After trading goals to start the game, Harvard pulled away amidst a prolonged Duke drought to down the Blue Devils in a high-profile, neutral-site matchup.
No. 4 Duke fell to the No. 12 Crimson by a score of 14-9 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., Saturday afternoon, dealing the Blue Devils their second loss of the season to a ranked opponent. Duke stayed close through the first quarter before Harvard exploded for eight unanswered scores throughout the second and third quarters as the Blue Devils endured a 30:39 stretch without finding the back of the net that killed their chances of fighting back into the game.
“We got our butts kicked. It wasn’t a good feeling, but Harvard played really well and they’re very well coached," Duke head coach John Danowski told GoDuke.com. "They probably outcoached us and their kids outplayed our kids, so it was an awful experience.”
The Crimson (4-0) ran through checks by the Blue Devils’ close defensemen and then made surgical passes inside that left Duke goalkeeper Danny Fowler with little chance to escape unscathed. Fowler, though, stood his ground as best he could, making 14 saves despite being pelted with 37 shots.
The star for Duke (4-2) in the matchup on Long Island was hometown hero Justin Guterding, who had six points on three goals and three assists to keep the Blue Devils competitive. The sophomore attackman gave Duke its final lead of the game at 5-4 early in the second quarter, and the Garden City, N.Y., native now has 98 points in 24 career games, placing him just two shy of former Duke attackman, Tewaarton winner and current assistant coach Matt Danowski, who needed 27 games to reach the same benchmark.
Guterding’s play, though, was overshadowed by Harvard’s star senior attackman Devin Dwyer, who also had six points in the Crimson victory. Dwyer, also a Garden City product, answered Guterding's goal with two straight in less than two minutes, then assisted on a third to kickstart the Crimson's game-defining 8-0 run.
“We knew how good they were” Danowski said, “Dwyer might be the Tewaarton winner, he may be the player of the year, he’s that talented, so we knew it was on him. He ended up six points today on four [goals] and two [assists], but they were really well coached team.”
The Blue Devils enjoyed good play from their starting midfield and attack for most of the first half when the game's outcome was still in question. Senior Chad Cohan scored the game’s first goal, senior Deemer Class tied the game at two following a pair of Harvard scores and junior Jack Bruckner tied the game at three after yet another Crimson goal. With two goals on the day, Class became just the second midfielder in Duke history to break the 100 goal barrier, joining teammate Myles Jones, who accomplished the feat a week earlier against Jacksonville.
Jones was quiet Saturday, though, notching only one assist for the game. The Huntington, N.Y., native now has at least one point in 41 straight games—the longest active streak in Division I lacrosse—but has something of a rough patch since his best performance of the year against Denver in late February.
Junior Teddy Henderson made just his second start at the faceoff X in relief of an injured Kyle Rowe, and after Henderson won the majority of the draws in the first quarter, the Crimson’s Keegan Michel went 7-for-10 in the second quarter to power the Harvard offense, illustrating the growing pains for of the younger Blue Devils in the squad.
“Every year we go into a season thinking ‘Who are we? Who can we become?’” Danowski said “I think today was an example of [us] playing against a team that wanted it a lot more than we did, played a lot harder than we did. That’s something that our guys have to figure out and have to learn from.”
The Blue Devils will try to take the next step and piece everything together Monday night at Koskinen Stadium against Richmond with another ranked matchup against Loyola looming Saturday in Baltimore.
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