Fourth-ranked Duke men's lacrosse rips off late 6-1 run to down Marquette

<p>Freshman attackman Joey Manown&nbsp;stepped up Saturday with two goals&nbsp;as stars Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner were held in check for much of the game.&nbsp;</p>

Freshman attackman Joey Manown stepped up Saturday with two goals as stars Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner were held in check for much of the game. 

Since trailing 6-1 at then-No. 16 North Carolina three weeks ago, Duke has been as hot offensively as any team in the country. But Saturday in Milwaukee, the Blue Devils faced a second-half deficit, trailing 6-5 against an unranked Marquette side that entered the weekend without a victory against a team currently in the top 20.

So when Duke needed its offense to get going, the Blue Devils turned to a familiar face—and leading scorer Justin Guterding delivered.

With a hat trick in the final 22:30, Guterding sparked No. 4 Duke’s 6-1 second-half surge and pushed the Blue Devils past the Golden Eagles 11-7 at Valley Fields in Duke’s final contest before next weekend’s ACC tournament. Freshmen Joey Manown and Reilly Walsh each added a pair of goals for the visiting Blue Devils as they collected a ninth win in their last 10 games.

Unlike its previous contest, when Duke (11-3) jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage against Virginia, the Blue Devils fell behind early as Marquette’s Ryan McNamara gave the hosts their first-ever lead in five matchups against Duke.

The two teams had played each of the last four seasons since the Golden Eagle lacrosse program started in 2013, and it had been a lopsided series, with the Blue Devils outscoring Marquette 70-21 in the four previous contests. However, Golden Eagle head coach Joe Amplo, a former player and assistant coach for Duke head coach John Danowski at Hofstra, had his team ready from the outset Saturday afternoon.

But after killing an offsides penalty, the Blue Devils got their opening tally of the afternoon from Sean Lowrie, his seventh of the season, to knot the game at one apiece. Sean Cerrone then bounced one home with 38 seconds remaining in the opening stanza to give Duke its first lead of the afternoon, and 20 seconds later, Lowrie notched a second goal to double the Duke lead.

From there, the teams traded goals in the second quarter when Tanner Thompson and Joseph Dunn both scored for the Golden Eagles with a Walsh goal sandwiched in between to keep the hosts within one of the Blue Devils.

In the defensive battle, the goalkeepers for both teams showed why they rank among the best in their respective conferences. Duke and Marquette went silent for more than eight minutes as juniors Danny Fowler and Cole Blazer combined for a dozen first-half saves and surrendered just eight combined goals.

Although the Blue Devils were able to get to Blazer later on, the Libertyville, Ill., native kept the Golden Eagles in the game for more than three quarters of play—both he and Fowler finished the afternoon with 13 stops.

Manown ended his team’s scoring drought with 75 seconds to play in the first half after Guterding drew a pair of extra defenders coming around the crease, leaving the freshman attack wide open. The Saundersville, R.I., native did not miss, and Duke carried a 5-3 advantage into the locker room at half.

Coming out of the break, Marquette (6-6) showed why it has been a program on the rise since its inception just five years ago—last season, the Golden Eagles were the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and nearly eliminated eventual national champion North Carolina in the opening round.

Marquette senior Andy Demichei got a quick goal to pull the hosts within one at the start of the third quarter, and just 90 seconds later, Dunn snuck behind a defender on the crease and tied the contest at five with his second score of the contest.

With the word “relentless” on their backs in support of the HEADStrong Foundation and former Hofstra player Nick Colleluori, the Golden Eagles took the motto to heart. Senior Grant Preisler came from behind the cage and uncovered, the Marquette attackman fired into the upper corner over Fowler’s left shoulder to give his team the lead yet again.

But Guterding would not allow Duke to trail for long.

The Garden City, N.Y., native buried his 38th goal of the season less than two minutes later to level the score. With two more tallies in quick succession—one from a wide-open Manown and then an unassisted score by Walsh—the Blue Devils seized control of the game.

Following Duke senior Jack Bruckner’s first goal of the game with 11:31 remaining in the contest that stretched the Blue Devil lead to three, the Golden Eagles got one score back and were pushing for more to close the margin.

Marquette—which averages fewer than 10 goals per game—could not keep up with the red-hot Duke offense, however. The Blue Devils got a pair of late scores to salt away the contest and will now have six days off before the ACC tournament semifinals next weekend.

With No. 6 Notre Dame’s 14-13 win Saturday against No. 16 North Carolina, the Fighting Irish clinched third place in the conference, meaning they will take on Duke at 8:30 p.m. Friday following the Tar Heels’ 6 p.m. matchup against No. 1 Syracuse at Koskinen Stadium.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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