Tag Archives: Brad Ross

Ross, Mayer Staying; Greer Still Undecided

Inside Lacrosse talked with Duke head coach John Danowski last week, and he told the lacrosse website that midfielder Brad Ross and defenseman Kevin Mayer will use their NCAA-granted fifth years of eligibility at Duke, while attackman Josh Covalevski will use his at Delaware and midfielder Bo Carrington will forego his extra year. Attackman Zack Greer, the most important player with the option of returning, is still undecided, Danowski said.

Ross played a critical role in Duke’s Final Four run this year, starting every game and finishing fourth on the team with 25 goals, trailing only Greer, Max Quinzani and Matt Danowski. His 33 points were fifth-most on the team. Mayer played in 12 games and Covalevski saw time in 14, posting seven points. Carrington scored five goals in 11 games, but suffered from a career-ending herniated disk that will keep him out of action next year.

Greer, a Tewaraaton Trophy finalist, did not declare for the MLL Draft and has either the option of returning for another year in Durham or attending graduate school at another institution. The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and the top goal scorer in the country this year would obviously affect Duke’s quest for its first national title next season.

“Zack’s a very private person,” Danowski told IL. “I think that we all assume because he hasn’t used his eligibility that he’s coming back. I assume he’s going to play somewhere but I don’t know where.”

We’ll continue to report this story from our end and let you know when we hear more about Greer.

by Ben Cohen


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Seniors Opt Not To Enter MLL Draft

None of the 11 Duke seniors with a potential fifth year of eligibility declared for the Major League Lacrosse Draft, an MLL official confirmed to The Chronicle Tuesday morning. The deadline to declare was Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The most intriguing of these players is Zack Greer, already the NCAA’s all-time leading goal scorer with the option of returning for another season. The fact that he did not declare for the draft likely means he is either staying at Duke for graduate school, or transferring to another program to play his fifth year. A Duke athletics official had no knowledge of Greer’s situation Tuesday.

Every senior, including Greer and starting midfielder Brad Ross, earned his undergraduate degree May 11, making graduate school the only form of possible Duke education.

Last year, five players returned for an extra season and led Duke to an 18-2 season that ended Saturday in the national semifinals. Some criticized the players for using the NCAA-sanctioned year, and head coach John Danowski went so far as to call them “vilified” Saturday. Four of the players will receive their Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, while one enrolled in the Fuqua School of Business.

Not surprisingly, fifth-year seniors Matt Danowski, Nick O’Hara, Dan Loftus and Tony McDevitt all filed the necessary paperwork to become eligible for the draft, which takes place Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in Hoboken, N.J.

–by Ben Cohen


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What Went Wrong?

It’s the morning after Duke’s shocking 10-9 loss to Johns Hopkins in the national semifinal, a defeat that the ESPN analysts were fond of calling one of the biggest upsets in lacrosse history. And, on paper, it certainly was–this was a Blue Devil squad that absolutely dismantled Hopkins 17-6 back on April 5. So what went wrong Saturday?

We’ll take a more in-depth look into it in the coming days–including a game story and analysis later today–but to start out week of coverage, here’s a look back at Matthew Iles’ blog post from Wednesday, when he wrote that the players knew this wasn’t the same Blue Jay team and explained Duke’s reason for success last time against Hopkins:

“John Danowski inverted his offense, placing Crotty, who usually initiates from in front of the net, behind the cage. With Danowski and Greer on the wings and their defenders reluctant to slide from them, it became like an isolation play for Crotty. A strong dodger from anywhere on the field, Crotty is particularly dangerous from behind the cage, able to beat his man, turn the corner and fling the ball past opposing goalies with incredible skill. It was no different against Johns Hopkins, as Crotty scored three unassisted goals in this manner before the first half was over. Thanks to Crotty’s success, the Blue Jays were forced to slide from Danowski and Greer more, which helped them register seven points each.”

On Saturday, Crotty didn’t score and, perhaps as a result, Danowski and Greer combined for just three goals, and Danowski’s two strikes came in the game’s closing minutes. The two stars’ performance was eerily similar to their games in last year’s national championship, when the usually prolific scorers were held to one combined goal.

After Duke’s win over Hopkins in April, Iles wrote about Duke’s vulnerability to playing six-on-six sets, a story that looks remarkably prescient now.

