Duke stops Maryland for 1st tourney win

May 15, 1994|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Writer

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke's lacrosse program has arrived. The school's basketball players are now attending the games. Hey, isn't that Jeff Capel and Rasheed Wallace? Whoa, is that Cherokee Parks sporting the bleach blond look or Dennis Rodman incognito?

Lacrosse games still draw crowds of only 500 here, but in four years under coach Mike Pressler, Duke is a championship contender, and it's great to be associated with the lacrosse team.

The No. 8 Blue Devils reached another milestone yesterday as they held off a late rally to defeat No. 9 Maryland, 14-9, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I tournament.

Duke (10-5) will travel to No. 1 Syracuse (11-1) next week for a quarterfinal game.

"I don't ever remember [basketball players] coming to games before," said Joe Proud, a Duke senior defenseman, smiling.

Pressler talked about bigger things.

"Today, we reached another milestone," he said. "It was the first time we ever hosted a postseason game, and the first time we ever won one. I think we're starting to get our ownreputation."

Pressler came to Duke with the idea of leading the Blue Devils to the big time. Duke has had some great years since the program began in 1938, but the Blue Devils were never consistent winners, and most of the wins were at the expense of Division III schools.

Pressler started bringing in players like attackman Scott Harrison and midfielders Scott Harrison and Matt Ogelsby, who came up big for the Blue Devils yesterday. He started adding teams like Brown, Navy, Hobart and Princeton to the schedule.

"When we first came here we would just be satisfied playing teams like Maryland close until the fourth period," Harrison said. "Now we believe we can beat anybody in lacrosse."

It was evident yesterday.

Duke was leading 9-5 at the end of the third period when Maryland (7-6) made a run to open the fourth quarter.

Attackman Pete Hilgartner scored a freak goal to the left of the crease with barely two minutes elapsed. Middie Kip Fulks scored on a low shot 52 seconds later.

After Duke's Ken Fasanaro scored with 11:41 left in the game, Maryland midfielder Greg Nelin scored two straight goals to bring the Terps within 10-9 with 7:57 remaining.

"In the past, we would have folded right there," said Pressler. "But I didn't see anyone panic. I didn't see any fear in anyone's eyes."

Instead, the Blue Devils took control of the game. Jim Gonnella, off a loose ball, fed Harrison at the crease for a goal with 6:48 left.

Ross Moscatelli then scored on two runners within 42 seconds to push Duke's lead to 13-9 with 4:22 left. Attackman James Heavey finished the game's scoring 34 seconds later.

"You just see it happen so often in sports," said Maryland coach Dick Edell, who got 15 saves from Brian Dougherty even though the goalie played with 25 stitches in his right calf. "You just expend so much energy trying to catch up. When we got within 10-9 our bench was ecstatic. Our fans were enthusiastic. But then we win the faceoff, come down and miss an opportunity to score, and it just took a lot out of us. It's tough to play catch-up."

Maryland fell behind because it played poorly in the first half. It had trouble substituting. Mistakes on clears, or dropped balls, .. were turned into four Duke goals in the first two periods as Duke led 6-3 at the half.

And, oh, the penalties. Maryland had 13 for 10 minutes.

"We just never found our rhythm," said Robert Chomo, Maryland's junior attackman, who had only one goal. "We spent too much time playing defense, and Duke is a very explosive offensive team."

Actually, Maryland started off well, but it was Ogelsby who scored off a fast break with 6:39 left in the first quarter to put Duke ahead 3-2 at the end of the period.

Duke, paced by two goals from Fasanaro, dominated the second quarter and led 6-3 at the half.

"We just decided before this game that it was ours to win," saiFasanaro, "and we were going to take it."

The Blue Devils will ride the momentum into Syracuse to face the defending champions. But Duke has no fear of Syracuse either.

RF "They got holes to patch just like everybody else," said Pressler.

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