Duke beats Navy, 14-9, for first time since '89

March 20, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

The date of March 19 had burned in Mike Pressler's mind since last fall. The Duke coach said he "circled it in red."

That was the day Duke would play Navy and, perhaps, avenge a couple of losses. One-goal defeats to Navy in 1991 and last year -- when the Midshipmen scored seven fourth-quarter goals to win by one -- had helped keep Duke out of two NCAA tournaments.

There was no fourth-period eruption by No. 7 Navy (3-2) yesterday. No. 9 Duke (5-1) took a 5-4 lead in the second quarter and built on it for a 14-9 victory. It was only the Blue Devils' fourth win in the 28-game series and first since 1989.

The game turned on midfield play. The deeper Blue Devils wanted to shackle Navy's scoring leader, midfielder Jamie Slough, and did a reasonable job. He scored two goals, one meaningless with 54 seconds remaining, to raise his total to 12.

"We figured we had the edge in the midfield," Pressler said. "We thought if we could do a good job on Slough, not let him go crazy and score five goals, we'd be OK. We did do a good job. We have more depth on the midfield and wore him down."

Slough made two of his 10 shots, and Navy made nine of its 58. Coach Bryan Matthews had a word for that: "Horrible."

"It was our worst shooting all year," Matthews said. "You're not going to beat a team as good as Duke with shooting like that. We had a lot of shots; there's no explanation why we didn't make more."

Spike Long, a junior out of Severn, led Navy with three goals. Scott Harrison and Ross Moscatelli had three apiece for Duke.

Navy scored two goals and took a 4-3 lead early in the second quarter while Duke was a man down for a three-minute illegal PTC stick penalty. Duke then quickly got two extra-man goals itself for a 5-4 edge and did not trail again.

"Our defense gave up a lot of goals it shouldn't have," Matthews said. "We didn't get production at either end. When you have two apparently even teams, the score should be closer than 14-9."

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