DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men's lacrosse team broke a 2-2 tie with five straight goals over an eight-minute span bridging the first and second quarters, and that proved to be the difference as the Blue Devils defeated Penn, 12-8, Friday night at Koskinen Stadium. The game was the season opener for the Quakers, who entered the game ranked 17th nationally; No. 10 Duke is now 2-1 on the young season.
Penn was led by seniors Dan Savage and John Conneely. Savage, who started the season on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, scored three goals and dished off two assists, while Conneely also had three goals. In his first action since 2010, Tim Schwalje had a pair of assists. Ryan Parietti and Drew Belinsky also scored for the Red and Blue.
C.J. Costabile opened the scoring for Duke, notching the opening goal just seven seconds into the contest. Conneely responded for the Quakers less than two minutes later off a Schwalje feed, but then Jordan Wolf put the Devils back up just 14 seconds after Conneely had tied it. Savage finished another Schwalje pass, and it was 2-2 after less than four minutes.
The teams went scoreless for nearly six minutes after that, before Wolf scored his second unassisted goal of the night. That was followed by an unassisted goal from Josh Dionne, then another by Jake Tripucka with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Duke then opened the second quarter with unassisted goals by Josh Offit and Wolf, and suddenly it was 7-2.
Penn held Duke scoreless for more than 10 minutes after that, and tried to get back in the game as Conneely and then Savage scored unassisted goals. However, Dionne notched his second of the night with 1:51 left in the half, off a feed from Christian Walsh, and the Blue Devil lead was 8-4 at the break.
Duke then opened the second-half scoring when Walsh finished a Costabile feed. Five minutes after that, Savage tallied his third of the night, and then 20 seconds after that Conneely finished off his hat trick from a Savage feed. That made the score 9-6.
The final minute of the third proved damaging to Penn's hopes. Dionne finished a Will Haus feed with 59 seconds left, and then he scored an unassisted goal with just six seconds left before the end of the quarter. That made the score 11-6.
It took nearly half of the fourth quarter for any scoring to occur, before Parietti finally scored unassisted. He was answered by Duke's Robert Rotanz, before Belinsky scored off a Savage feed to close things out.
Brian Feeney was in goal for Penn and had 11 saves. At the other end, Kyle Turri had seven stops in gaining the win. Five of Penn's goals came in a man-up situation, as they took advantage of nine man advantages.
Penn is back in action on Tuesday, hosting Lehigh at Franklin Field. The Quakers and the Mountain Hawks will face off at 7 p.m.