April 13, 2012

Virginia Feeling Blue: Duke Routs Top-Ranked Cavaliers

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Live Blog Replay

Defensemen Mike Manley and Henry Lobb celebrate during Duke's 13-5 win over top-ranked Virginia on Friday night at Klockner Stadium. Lobb played a key role in limiting Steele Stanwick to three points and Manley scored a goal.
© Matt Riley

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Duke doesn't mind seeing orange. Not one bit.

For the 12th time in 13 meetings with Virginia, Duke prevailed. And it wasn't even close. The Blue Devils routed the top-ranked Cavaliers 13-5 before 7,234 fans Friday at Klockner Stadium.

Sophomore attackman Josh Dionne scored four straight goals to start the second half, a swarming Duke team defense limited Tewaaraton Award front-runner Steele Stanwick to three points — two coming in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand — and CJ Costabile won 10-of-19 faceoffs against four different Cavaliers. Plus, goalie Dan Wigrizer had the game of his season with 14 saves.

"In the locker room, words couldn't describe how we were feeling. We were just kind of screaming at each other," Dionne said on the field after leaving the postgame locker room. "We respect the hell out of Virginia. To have this opportunity to beat them at their own place — it's one of a kind. We're excited to see them again later on the season."

Virginia (10-2, 2-1 ACC) lost at home for the second time this season as the No. 1-ranked team in the country and will have a week to stew about this upset before the ACC tournament begins right back in Charlottesville on Friday.

Who would have thought? Seventh-ranked Duke entered with a 10-3 record but hardly brought with them the profile of a giant-killer, having needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Marist a week earlier and struggling in the late stages of games throughout the season.

It was quite the opposite Friday. Duke led 4-2 at halftime and outscored the Virginia 5-0 in the third quarter. Costabile and an array of ground ball scooping players — Duke's attackman had 10 of their 39 ground balls — kept possession away from Virginia as it had only one extended offensive possession in the third. Longpole Luke Duprey ended that with a strip of Virginia freshman midfielder Ryan Tucker.

Whenever the Cavs did manage the have control, Duke had an answer. The Blue Devils entered with the game plan of using a combination of longpoles Henry Lobb and Chris Hipps on Stanwick, depending on which side of the field Virginia's senior attackman set up shop. As the game progressed, Lobb found himself on Stanwick the most.

"They're just long and very athletic on defense," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "They press out. They play a style of defense that we don't play. It's hard to simulate in practice, although we tried a couple times. Someone was asking about how they played Steele. They didn't really slide early to Steele. They just let the kid that was covering him stretch out, push him, make him catch the ball on the endline with somebody on his hands and work for everything that he got."

Said Stanwick: "They're all just big, athletic, strong and fast. They all do a lot of really things really well."

Duke showed off its athletic defense, on offense, too. Mike Manley scored a transition goal — letting out a roar after the shot sailed high past Virginia's Rob Fortunato (16 saves) to put Duke up 9-2 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

Junior midfielder Jake Tripucka fed a trailing longpole Luke Duprey in transition for a score just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter and, unexpectedly at the start of the night, fans started to wander toward the exits with 14 minutes remaining.

"It kind of hit you in warmups that this place was going to be rocking, and as soon as the whistle blew at the faceoff, they just disappeared [from my mind]," Dionne said. "If you kind of listened when we were up a little bit, you couldn't really hear much. That was a pretty cool feeling."

Costabile, if he wasn't winning the faceoff, was often making it difficult for Virginia to control the ground ball off the draw. He finished with nine ground balls.

"CJ has been doing that now for about the past month," Duke coach John Danowski said. "If he doesn't win the draw, he can still create turnovers and cause some havoc. We always know that Virginia has such a great, athletic team that there's going to be a lot of bodies flying in the faceoff game on the wings, and from both boxes — the offensive and defensive box. We made that a priority all week."

Duke edged Virginia in that department, 39-37, a common theme in the Blue Devils run of success against their ACC rival.

Sophomore attackman Jordan Wolf had two goals and four assists and scored the first goal of the game, coming from behind on the right side to beat Fortunato from just north of goal-line extended.

Wigrizer stood tall early and often. The oft-maligned junior goalie made four saves in the opening quarter and appeared locked in all game.

"I feel so excited and awesome," Wigrizer said. "The entire game I game tried to stay calm. Before the game, I tried to change up a few things both physically and mentally. I tried to stay very relaxed. I tried to have no emotions before the game. I wasn't getting excited and tried to keep it that way throughout the game, so that really helped me out. Physically, I changed up my hands. I [held] them much closer so they can move much faster."

Virginia couldn't get away from seeing blue fast enough.


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