Blue Devils break skid with convincing wins

Duke may have suffered some early growing pains this season, but the Blue Devils are quickly proving they still belong among the nation's elite.

Sophomore midfielder Justin Turri powered No. 10 Duke (6-2, 1-1 in the ACC) past No. 8 North Carolina (7-2, 0-1) at Kenan Stadium Saturday, giving the Blue Devils their ninth straight win over their rivals. After an uncharacteristic 2-2 February, Duke is a perfect 4-0 in March, including victories over No. 14 Loyola March 7 and Yale March 8.

The Blue Devils outscored the Greyhounds 4-2 in the fourth quarter to eke out an 11-9 win in Koskinen Stadium four days after they had snapped their first losing streak since 2004. Junior attackman Max Quinzani led a 14-6 blowout of the Bulldogs the following day, scoring five goals and chipping in one assist.

But Duke's biggest win of the season was its latest, as the Blue Devils defeated a top-10 team for the first time this season. Duke used a 6-0 run, starting with Ned Crotty's man-up goal two and a half minutes into the third quarter, to turn a 4-3 halftime deficit into a 9-4 lead.

Turri scored two of his career-high three goals during that game-changing run, and attackman Zach Howell also chipped in two tallies as the Blue Devils proved that they don't have to rely on Max Quinzani and Ned Crotty to beat a top-tier team.

"It's awesome [to have new people scoring]," Crotty said. "I love it.... You want a balanced offense, and I think you're starting to see that we can have that."

-from staff reports


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