DURHAM, N.C. -- Junior midfielders Deemer Class and Myles Jones scored four goals apiece and Duke closed the afternoon with seven unanswered goals as the No. 5 Blue Devils defeated No. 14 Loyola Maryland 14-8 on Saturday at Koskinen Stadium.
The win was the 21st consecutive home win streak for Duke, tying the program record. The streak started with a 9-8 win against Loyola on March 8, 2013 and ties the 21-game stretch from March 30, 2007 through Feb. 20, 2009.
“It’s a big game and it’s tough for the younger players to play in these games when you’re young and inexperienced,” Jones said. “The older guys took over and told the guys to calm down and once we got our feet settled and got the ball moving around we were able to dodge and see how the defense was playing us and we were able to attack and take advantage of what we saw.”
Early in the third period, Loyola (3-2) took an 8-7 lead on consecutive goals by Zach Herreweyers before Duke (5-1) kept the Greyhounds scoreless over the final 27:17 to secure the win. Jones had four goals in Duke’s spurt to close the game while Class accounted for the other three tallies.
Duke jumped out to a 3-0 advantage behind markers from Class, Jack Bruckner and Tanner Scott and later held a 6-2 lead. Loyola responded in the second quarter as Brian Sherlock sandwiched two goals around tallies from teammates Romar Dennis and Nikko Pontrello to knot the score at 6-6 with 1:07 left to play in the frame.
“I think it was big for our defense to get a few stops early so being able to limit them early and get the ball to our offense to get into a rhythm a little bit really helped,” Class said.
Off the ensuing draw, Duke faceoff specialist Jack Rowe closed the first half with the first goal of his career to send the teams to intermission with the Blue Devils ahead 7-6.
Duke outshot the Greyhounds 48-26 and held a 35-20 advantage in ground balls. Loyola had just eight shots in the second half with Duke goalie Luke Aaron stopping four of them. The eight goals by the Greyhounds tied for the fewest they had score all season and were nearly four under their season average. Herreweyers, ranked second nationally in goals scored, was held to just two tallies.
“[Our success in the ground ball game] starts at the faceoff with Jack Rowe,” head coach John Danowski said. “I thought we had terrific wing play today from a whole bunch of different people. A lot of guys came up with big ground balls as well as Jack. That play certainly kick-starts the attitude for the rest of the team.”
Case Matheis returned to the Duke lineup after missing two games due to injury and posted three goals and one assist. Also for the Blue Devils, Chris Coady, Brian Dailey (4 ground balls) and Kyle Keenan (2 assists) returned to action after missing the first five games due to suspension. Aaron finished with eight saves between the pipes.
Duke, thanks to outstanding wing play, edged Loyola in the faceoff game. Rowe won 13-of-25 draws and picked up seven ground balls on the afternoon. Thomas Zenker, returning to his defensive midfield role, posted two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Loyola was led by Sherlock’s three goals while Dennis and Herreweyers had two each. Grant Limone posted 15 saves in the Greyhound net.