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Robertson, Montgomery, Adler highlight 5th-year returners for Duke men's lacrosse

Joe Robertson (left) and Nakeie Montgomery (right) are set to return for one last season with Duke men's lacrosse next spring.
Joe Robertson (left) and Nakeie Montgomery (right) are set to return for one last season with Duke men's lacrosse next spring.

Some familiar faces are set to return to Koskinen Stadium next spring.

Duke men's lacrosse announced on its Twitter account Tuesday that attackman Joe Robertson, midfielder Nakeie Montgomery, goalie Mike Adler, midfielders Cameron Badour and Matt Chmil, and attackman Cameron Mulé are set to utilize their fifth year of eligibility and return to the program next spring. The NCAA granted spring athletes an extra year of eligibility in March 2020 after that season was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Robertson has been a mainstay on the Blue Devils' attack line since his freshman season in 2018, when he ranked third on the team in scoring. The Virginia native then led the team in scoring his sophomore campaign before missing the shortened 2020 season with a torn ACL. He came back to place third on the team in scoring this past season en route to a USILA All-America honorable mention distinction, while also serving as one of the team's three captains and earning the nickname "Captain Clutch" for an insane trio of overtime game-winners throughout the year.

Montgomery was also a key member of the program's 2018 freshman class, bursting onto the scene in that year's NCAA tournament and never looking back. He's steadily improved throughout his years in Durham, garnering third-team USILA All-America honors in 2019 in addition to first-team USILA All-America and All-ACC honors this past season. A star football player in high school in addition to lacrosse, he'll be spending this fall with the Duke football team before returning to the men's lacrosse program in the spring.

Adler came to Duke this past season as a grad transfer from St. Joseph's, and quickly impressed as a Blue Devil. The Florida native ranked second in the ACC in goals allowed per game, taking home All-ACC and third-team USILA All-America honors in the process.

Badour missed all of the 2018 season due to injury and started just three games between the following two campaigns, but started the first five games of this past season. However, he then suffered a leg injury that kept him out the remainder of the 2021 campaign. Chmil and Mulé have combined for just one career start, though the former appeared in 14 games in 2021 at defensive midfield while the latter finished off the team's most improbable comeback of the year with a dramatic game-winner April 22 against Notre Dame.

Duke made the Final Four for the fourth consecutive season this past May, but fell flat in a lopsided semifinal loss to Maryland. Head coach John Danowski and company will hope this group of returners, in addition to another top-heavy recruiting class, can push the team over the edge as the program looks for its first national championship since 2014.


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