Quinzani's Late Goal Lifts Duke over Virginia
by Paul Ohanian | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
NCAA DIVISION I SEMIFINALS: DUKE 14, VIRGINIA 13
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The NCAA will crown a first-time champion in Division I men’s lacrosse on Monday.
Duke attackman Max Quinzani celebrates his game-winning goal with 12 seconds remaining in the Blue Devils' 14-13 victory over Virginia in the NCAA Division I semifinals Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Duke (15-4) made sure of that by rebounding from a two-goal
halftime deficit to claim a 14-13 victory over top-seeded Virginia
(16-2) in the second semifinal Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Blue Devils will face unseeded Notre Dame, a 12-7 winner over
Cornell in the other semifinal, in Monday’s championship
Trailing 7-5 at halftime, Duke’s dynamic offense -- ranked second in the nation in scoring -- finally starting clicking behind the dynamic duo of Ned Crotty and Max Quinzani. After surrendering the opening goal of the half to fall behind by three, Quinzani’s unassisted tally at 8:59 sparked a seven-goal comeback run by the Devils.
“We were disappointed in our first half, especially our inability to clear the ball,” said Duke head coach John Danowski. “I thought Max’s goal gave us a lot of enthusiasm.”
Quinzani scored three of his team-high four goals during Duke’s pivotal run and helped the Blue Devils carry a 9-8 lead -- their first advantage of the game -- into the fourth quarter. By the time Quinzani capped the run, beating Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman (eight saves) one-on-one in transition following an assist from Mike Catalino, the Devils had their largest lead at 12-8 with 12:11 remaining.
But Virginia did not go away.
Sparked by two goals and an assist on a third by midfielder Brian Carroll, the Cavs outscored Duke 5-1 over the next nine minutes to even the score at 13-13. Carroll’s third goal of the game, unassisted at 1:21, knotted the score for the fourth time.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “We had a chance to roll over and didn’t. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Following Virginia’s game-tying tally, Duke controlled the faceoff and called timeout to organize its possession. Crotty took the ball behind the cage and played a cat-and-mouse game with Ghitelman and UVA defenseman Ken Clausen.
Crotty eventually curled around the net to the left, and then found a cutting Quinzani in front, who buried the game-winner on an eight-yard blast with 12 seconds remaining. The goal was the senior’s 68th of the season, establishing a new Duke single-season record.
“I was trying to survey the field,” Crotty said. “He’s small, but I saw him coming off the pick. I threw it, he caught it and he scored.”
“I tell him all the time that if you throw it, at least you know I’m going to catch it,” said Quinzani. “Something good is going to happen.”
Virginia had one final chance following a turnover by Duke on the ensuing faceoff. Coming out of a timeout, Carroll started with the ball on his stick in the defensive zone and headed upfield. Not recognizing that Virginia already had six men on the offensive end of the field, he carried the ball over the midfield line and was called for an offsides violation.
Two seconds later, Duke’s celebration was underway.
“The final result wasn’t what we hoped for, but it doesn’t diminish who these guys are and what they battled through,” said Starsia, referring to the emotional hardship of the past several weeks in Charlottesville surrounding the death of Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love. Men's lacrosse player George Huguely faces first-degree murder charges. “In the end, it would have been so much easier if we had won.”
“It’s been pretty difficult over the last month,” said Virginia sophomore Steele Stanwick (3g, 2a). “I’m not going to lie to you. The season may be over, but we’re still a team.”
Notes: Quinzani extended his scoring streak to 65-straight games with at least one point…Duke controlled 19 of 30 face offs in the game, led by senior Sam Payton, who won 15 of 23 draws… Freshman goalie Dan Wigrizer finished with seven saves for Duke…Sophomore Chris Bocklet led the Cavaliers with a team-high four goals…The Blue Devils have won nine of the last 10 meetings between the teams…The announced attendance of 44,389 was the sixth largest for an NCAA semifinal doubleheader.
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