Duke Pulls off Overtime Win

Duke pulls off an overtime win,12-11. In a game that many viewed as an NCAA Championship preview, the #1 Duke Blue Devils (10-0) faced the challenge of the #2 University of North Carolina Tarheels (8-1) in Koskinen Stadium in Durham N.C. Mike Adler and Joe Robertson took center stage for Duke. Adler made 17 saves with 12 coming in the first half. The oddity is that Duke did not dent twine in the fourth quarter.

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In-Game Action

The first quarter was a “feel them out” event that ended in what would be a common remark in this game, even, at 2-2.
Long pole Matt Wright put the ‘Heels in front with 12:57 to play. Joe Robertson set up Michael Sowers (1g) to get it even.
The prolific Sowers was held to just one point. With 1:36 remaining, Nicky Solomon (2g) made it 2-1 UNC. Dyson Williams (2g) with just :03 to play, brought it to the 2-2 score.

It took Solomon all of eight seconds to notch his 18th. Jacob Kelly (1g) 2:38 to push the UNC advantage to 4-2. Sean Lowrie (1g) and Williams recording his 14th put it in a familiar place, knotted up, 4-4. The two-goal volley went back to UNC. Chris Gray (2g,1a) and Zac Tucci (1g) put it back to a two-goal ‘Heels lead. Joe Robertson (4g,3a) closed the half with Duke trailing, 6-5.

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The intensity picked up in the third with the teams combining for 10 goals. Justin Anderson (2g,1a) buried a Solomon feed on the man advantage and Tanner Cook (2g) 1:45 later to make it an 8-5 edge. Brennan O’Neill (2g)scored a pair thirty seconds apart and Duke found itself trailing by a single marker, 8-7.

Cook picked up his 18th but Duke had an answer with  Robertson getting his 28th and Owen Caputo getting his first of two on the day and once again, tie the game, 9-9. Chris Gray and Caputo exchanged tallies and Robertson with just :07 left, ended the gun-slinging third with Duke holding the 11-10 lead.

Dis and Dat

The offense for both clubs went stagnant and only Justin Anderson could find rope in the fourth and what better way for these teams to end things? Overtime. With :47 left in the extra session, Robertson wormed his way thru the UNC defense and fired a rocket that caught the crossbar before getting behind netminder, Collin Krieg to keep the unbeaten Duke season alive.

“It was nuts,” said Adler. “That’s probably the one word I would describe it as. But it was so fun. I think everybody had an absolute blast. [UNC] is a great team, but we ended up getting the last shot, and Joe Rob, who is everything the program embodies, scored. It was awesome to see him score.”

Shots on goal were 51-46 Duke and The Devils fired more on goal, 26-23. UNC only had 13 turnovers to Duke’s 16 with Duke also having the edge in ground balls, 38-34. Collin Krieg went 63:13 and stopped 14 Duke shots but was overshadowed by Mike Adler. Duke pulls off an overtime win.

“[UNC] had a great game plan and their players are terrific,” said head coach John Danowski. “It’s an honor to be a part of this. I thought our guys were aggressive and played hard. Both teams played hard for the whole 63 minutes and we just were fortunate enough to make a play there in the end. We easily could have lost as well.”

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