Blue Devils to play in men‘s lacrosse title game

Fourth-seeded Duke scored the game’s first six goals en route to a wire-to-wire 13-8 win over top-seeded Maryland in the NCAA semifinals Saturday afternoon in front of 30,616 spectators at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

The Blue Devils (16-3) advance to Monday’s national title game and will face third-seeded Yale at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

Celebrating his 19th birthday, Duke freshman Nakeie Montgomery scored three goals – including two in the Blue Devils’ 6-0 spurt to open the day – to pace Duke’s eight-goal first half. After Joe Robertson’s marker at the 12:44 mark of the second quarter provided Duke with a 6-0 advantage, the Terrapins (14-4) used a 5-2 run to trim the margin to 8-5 at intermission.

Coming out of the locker room, Maryland used goals from Connor Kelly and Bubba Fairman to close to within 8-7 midway through the third period. But the Blue Devils responded with timely saves from Danny Fowler and a 4-0 run to claim a 12-7 advantage on Justin Guterding’s second of three goals of the afternoon with 6:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. The two teams split the final two tallies to account for the final margin.

Guterding led the Duke offense with three goals and three assists while Montgomery (3 goals) and Robertson (3 goals & 1 assist) added multiple tallies. Montgomery now has eight goals in Duke’s three NCAA Tournament victories this season.  Joey Manown and Brad Smith handed out two assists apiece.

In the Duke net, Fowler was credited with 12 saves. The Blue Devil defense received major contributions from Kevin McDonough, who scooped up six ground balls while causing one turnover, and J.T. Giles-Harris, who drew the primary coverage responsibility on All-American midfielder Connor Kelly and limited the Tewaaraton Trophy finalist to just one goal on 10 shots.

For Maryland, Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas scored two goals each while goalkeeper Dan Morris posted 14 saves.