No. 5 Blue Devils Stunned By Harvard

Photo by Margie Truwit/The Chronicle

Friday afternoon provided a glimpse of the potential of the young and new Blue Devils.

That glimmer of hope, though, was quickly tempered Sunday.

No. 5 Duke fell to Harvard 9-6 at Koskinen Stadium less than 48 hours after defeating No. 15 Colgate 9-8, in large part because of a lackluster offensive effort in the first half. The loss snapped a 21-game home winning streak that extended back to March 30, 2007.

For the game, the Crimson (1-0) outshot the Blue Devils (2-1) 45-29, a disparity that was as large as 22 at one point before a late Duke onslaught of shots.

"We couldn't clear the ball, we couldn't possess the ball and right away, we're putting so much pressure on our defense," senior Ned Crotty said. "They had good misses where they'd get the ball back. That happened repeatedly, and it just gave them too many opportunities."

As a result, the Blue Devils managed just one goal at halftime and only four with just over five minutes remaining. In the previous two contests, Duke had hit the four-goal mark in 25:15 and 21:58. Duke trailed the Crimson 3-1 at halftime after leading 1-0 after the first period.

The Blue Devils managed to make a game of it late. With 5:08 left, midfielder Brad Ross darted a shot into the top-left corner of the net in transition to bring Duke within three. Three minutes later, midfielder Steve Schoeffel scored his second goal of the game to make it 8-6.

The Blue Devils won the ensuing faceoff and called timeout, as Duke's reserves, who had stood somberly and in shock, hollered and yelled at each other to finish off the improbable rally.

Duke had numerous chances to score over the next minute, but nearly every shot went wide of the net. Harvard eventually obtained possession and added a late goal with seconds left to secure the upset.

Check Monday's print edition of The Chronicle for a full game story.


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