Halftime, Duke 7 Virginia 3. Both teams forced each other to play out of their element. There have been plenty of big hits, with lacrosse sticks flying in the air and bodies crashing to the ground often. Dan Loftus has outplayed Bud Petit in between the pipes, and that’s been a major difference in the game so far. Although they have not been able to do so frequently, the Blue Devils have succeeded the most when they got into their offensive set and just relaxed. If Duke can get Matt Danowski, Zack Greer and Max Quinzani to contribute like they have all season (they have combined for just two goals and an assist), then it should have no trouble putting away Virginia. But to this point, both players have been relatively quiet.
The Cavaliers are dominating on face-offs, securing 9 of the 12 draws this half. The Blue Devils have also struggled slightly clearing the ball, finishing 9-for-14.
Again, though, as long as Loftus keeps performing as well as he did this half, Duke has a good chance to win this title game. The senior stopped 75 percent of Virginia’s shots on goal, several from point-blank range.
–by Matthew Iles