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Duke lacrosse breaks away from Georgetown in fourth quarter, wins 15-10

By Christian Swezey
Sunday, March 28, 2010; D07

The Duke men's lacrosse team gave an indication during pregame warmups of its plan for Georgetown on Saturday at Multi-Sport Field.

During shooting drills, every player -- longsticks and shortsticks -- took shots on goal. And it was offensive contributions from the longsticks that keyed Duke's 15-10 victory before 2,512 in a crucial game for both teams.

A victory Saturday almost certainly would have sent the eighth-ranked Hoyas (4-3) toward an at-large berth in the 16-team NCAA tournament. The No. 9 Blue Devils (6-3) were the preseason No. 1 team and had beaten Team USA in a scrimmage in late January.

Saturday's game seemed headed for a nervous finish. It was tied at 9 in the final minute of the third quarter, and the Hoyas had possession. But a quick shot by freshman Brian Casey was saved by goalie Dan Wigrizer with 20 seconds left.

Wigrizer fed longstick midfielder Tom Montelli, a junior, who crossed midfield, and when no defender came to him, scored on a 15-yard shot an instant before the horn sounded to end the quarter, giving Duke a 10-9 lead.

The Blue Devils then won the first three faceoffs of the fourth quarter. Goals by fifth-year seniors Sam Payton and Ned Crotty followed, and the Blue Devils led 12-9 with 12 minutes 8 seconds remaining.

"We work on shooting every day," Montelli said. Coach John Danowski "always tells us, 'Once you cross midfield, you're an offensive player.' "

Said Georgetown senior defenseman Chris Nixon: "Their [longsticks] getting down the field and sticking shots in, that gave us a taste of our own medicine. They found some looks on the fast break, and it hurt us a lot."

Montelli finished with two goals, and sophomore longstick C.J. Costabile added an assist. The shortsticks scored as well; junior Zach Howell and senior Max Quinzani each scored three goals and Crotty, the only current college player to have made Team USA, added a goal and three assists.

Duke's scoring included goals on possessions that lasted 20 seconds, 19 seconds, 17 seconds (twice), 14 seconds, 7 seconds and 6 seconds.

"They are one of the better transition teams in the nation, hands-down," Georgetown goalie Jack Davis said. "There really isn't any other team that has longpoles like that."

Junior Max Seligmann had two goals for the Hoyas, while senior Craig Dowd had a goal and three assists. However, Seligmann did not play after he suffered a head injury as he was hit hard -- though legally -- by a Duke player on the first possession of the third quarter.

Including Saturday's game, the Hoyas have given up 25 goals in the fourth quarter this season.

"For three quarters, we're right where we want to be: in a one-goal game," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said. "The fourth quarter hasn't been particularly strong for us, and I'm not sure why necessarily."

-- VIRGINIA 15, JOHNS HOPKINS 6: Rhamel Bratton, Shamel Bratton and Matt White scored three goals apiece as the top-ranked Cavaliers (9-0) routed the No. 12 Blue Jays (4-4) in Charlottesville.

-- NORTH CAROLINA 9, MARYLAND 7: Freshman attackman Marcus Holman, playing in place of injured all-American Billy Bitter, had four goals and an assist to lead the second-ranked Tar Heels (9-0, 2-0 ACC) past the fourth-ranked Terrapins (6-1, 1-1) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

-- NAVY 10, COLGATE 9: In Hamilton, N.Y., Patrick Moran scored three goals, including the game-winner 1:37 into overtime, to lift the Midshipmen (5-4, 4-1 Patriot League) to a win over the Raiders (1-7, 0-2).

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