minute into the game.
Senior Mike Chanenchuk followed that up with the first of his four goals to give the Terrapins an early 2-0 advantage. Walsh trimmed their lead to one, but Maryland went on a five-goal scoring run powered by two goals and an assist from Chanenchuk. The Blue Devils responded with consecutive goals from Offit and senior David Lawson, but the Terrapins scored two more goals, including one by Chanenchuk, to head into the locker room with a commanding 9-3 lead. Duke scored four goals in the second half, but Maryland exploded for seven scores—six of which were in the fourth quarter—putting the game firmly out of reach.
“Maryland’s a great team,” Offit said. “We just need to learn from [the Terrapins] and prepare for our next opponent.”
Duke’s will face No. 4 Loyola, the reigning national champion, Friday evening at Koskinen Stadium.