March 30, 2010

Schoeffel, Payton Spark Duke's Comeback Victory

from press release

DURHAM, N.C.-- The Duke University men's lacrosse team scored three of the game's final four goals to edge No. 16 Brown in a midweek non-conference tilt this afternoon at Koskinen Stadium. Senior Sam Payton tallied the game-winner in a game that featured four ties and four lead changes in the second half.

Seniors Max Quinzani and Steve Schoeffel combined for six goals, while senior Ned Crotty handed out four assists. The hat trick for Quinzani is his 10th of the season and pushes his point-scoring streak to 56 games.

"Max figures out a way to get three goals," head coach John Danowski said. "You can almost put three goals in the scorebook every game for him. He comes up with timely goals and big plays."

Trailing 10-9 midway through the fourth quarter, Schoeffel and Payton came up with big goals just 10 seconds apart to lift Duke to the 11-10 victory. Posting his first hat trick of the 2010 season, Schoeffel evened the score at 10 apiece with and unassisted goal.

Payton came out and won the ensuing faceoff and raced down the middle of the field and ripped a shot past Brown goaltender Matt Chriss for what proved to be the game-winner. Payton also provided the game-winning goal against Georgetown last weekend after a faceoff.

The Duke defense held off the Bears in the final 6:41 of the game, getting crucial ground balls and clears when necessary. The win is the Blue Devils' fifth straight and pushed their record to 7-3 overall on the season. Brown falls to 3-3.

The first quarter was all Blue Devils as Duke opened up a 5-0 lead after 17:16 of play. Duke held Brown without a shot until 1:21 left in the first frame.

Schoeffel and junior Zach Howell anchored the Blue Devil offense, registering two markers apiece. Senior defenseman Parker McKee had the fifth goal in the game to give Duke the early 5-0 lead.

After nearly 19 minutes of scoreless lacrosse for Brown, Rob Schlesinger cued a four-goal run for the Bears with a tally at the 11:14 mark. Andrew Feinberg put a second goal in for Brown before Thomas Muldoon notched two tallies in a span of 1:23 to make it a 5-4 game in the final minutes of the first half.

With Brown seemingly carrying momentum into halftime, Quinzani stepped up with a timely goal with five seconds left on the clock to send the Blue Devils in front 6-4 at the break.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Brown opened the third stanza with three unanswered to garner its first lead of the game at 7-6 with 8:40 left in the quarter. The Bears continued to stifle Duke's offense for the next eight minutes, but it was Quinzani again who answered the call in the waning seconds. He collected a pass from Crotty on the right side and rifled a shot into the cage to tie the game 7-7 with four ticks on the clock in the quarter.

Senior Jon Livadas gave Duke an 8-7 lead 37 seconds into the final frame before Brown responded with two unanswered to regain a 9-8 advantage. Quinzani notched his third score of the game to make it 9-9 at the 9:03 mark. Muldoon came right back 34 seconds later with his fourth goal of the afternoon to shift the lead back in Brown's favor, 10-9. That proved to be the final lead for the Bears as Schoeffel and Payton came through in the end for the Blue Devils.

"Steve [Schoeffel] does so many things for us," Danowski said. "He runs the field. He can break down defenders, he can find the open man and sometimes he's too unselfish. I said to him after his second goal 'Today is the day for you to be selfish, for you to make plays.' Then he scores that third goal and then he clears for us. He's just so unselfish."

Duke dominated in all of the statistical categories. The Blue Devils held a 46-27 edge in shots, won the ground ball battle 34-22 and captured 18 of the 24 faceoffs. The Duke man-down defense was outstanding, holding the Bears extra man offense scoreless on three tires. Meanwhile, the Blue Devil man-up team was 3-of-6.

The Blue Devils hit the road for their next contest at No. 15 Harvard on April 2 at 7 p.m.


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