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Duke men's lacrosse's Joe Robertson, Wilson Stephenson ruled out for season

<p>Robertson led Duke in scoring last season.</p>

Robertson led Duke in scoring last season.

Duke men's lacrosse has already had a rough start to its 2020 campaign, falling to unranked Air Force in its home opener Saturday afternoon.

Less than 48 hours later, even more bad news emerged for the program.

Sophomore Wilson Stephenson and junior Joe Robertson have both been ruled out for the season, team spokesperson Meredith Rieder wrote in an email to The Chronicle. Stephenson is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in last year's NCAA tournament, while Robertson recently tore his ACL.

"No excuses, but we have to make those adjustments, playing without those two guys for the year and today was the beginning of that," head coach John Danowski said after the Air Force game.

Stephenson suffered a broken leg in Duke's NCAA quarterfinal win against Notre Dame last May. The longstick midfielder was expected to miss a large portion of the 2020 campaign while recovering, with today's release only confirming that theory.

Robertson is another story. The Salem, Va., native, the Blue Devils' leading scorer last season, injured his knee in practice just days before Duke's season opener against the Falcons. He was initially only ruled out for that opening contest while he underwent further evaluation. That evaluation has now declared his injury season-ending.

With Robertson out, Duke's offense will have to rely more heavily on junior Nakeie Montgomery and seniors C.J. Carpenter and Joey Manown, the only returning Blue Devils to score more than 20 goals last season. Freshman Dyson Williams, the No. 3 incoming recruit in the country according to Inside Lacrosse, will also see increased playing time.

Carpenter and Manown scored two and three goals, respectively, against Air Force. Williams tallied a goal of his own, though Montgomery was held without a point in the contest.

Duke will next take on High Point Saturday at 12 p.m.


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