Make that four in a row for Duke.
The No. 5 seed Blue Devils avenged a regular season loss to the No. 4 Tar Heels, pulling away from North Carolina in the second half to win 17-9 and punch their ticket to the final four in Baltimore. It is the program’s fourth consecutive trip to the national semifinals and fifth in the last six years.
The Tar Heels struck first, but would not lead again after going up 2-1 in the first quarter. Duke responded with a 3-0 run with scores from three different Blue Devils to take the lead for good with 14:10 left in the second period.
Duke had little difficulty on offense, scoring the most points North Carolina has allowed this season. The team made its game-breaking run in the second half, tallying six consecutive goals spanning the third and fourth quarters to put the game out of reach.
Senior Ned Crotty was magnificent from behind the cage, directing the offense and finding open men with pinpoint passes, and also tacking on three goals of his own. Attackmen Max Quinzani and Zach Howell scored four and three goals apiece. Quinzani’s second goal moved the senior up to second place on the NCAA all-time goal-scoring list, behind only former Blue Devil Zack Greer.
Make sure to check out the full story at dukechronicle.com later this week, along with recaps of all of Duke’s spring NCAA tournament action.