Lax team hits field for scrimmages

The score may not have been kept on the scoreboard, but the men's lacrosse players earned a victory just by taking on outside competition this weekend.

The Blue Devils participated in a pair of exhibition matches against Division III schools Salisbury University and UNC-Greensboro Saturday. The Salisbury match was played like a regulation game, while the Greensboro featured a running clock for all four quarters.

"I think everyone was just looking forward to an opportunity to play against a different color jersey," senior Ed Douglas said. "Our focus is on Dartmouth in a couple weeks, but we're going to use any opportunity to improve before then and certainly today was part of that."

The games featured a higher level of intensity than a typical scrimmage as the Blue Devils took on outside competition during the spring season for the first time since their season was cancelled last April.

"This is a year where there is going to be a lot of emotion over the course of the year," head coach John Danowski said. "So I tried to approach it as we're not going to waste any energy getting fired up for a scrimmage. We're going to relax and come out and play. But the guys brought their own sense of intensity and urgency to today."

Duke played without seniors Matt Danowski and Tony McDevitt and got a chance to see many younger players perform in significant roles. The game against UNC-G was noticeably one-sided, but John Danowski said Salisbury, which has won three of the last four Division III National Championships, provided good competition.

The Blue Devils continued to focus on the basics they had established in their first week of practice. Danowski said he will have a better idea of where his team stands as he inserts more aspects of his offense in the coming weeks of practice.

"The things we tried to focus on for the first week-riding, clearing, ground balls and transition-I thought were pretty good today," Danowski said. "The things we weren't good at today, I didn't expect us to be good at."

Several sets of parents were in attendance, wearing Duke Lacrosse windbreakers with their son's number on each. Many were in town not just for the scrimmage, but also for a walk Sunday from the courthouse to Koskinen Stadium organized by the mothers of the lacrosse team members.


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