Duke storms into lacrosse final four

Updated: May 23, 2012, 10:56 AM ET
Associated Press

CHESTER, Pa. -- Duke needed a quarter to settle in against Colgate. Once the Blue Devils did, they were too much for the Raiders to handle.

Robert Rotanz scored a career-best five goals, leading Duke to 17-6 victory against Colgate on Sunday in the NCAA men's lacrosse quarterfinals.

Duke (15-4), seeded No. 3, advances to the semifinals to play Atlantic Coast Conference rival Maryland on Saturday in Baltimore in a rematch of last year's semis.

Colgate (14-4) held a 4-2 lead in the first quarter, before Duke replied with 13 straight goals to take control of the game. Colgate, which received an at-large bid to the tournament, never got within 10 goals again.

"In the beginning of the game, you're going to hyperventilate, and everything is moving really fast, and we wanted to slow down and take a deep breath and let's go back and play," Duke coach John Danowski said about the message to his team during the timeout. "There was no yelling and screaming, but I didn't think it would have that outcome for sure."

Christian Walsh scored three for Duke, which got two goals each from Jake Tripucka and David Lawson.

Duke has outscored its opponents in the second and third quarters this season by a combined 133-80 this season.

"We're aware statistically of the second and third quarters, and I'm not sure what it is," Danowski said. "In the beginning of games, sometimes you'll see mistakes made and that happens in every athletic contest. But our guys seem to gain some insight into what we're trying to accomplish and what our opponent is trying to accomplish. Those second and third quarters have been good to us."

Ryan Walsh scored three times for Colgate.

"We knew going in they scored a lot of goals in the second and third quarter, and they did it again to us," Colgate coach Mike Murphy said. "They were fantastic and there's a reason why they're the ACC champs."

Colgate had never won a tournament before this season. It was Duke's 13th NCAA quarterfinal appearance and the disparity between the programs surfaced quickly after the first quarter.

The six goals tied a season low for Colgate, which possessed one of the nation's more explosive offensives, while Duke's 17-goal output was the Blue Devils' second-highest total this season.

Colgate attack Peter Baum, the nation's leading scorer with 66 goals, had one against Duke.

"We started fast and in the second quarter, we didn't get the ball a lot, had a few turnovers, and the wheels kind of fell off after that," Baum said.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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