Duke defeats Syracuse for Lax Championship

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Philadelphia, PA – Duke is on top of the Men’s Lacrosse World once again.

The Blue Devils won their second National Championship since the 2010 season. Both National Championships have come under head coach John Danowski.

The Blue Devils defeated the Syracuse Orange, 16-10, on Monday afternoon at the Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Lincoln Financial Field. This was Duke’s third straight win over the Orange.

Duke's Jake Tripucka makes a play against Syracuse

Jake Tripucka shooting the ball against Syracuse

“Nobody scripts being down 4-0 or 5-0, and inside I think we were all freaking out,” said Duke head coach John Danowski. “But Jake Tripucka’s first goal I think allowed everybody to relax a little bit. Having Brendan Fowler at the face off X certainly doesn’t hurt anybody’s confidence when he trots out there. And at halftime, we basically said that we need to play Duke Lacrosse over the next 30 minutes. I don’t know that we did that in the first 15. I think the big stage, the big event got to us a little bit. I think guys were a little tight, a little nervous.

“But I think at halftime, I think getting back to 6 5 helped everybody. I think we were settled down at halftime, and then just continued to play the game.”

The Blue Devils improved to 16-5 on the season, while the Orange dropped to 16-4 to end the year. The Orange are 6-4 all-time against the Blue Devils.

This game was their first meeting for the National Championship, as they have competed against each other five times in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse head coach John Desko fell short of tying the record with six National Championships. He has won championships in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2009.

Desko is now one championship shy of tying his mentor and former Syracuse head coach Roy Simmons Jr and Bill Tierney with six National Championships. Simmons Jr.; however, did have the 1990 National Championship vacated.

In fact, Syracuse has won the 1988, 1989, 1990, and 2000 National Championships as the No. 1 seed, but this is their first loss in the National Championship game as the No. 1 seed. This was their ninth time that they were ranked with the 1st seed and the second time in three years.

The Orange hold a 21-5 record as the No. 1 seed.

Josh Offit scored to make it 15-9, before Joe Fazio scored for the Orange to make it 16-10.

Jordan Wolf increased the Duke lead with his third goal of the game to make it 14-9. He also scored to make it 15-9 with his fourth goal.

Marasco scored back-to-back goals to put the Orange within 4 goals at 13-9. Both of his goals were 35 seconds apart.

“Yeah, they had me dodging a lot in the first and second quarters, and I tried to draw the double, move behind kind of like what Kevin [Rice, Syracuse teammate] said and took apart the defense,” said Marasco. “We had to move it and that’s where we got a couple good shots and just tried to be unselfish and run our offense and it was working, so I just kept going with it and at the end, we had to push the ball. I got a short stick once and another time I was behind I felt comfortable back there to make a move on their guy because he’s so used to playing up top, and that was somewhat of our game plan early, and it just hurt with not having so many possessions.”

Then, Christian Walsh scored to make it 12-7, which was the Blue Devils sixth straight goal. Jake Tripucka added another goal in the fourth to increase the Blue Devils lead to six goals at 13-7.

The Blue Devils also opened up the fourth quarter with on a hot streak. Dionne scored the first goal of the fourth to make it 11-7.

In this Final Four tournament, Duke outscored their opponents 23-7 in the second and third quarters of both the Cornell and Syracuse games.

Josh Dionne increased the Duke lead to 9-7. Then, Josh Offit closed out the third quarter with his second goal of the quarter to make it 10-7.

Offit gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game, as his goal made it 8-7. David Lawson was able to tie the game up at 7-7, as he previously did at 6-6.

Dylan Donahue gave the Orange a 7-6 lead with his third goal of the game. Donahue’s goal snapped a scoreless streak the Orange at 22 minutes and 19 seconds.

Lawson was able to tie the game at 6-6, as the Blue Devils came all the way back from a 5 goal deficit.

The Orange would open up the second quarter with a goal, before the Blue Devils would start their comeback. The Blue Devils would outscore the Orange 5-2 in this quarter to make it 6-5 at the half.

“No, defensively we actually tried to slow down a little bit,” said coach Danowski. “We only gave up two goals in the box of their first six, when they settled in six on six, we call that in the box defense, and we gave up one extra man and we gave up three in transition and early offense, and we thought we were just getting out, we were sliding a little bit too quickly. We thought we were going to move toward what we call ghost slide, fake slide, recover and get back, and make them spin the ball.”

Donahue would score his second goal in this quarter. Scott Loy also added a goal for the Orange.

Duke was led Jordan Wolf, who had two second quarter goals. Jake Tripucka added, as did Myles Jones and Josh Dionne.

Syracuse scored all the goals in the first quarter, as they led 4-0 after the first. Luke Cometti scored the final goal in the quarter for the Orange.

Donahue, Kevin Rice, and Billy Ward also scored in the first.

“Right,” said Duke player Josh Dionne of the slow start by Duke. “Well, obviously with such a big stage I think people just want to make plays. It’s a natural occurrence. But I think our coaching staff did a great job at settling us down. To reiterate what Coach said, we wanted to play Duke Lacrosse, and I think everyone saw that and it was evident when we started doing that. When our seniors got patient, we got patient, we went back to our smart spacing. I just think that’s just the way things were.”


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