SUNDAY, APRIL 04, 2010
Men's lacrosse battles No. 7 Duke to 16-7 loss
A six-goal run in the second quarter from No. 7 Duke proved to be too much for the Dolphins as the JU men’s lacrosse team fell in Durham, N.C., 16-7.

The Dolphins (4-6) fought hard throughout the entire game and pulled within one goal early in the second quarter before the Blue Devils (9-3) pulled away.

Senior goalie Brad Hester turned in an impressive performance on the road, saving 17 of 33 shots on goal, including nine in the second half. Freshman attackman Nick Scalzo scored twice for the green and gold while six others recorded points with two assists coming from freshman midfielder Cameron Mann.

The Blue Devils were led by Mike Catalino with three goals as four Duke starters scored two goals each. Goalie Dan Wigrizer played 49 minutes and made eight saves on the day.

“Our guys did a great job scrapping to the finish today,” said JU head coach Matt Kerwick. “They showed great heart like they do every game against an outstanding offensive group in Duke. We’re going to continue to get better next week for our last home game.”

The Dolphins opened up play without showing any signs of nerves as Duke won the opening faceoff but JU forced a turnover after a stall warning from the officials. After a clear from JU, freshman attackman TJ Kenary took the game’s opening shot and narrowly missed the opening score.

Duke would strike first in the sixth minute on a rocket from Justin Turri, assisted by Jake Tripuka. Just one minute later, the Blue Devils would tally again on a close range shot from Tom Montelli after a nice pass from Max Quinzanni.

The Dolphins got on the board after a great spell of possession. Freshman attackman Ryan Serville took a ball from behind the goal and took a strong, low-angle shot that got by Wigrizer.

Duke would answer right back, however, as Ned Crotty took the ball back-and-forth behind the crease before cutting up the side to finish. The Blue Devils would strike again in unsettled play as Crotti won a groundball in the JU half and pushed to the goal for a score.

Hester kept Duke off the board for a fifth time with a spectacular save down low before clearing the ball through Mann who drew a 30-second penalty. The Dolphins converted the penalty after some great ball movement as Mann found freshman attackman Alex Everett in the middle of the defense for a nice finish.

Another great save from Hester led to another penalty after the senior chased after the rebounded ball and drew a slashing penalty to send the Dolphins man-up again. The visitors held the ball to take possession into the second quarter which resulted in the second man-up goal of the game on a great shot from Scalzo with Serville grabbing the assist.

After each team created several chances on either end, Quinzani drove to the goal and went low to put Duke up by two. Robert Lotanz would score several minutes later on an assist from Torri as the Dolphins turned the ball over twice on two-straight possessions, and several times after that, ultimately leading to a six goal run from Duke.

The Dolphins would end the run when Lange made two great moves around defenders and drilled a shot into the back of the net. Duke would finish the half with a score after a scrap for the ball in front of the JU goal with just seconds remaining.

The Blue Devils would strike first in the third quarter after a couple good chances from JU. The Dolphins drew another penalty but, for the first time on the day, JU couldn’t convert on the man advantage. After Scalzo’s pointblank shot was saved, Duke turned right back around with a bounce shot that just snuck under the crossbar.

JU wouldn’t go quietly, however, scoring minutes later on a great quick-stick exchange from Mann to freshman John Linnan in front of the cage for the score.

The Dolphins were unable to capitalize on an illegal stick penalty at the start of the fourth quarter, drawing iron on a shot from Mann. After killing off a penalty of their own, the Dolphins conceded an unassisted score to Crotti.

After another Duke goal, the Dolphins got on the fourth-quarter board on a goal from Scalzo. Scalzo’s pass deflected off a Duke defender and into the goal for JU’s sixth goal of the game.

Hester provided several great saves for the Dolphins in the fourth quarter including three in the course of around two minutes. The Dolphins converted the saves from Hester into a final goal from Tissenbaum.

The Dolphins leave Durham with a lot to be excited about. JU cleared 16 of 20 attempts while drawing a slight edge in faceoffs, 13-25. The visitor’s also converted two of their four extra man opportunities.

The JU fans travelled very well for the game. The Dolphin faithful seemed to outnumber the Duke fans and were very vocal throughout the entire game.

The Dolphins are back in Jacksonville for one final home game against Rutgers. Fans should note the venue change as JU will hit the field at the Ashley Sports Complex at noon on Saturday.