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Dukes triumph over Scarlet Knights, advance to Final Four

Editor’s Note: Welcome Peter Cagno to the special group of people who contribute great content to the LAS Community. Peter was competing at Rutgers this weekend for the 2014 NCLL Championships so he decided to tell us all about it!

The lacrosse gods sure were messing with the Dukes early on this past Saturday afternoon in the first of the pair of games they would play that day. The first game was against the home team and host of NCLL Championship weekend; the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University.

The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a two-goal lead early in the first quarter; once on a sloppy clear by the Dukes, but senior Ryan Luria would ignite the comeback for the Dukes with a rip from 5-and-5. Subsequent goals were scored by senior attackman Rob Spelman, and junior midfielder Jordan Jurgaitis to give the Dukes a 3-2 advantage midway through the first period.

The faceoff battle at midfield proved to be crucial as the Scarlet Knights controlled the ball for much of the quarter. That was until freshman long-pole midfielder Zack McCann stepped up to the X to matchup against Rutgers’ LSM. McCann was able to either back-check the opposing FOGO to knock the ball free, or box him out until a Dukes wing midfielder could charge in for the loose ball.

A man-up opportunity for the Scarlet Knights and capitalizing in transition gave them the go-ahead, leading the Dukes 4-3 at the conclusion of the first quarter.
The Dukes outscored the Scarlet Knights 3-2 in the second quarter, leading 7-6 at halftime. Dukes goals were scored by: Justin Little, Patrick Devlin, Kyle Miller, and Josh Colaw.

The third quarter can be characterized in one word and one word only; domination. McCann continued to subdue the Scarlet Knights’ LSM and the defensive unit, lead by sophomore net-minder Patrick Farrell was faultless, as they allowed zero Rutgers goals on 6 shots in the quarter. The Dukes finally started to get the ball rolling (no pun intended) as Little, Devlin, Luria, and Jurgaitis all net their second goals of the contest. The Dukes gained control of the game and never looked back as they lead the Scarlet Knights 11-6 going into the last quarter.

The Dukes once again outscored the Scarlet Knights 3-2 with two goals, one of them an empty-netter, from sophomore attackman Will Thompson and Jordan Jurgaitis recording his third of the afternoon, completing the “hat-trick”.

The final score of the contest was James Madison 14 Rutgers 8.

Luckily the Scarlet Knights didn’t have to travel far after being eliminated from the tournament they were hosting.

The Dukes were set to matchup against the Navy Midshipmen later that day under the lights in what proved to be their toughest game of the year.