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No. 3 Duke lacrosse team quiets Red Storm, 20-7

Posted Sunday, May 3, 2009

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Jamaica, NY Eleven different players tallied at least one goal as third-ranked Duke cruised to a 20-7 win over St. John’s in its final regular season game. The Blue Devils have won seven straight and 11 of their previous 12 contests.

Senior Ned Crotty led all scorers with five points from three goals and two assists, while senior Brad Ross tallied a hat trick. Junior Max Quinzani finished with four points from two goals and two assists. Duke’s 20 goals are a season-high, while the 13-goal win margin also is a season-best.

Stephen Coyle posted a career-high two goals and an assist in the win, while Fogarty finished with a season-best two tallies. Ross’s three points pushed him to within one point of the 100-career point mark. He will be third Blue Devil this season to reach the scoring landmark.

Duke gained the opening possession after a scramble off the faceoff. The Blue Devils quickly established their offense and after a flurry of shots, Crotty picked up the loose ball and dropped it past Gavin Buckley for the 1-0 lead just 2:10 into the game.

Controlling the majority of possession for much of the opening 10 minutes of the first quarter, Duke (13-3) quickly built its lead to 4-0 with 5:39 left in the first session. Ross tallied two consecutive scores during the four-goal run, while sophomore Zach Howell closed out the run with his 20th score of the year.

Carl Iacona stopped the run for St. John's (5-9) with just under five minutes left. The Blue Devils, however, came right back and tallied three more goals in the final 2:04 to lead 7-1 after the first 15 minutes.

Duke’s outstanding all-around play continued in the second quarter. Firing on all cylinders, the Blue Devils added five more scores to their total to take a 12-1 halftime lead into the locker room.

Quinzani opened the quarter with a man-up tally at the 12:26 mark off an assist from Crotty. Senior Gibbs Fogarty fired home his first goal of the season nearly four minutes later to make it 9-1. The season-firsts continued for Duke as senior Chris Loftus dodged his way to the crease and slipped his shot past Buckley to push the lead to 12-1 after 30 minutes of action.

Defensively, Duke allowed St. John’s just 14 shots in the first half and just eight on goal. Senior goaltender Rob Schroeder made five saves and the Blue Devil defense held the Red Storm to just 10 shots to keep the Red Storm scoreless off the board.

Dom DeNapoli won the second half’s opening faceoff on a procedure call and raced right down the alley to give St. John’s its second goal of the game.

Sophomore Tom Rynn responded for Duke to keep it an 11-goal advantage. The Blue Devils and Red Storm traded goals throughout the remainder of the third quarter with Duke leading 15-5 at the end of the third session.

Crotty added his third marker of the day to start the fourth quarter and make it a 16-5 lead. The Red Storm responded 1:20 later with a score from Malcolm Miles, but Duke outscored St. John’s 4-1 in the final 10:04, including consecutive man-up scores from Ross and Quinzani, to come away with the 20-7 victory.

Sophomore Sean Brady relieved Schroeder in the third quarter and picked up three saves in 22 minutes of action. Senior Devon Sherwood also saw time between the pipes for the Blue Devils, making three stops in the final 7:27.

Duke outshot St. John’s 43-34 for the game and picked up 40 ground balls to the Red Storm’s 26. The Blue Devils won 18-of-31 faceoffs, with senior Sam Payton taking 12-of-16 for the day.

Much like the offense all afternoon, Duke’s man-up offense was outstanding scoring on all three opportunities. Quinzani had two man-up goals to push his season total to a league-best 10. The Blue Devils’ defense held the Red Storm scoreless on two extra-man opportunities.

The Blue Devils await their NCAA Tournament fate tonight. The selections will be announced on ESPNU from 9-10 p.m., on May 3.

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