COLLEGE PARK -- The game was not at Byrd Stadium, the University of Maryland's usual home lacrosse field, but at Denton Field, where the Terrapins usually play soccer.
It provided a cozier atmosphere for fans and players, but as far as defenseman Brian Burlace is concerned, "I don't care if we play in a parking lot as long as we win."
And Burlace did his part, putting the crowning touch on yesterday's hard-earned, 13-11 victory over Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools.
The junior from St. Mary's took off on a rare -- down the right sideline, veered behind the Duke goal, then eluded the defense to score the clincher with 4 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game.
"He had an end-to-end rush against Syracuse like that in 1989," said Terps coach Dick Edell. "I called him over after he scored because I thought he might need CPR."
The goal lifted No. 8 Maryland (2-0) into a 13-10 lead against a team it never could shake.
With the help of a short-handed score by Seth McCullough, Duke dominated the first period, cashing in four of its first five shots and taking 4-1 and 5-2 leads.
But Andy Claxton began to control the faceoffs regularly in the second period, enabling Maryland to spurt ahead for good.
"I got a lot of help from the wings," said Claxton. "I think once the game got going, our blood started moving. And we didn't lose confidence. We stayed with the game plan."
The Terps scored four times in slightly more than three minutes, the last time on one of three goals by Chris Dail of Bel Air.
"We've got a lot of young kids who do things you don't expect, both positively and negatively," said Edell. "The fact that you're in that kind of hole and your competitiveness comes into play is a good sign."
Duke (2-1) still wouldn't go away, despite its off-target shooting in the second half. Maryland soared in front, 12-8, with 10:19 left on Mark Douglas' lone goal, but the Blue Devils closed to within two again before Burlace finally settled the outcome.
Douglas (Calvert Hall) handled the playmaking role well for the Terps, with five assists on a crisp, cool day.
"Andy winning the faceoffs was the big key as far as I'm concerned," Douglas said. "I think he's the best in the country right now. You've got to have the ball to score."
Edell said, "Our faceoff man was phenomenal."
Edell split the goaltending between junior Steve Kavovit and freshman Matt Back and received good outings from both.
"They're virtually equal," he said. "I don't think either one is jealous of the other, and one is better in the cage, the other likes to move out. It's unorthodox, but it worked."
Maryland will play all its home games at the soccer field while the stadium is being refurbished.
"When Carolina and Hopkins are here, they'll be hanging from the trees," said Edell. "But football produces revenue. We save a quarter-million dollars by fixing up the stadium. That buys a lot of lacrosse sticks."