Tenth-ranked Denver outscored Duke 7-4 in the second half to earn a 12-9 victory over the No. 4 Blue Devils in men’s lacrosse action this afternoon in front of a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Bethpage High School. Duke senior Robert Rotanz led the Blue Devils with four goals on the afternoon.
Duke falls to 8-4 overall with the loss, while the Pioneers improve to 8-2 on the year. Five other Blue Devils each tallied one goal apiece with senior Zach Howell and freshman Christian Walsh both totaling two points on a goal and an assist. Todd Baxter paced Denver with four goals and an assist, while Cameron Flint had three goals.
The first half was a tight affair that featured three ties and two lead changes. Duke opened the scoring with a transition goal from senior Terrence Molinari. Howell assisted on the score. After six minutes of scoreless lacrosse, Denver evened the game as Chase Carraro snuck his shot past the stick of Duke Blue Devil goaltender Dan Wigrizer.
The back-and-forth action continued in the final 2:42 with the squads combing for three goals in that span. The Blue Devils opened a 3-1 lead with goals from David Lawson and Stephen Coyle. Seconds later, Flint notched his first goal of the game to make it a 3-2 game after 15 minutes of action.
Denver added two more goals in the first six minutes of the second quarter for its first lead, 4-3, of the contest. Rotanz responded with consecutive scores of his own to put the Blue Devils back in front with 48 seconds left to go.