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Duke 19, Johns Hopkins 11

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Duke downs Johns Hopkins to reach lacrosse semifinals for eighth straight year

By Patrick Stevens
Correspondent

NEWARK, Del. Even after four seasons, making the final four never gets old for Duke’s Jordan Wolf.

The senior attackman scored five goals and had three assists as the top-seeded Blue Devils blasted Johns Hopkins 19-11 at Delaware Stadium on Sunday to reach the NCAA tournament semifinals for the eighth consecutive season.

Duke, which won last year’s national championship, will meet fifth-seeded Denver on Saturday in Baltimore. The Pioneers (16-2) defeated Drexel 15-6 in the second quarterfinal Sunday.

“There’s no guarantees,” Wolf said. “We lost a lot of guys last year. We’re not defending a title, we’re trying to win another one with this group of players.”

And this group, particularly on offense, looked sharp against Hopkins (11-5).

Myles Jones had three goals and four assists and Case Matheis added three goals and two assists for the Blue Devils (15-3), who scored the first six goals and never trailed against the Blue Jays (11-5).

Duke reached the 15-goal plateau for the 10th consecutive game and the 12th time this season.

“We’re never satisfied,” midfielder Christian Walsh said. “(With) 19 goals, coach always says when we look back at the film that we could have scored 23.”

The cost of the victory, though, appears to be the availability of senior attackman Josh Dionne, who scored on all four of his shots in the first half. Dionne was decked by Johns Hopkins midfielder Rob Guida just before halftime and returned to the sideline on crutches after the break.

Dionne, who has 49 goals and seven assists this season, wore a brace on his right knee after the game. Junior Kyle Keenan (two goals and an assist) took his place at attack the rest of the game.

“Maybe I just have to learn some different things and it’ll be like a little internship with coach this week … ,” Dionne said. “It’s one of those freak incidents. I wouldn’t change a thing. The way I look at it right now is I sacrificed my body for this team.”

The Blue Devils looked vulnerable for only an instant after Hopkins closed within 12-10 early in the third quarter. Duke yanked goalie Luke Aaron in favor of Kyle Turri, and Wolf scored back-to-back goals to end the period to create a cushion.

Turri saw only two shots on goal in the final 24 minutes, 16 seconds, and Duke dominated the fourth quarter en route to a lopsided victory.

“We knew they were going to make a run,” Duke coach John Danowski said. “The guys withstood the run and played with tremendous poise and maturity at the end of the year, which is something we haven’t always had this season.”

It wasn’t a perfect performance for Duke, particularly at the defensive end. Hopkins scored on 11 of its 15 shots on goal, and the Blue Devils figure to face an even stiffer test against Denver.

The Pioneers will have to contend with Duke’s efficient offense, a unit that swamped Hopkins’ solid defense.

“It’s tough when you play a team that makes so few mistakes and capitalizes on yours,” Hopkins long pole Michael Pellegrino said.

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