The Duke Blue Devils fell behind early, but powered their offense to surge past the Cornell Big Red to post a thrilling 16-14 win in the two teams’ 2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament semifinal matchup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Kyle Turri made a career-high 16 saves on the 30 shots he faced to backstop the seventh-seeded Blue Devils while eight different scorers filled the cage to put Duke back into the national championship game for the first time since they won it in 2010.
Jordan Wolf (4g, 1a), Jake Tripucka (3g, 1a), David Lawson (2g, 2a), and Josh Dionne (2g) powered the majority of Duke’s offensive resurgence after trailing 5-2, while Josh Offit, Christian Walsh, Greg DeLuca, and Case Matheis tallied singles to hold off the Big Red.
Cornell’s Rob Pannell finished the game and his collegiate career with five goals and two assists, and broke former Blue Devils star and current assistant coach Matt Danowski’s all-time NCAA points scoring record (354 points) in the losing effort.
Connor Buczek (3g, 1a), Max Van Bourgondein (2g, 1a), Matt Donovan (2g), Steve Mock (1g), and Connor English (1g) all supported Pannell’s efforts to regain the lead to support the 14 saves goalkeeper AJ Fiore completed on 26 shots he faced against the Blue Devils.
Dionne, Offit, and Wolf got Duke back on track from the 10:17 mark in the first quarter and started a 12-2 run that had the Blue Devils leading 14-7 by beginning of the fourth quarter.
Not going down without a fight, Pannell tried his best to set up his teammates and found openings himself to narrow the Blue Devils lead down to one goal, trailing Duke 15-14 with 53 seconds to play.
However, Duke draw man Brendan Fowler who established the NCAA single-season record for faceoffs won (319), gathered the ball which eventually found its way into Wolf’s stick as he scored the final goal of the game, just 14 seconds later to secure the 16-4 victory for the Blue Devils.
Duke (15-5) will face the top-seeded Syracuse Orange (16-3), 9-8 winners over the fourth-seeded Denver Pioneers in the other semifinal of the day, as both teams will play for the national championship title on Monday at 1 p.m.
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