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Syracuse Lacrosse: Previewing the Duke Blue Devils

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Duke comes into Saturday with a loaded offense. The Orange are suffering from back-to-back losses and looking to solidify a spot in the ACC Tournament.

2014 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Opponent

School: Duke

Mascot: Blue Devils

Coach: John Danowski

Location: Durham, NC

Conference: ACC

Game Location: Koskinen Stadium

Game Time: 1:30 PM

Television/Radio: ESPNU, it’s about time, TK99/105

All-Time Syracuse Record Vs. Opponent: 11-6

Previous Matchup: 12-11 (OT) Syracuse Win (2017 Regular Season)

Opponent Ranking: #3

Quick Facts

2018 Record: 8-1

2018 Conference Record: 0-0

2017 Conference Postseason Results: ACC Champions

2017 NCAA Tournament Postseason Results: Lost in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

2018 Team Statistics

Total Goals– Shot Attempts: 125-328

Total Opponent Goals– Shot Attempts: 64-248

EMO Goals (Percentage): 10 (.588)

EMO Goals Against (Opp. Percentage): 6 (.231)

Team Shooting Percentage: .381

Opponent Shooting Percentage: .258

Shots on Goal Percentage: .683

Opponent Shots on Goal Percentage: .601

Groundballs: 268

Opponent Groundballs: 234

Turnovers: 101

Caused Turnovers: 88

Faceoffs: 95/218 (.436)

Clearing Percentage: .901

Opponent Clearing Percentage: .816

Penalties: 21:00 PIM

The Duke Blue Devils will be hosting the Syracuse Orange this weekend for a Saturday matchup. The Blue Devils are coming off of a week in which it played a Saturday game at Towson and then a Sunday game at Cleveland State. That’s right, two games in two non-home cities in two days. Saturday will be Duke’s fourth straight away game and most impressively, no matter who was on the schedule, the Dukies have won each of those three.

And no, it is not lost on me that Syracuse will play Duke in basketball in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday. Let’s be clear, if the Orange lose that game I will be salty as hell on the Saturday so let’s get that done.

Duke is 8-1 coming into Saturday, the one loss against the Penn Quakers in a 10-9 contest. This is a powerful offensive team but solid at both ends of the field. Given how Syracuse has played recently this will take a heck of an effort if the Orange want to come out with a win.

· Duke is 11th in the nation in turnovers, Syracuse is 31st. Turnovers have been a huge problem, especially against Rutgers when SU coughed the ball up 22 times.

· Faceoffs have been a problem for Duke this year, even more so than they have been for Syracuse. This could open an opportunity for the Orange.

· SU has eight man up goals in 18 opportunities while Duke is one of the best man down teams in the country. The Orange will have to take advantage when it has extra man opportunities.

ATTACK

Justin Guterding is the number one offensive threat on this team. He is the fastest Blue Devil to ever reach 100 career points. He has 56 points in 2018 through nine games, which puts him on pace to beat his 2017 tally of 97 points through 18 games, assuming the Duke Blue Devils play that many games. His stats are off of the charts and he is top ten in goals per game, assists per game, and points per game in the nation. Guterding is complimented by Joe Robertson who is second on this squad in goals and points. Sean Lowrie is the third attackman with eight goals and an assist on the season.

MIDFIELD

Last season USILA named Brad Smith to the All-America third team. Currently he is nearing his 2017 numbers with 14 goals and 12 assists. The number six recruit in the 2016 incoming class, Joey Manown, had a huge freshman year but is far behind his 2017 numbers with just five goals and six assists. Manown burned Syracuse for three goals last year. Peter Conley had 27 goals and 18 assists last season as a Georgetown Hoya and a first team All-Big East selection before transferring to Duke this offseason for a graduate year. Currently he is leading all midfielders with 18 goals and has 5 assists to boot.

FACEOFF

Duke uses two faceoff guys. Joe Stein has a .548 faceoff winning percentage. Bryan Smyth follows him up with a .405 winning percentage. All together, Duke is a sub-.500 team with a .436 winning percentage record. Syracuse is dead even at .500 right now, not great, but it could be enough for the Orange to make this a more even game.

DEFENSE

Kevin McDonough is the only senior starting on this defensive unit but Duke is ranked third in the nation in caused turnovers per game and thirteenth in man down defense.

Cade Van Raaphorst is a native of Phoenix. He was named a third team All-American last season and has 21 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers this season. The third defenseman is sophomore JT Giles-Harris.

GOAL

Danny Fowler is playing in his graduate year right now. He’s got 55 starts over the last four years but statistically he is having the best year of his collegiate career with a .585 save percentage good enough for fifth in the nation and a 7.10 goals against average which lands him third in the country.

The Syracuse Orange travel to Durham, NC to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday at 1:30 PM. The game can be seen on ESPNU and heard on TK99/105. Of course you can also follow me @Orangelax.