DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 10/13 Harvard men’s lacrosse team hung tough with No. 6/6 Duke through three-plus quarters, but a late run propelled the Blue Devils past the Crimson, 21-14.
Devin Dwyer led Harvard’s (1-1) offense with five points on the day, scoring two goals and dishing out three assists to extend his point-scoring streak to 21 games dating back to the 2013 season. The junior’s three helpers moved him into a tie with former Crimson great Chris Pujols ’86 for 10th place on Harvard’s career assists list with 66.
Will Walker improved his goal-scoring streak to 12 games, finding the back of the net twice. Deke Burns also contributed two goals as the Crimson showed great offensive depth with 11 different goal scorers.
Jake Gambitsky was under heavy pressure all day in goal, turning aside 14 shots while allowing 19 goals before giving way to Bryan Moore. The senior was especially stout against shots at close range, turning away several point-blank attempts to keep Harvard in the game.
Duke (4-1) owned the X, winning 27-of-39 face offs en route to a 55-29 advantage in ground balls. Justin Guterding paced the Blue Devils with six goals and three assists, while Jack Bruckner (4g, 1a) and Chad Cohan (3g, 2a) totaled five points apiece.
Harvard returns to action Tuesday, March 3 as it hosts Quinnipiac at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium. Face off is scheduled for 4 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The first half was full of action as the teams combined for 18 goals through the first 30 minutes. Harvard took an early lead following back-to-back goals by Dwyer and Philip Wagley, 2-1, but the Blue Devils stormed back with three unanswered strikes to take a 4-2 advantage. Walker found the back of the net off a nice feed from Dwyer to end Duke’s run before the hosts tacked on one more for a 5-3 lead after the first.
Two quick goals scored by the Blue Devils to begin the second quarter moved the score to 7-3, and with 4:11 remaining in the half Duke looked to be in control with a five-goal margin, 10-5. The Crimson closed the half with a flurry, however, with scores by Keegan Michel, Ian Ardrey and Burns in a 2:09 span pulling Harvard within 10-8 at the intermission.
Duke improved its lead to 14-10 in the third quarter, outscoring Harvard 4-2. Gambitsky came up with several key saves in the period, however, including two from close range to keep Harvard within reach.
A goal by Burns just 24 seconds into the fourth quarter made it a 14-11 game, and following a penalty called against Duke the Crimson held the ball on the man-advantage looking to pull within two. A turnover gave the ball back to the Blue Devils, however, ending the threat and beginning a 7-3 run as Duke pulled away late for the 21-14 victory.
Game Notes: Devin Dwyer recorded three assists on the day, moving him into 10th place on Harvard’s career assists list (66) … Devin Dwyer registered five points (2g, 3a), extending his point-scoring streak to 21 games … Will Walker scored two goals, extending his goal-scoring streak to 12 games.