The Duke Blue Devils could not have crafted a more dramatic game for themselves in their top-10 men's lacrosse battle with No. 6 Denver on a rainy Saturday afternoon. They had every element of the perfect storyline: a deficit, a struggle, rain and a hero.
That hero was Joey Manown, who put the finishing touches on Duke's 10-9 win with a game-winning goal with seven seconds left in regulation.
Trailing 6-2 midway through the third quarter, the Blue Devils were in danger of a second loss in three games. But with just over 20 minutes to go, something clicked for Duke.
Much like the Blue Devils basketball team in their recent 23-point comeback against Louisville, the lacrosse team found another gear, going on a 7-1 run to take a two-goal lead with 2:51 left on the clock. Joe Robertson led the charge, netting a hat trick with three consecutive goals to tie the game at 7-7.
But Denver battled back. Back-to-back Pioneers goals evened the score again at 9-9, and suddenly, with 19 seconds left, it seemed like the two top-10 teams would be heading to overtime.
Duke needed a goal. Ten seconds remained, then nine, then eight. And then Manown corralled a loose ball off an errant Duke pass, and unleashed a lefty strike over Denver goalie Alex Ready's right shoulder.
It was Manown's eighth goal of the season and moved the Blue Devils to 3-1 on the young season.
The win gives Duke a 7-6 edge in its overall series with Denver and restores momentum to a Duke program that struggled last weekend and took an upset loss against unranked High Point.