So now, one lingering question remains: who will be back next year? A group of seniors needs to decide whether to enroll in graduate school at Duke, as they all graduated two weeks ago. The two most critical Blue Devils with a looming decision are Greer, already the NCAA’s all-time leading goal scorer, and midfielder Brad Ross, who scored Saturday. The MLL Draft deadline is Tuesday at 9 a.m., and we’ll keep you updated with their decisions.

Be sure to keep checking the blog for progress on that, and more insight into Duke’s Final Four loss.

–by Ben Cohen

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Will Duke Seniors Declare For MLL Draft?

This is what Zack Greer’s schedule could look like by the end of the weekend:

  • If No. 1 Duke beats No. 5 Johns Hopkins in the NCAA tournament semifinal Saturday, the Blue Devils will play the winner of No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Syracuse Monday in Foxborough, Mass.
  • The deadline to declare for the Major League Lacrosse Draft is 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
  • The MLL Draft in Hoboken, N.J. is slated for Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

Greer is one of 12 Duke seniors that will have to decide whether they will use the fifth year of eligibility (at Due or elsewhere) granted to them by the NCAA last season in the wake of the 2006 suspended season. Other notable players with important decisions to make are midfielder Brad Ross, midfielder Bo Carrington and defenseman Ryan McFayden.

In other news, if you’re interested in applying for the 2008 MLL Draft, here’s the application. No references needed!

–by Ben Cohen

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FIRST HALF: No. 1 Duke vs. No. 3 Virginia

End of 2nd Quarter, Duke 7 Virginia 3. After corralling a loose ball in the offensive zone and Virginia’s defense out of formation, Steve Schoeffel zipped it across the face of the net to Brad Ross, but Petit made an impressive save on the overhand shot.

Duke’s just 30 minutes away from the 2008 ACC Tournament championship.

3:00, 2nd Quarter, Duke 7 Virginia 3. Cavaliers are trying to get back into the game. Garrett Billings lobbed it into Gavin Gill on a man-up opportunity, and Gill slipped it past Loftus from just outside the crease.

Virginia has done a great job of limiting Duke’s second-chance opportunities. On missed shots, the Cavaliers have beaten the Duke attackmen to the endline several times in their effort to quiet the Blue Devils’ prolific attack.

5:00, 2nd Quarter, Duke 7 Virginia 2. Virginia breaks out of its scoring drought with a score from Garrett Billings. Billings basically rolled it along the ground past Loftus after receiving the pass from former Blue Devil Peter Lamade.

Ned Crotty initiates from behind the cage, where he has been successful so often this season, turns the corner and fires it in for a 7-2 Duke lead. Surprisely, Matt Danowski has been a non-factor to this point

6:41, 2nd Quarter, Duke 6 Virginia 1. UVa goalie Bud Petit has made several mistakes in the clearing game, including a few long passes that resulted in easy turnovers. But he did have a Loftus-like save, stopping a Blue Devil shot from just outside the crease with his ankle.

But Loftus would not be outdone. A Cavalier shot from four yards out looked destined to bounce through Loftus’ legs, but the goalie somehow got his stick on it, stopping the ball dead in the dirt just a few inches short of the goal line. Quite simply, Loftus is playing out of his mind.

Ned Crotty scores Duke’s sixth straight goal of the game, ripping a shot to the top right corner of the cage.Both teams are getting solid shots off, but the difference in the game to this point is the play of Duke’s Dan Loftus.

10:17, 2nd Quarter, Duke 5 Virginia 1. Virginia’s Shamel Bratton dodges off the right goal-line extended, beating his man for a shot from just outside the crease. Somehow, though, Loftus makes the save with his left foot.

About 45 seconds later, Duke continues to take the wind out of the Cavaliers’ sails, as Zack Howell unleashes a shot over Petit’s left shoulder from nearly 15 yards away.

Despite being grossly outnumbered, the Duke faithful is making itself known here in Klockner Stadium.

End of 1st Quarter, Duke 4 Virginia 1. Matt Danowski initiates from behind the cage, first feigning a shot from the goal-line extended, then passing it to an open Zack Greer right in front of the net. Greer stuffed it home, giving Duke a 3-1 lead.

With 8.5 seconds left, Steve Schoeffel drew the defense in when he dodged for the net. After pulling back, he found Max Quinzani standing at the top edge of the crease, and the sophomore attackman spun and dropped it over Petit’s shoulder for the 4-1 first quarter advantage.

2:30 1st Quarter, Duke 2 Virginia 1. Duke has struggled clearing, giving Virginia multiple fast-break looks that have put tremendous pressure on Dan Loftus. But the senior goalie has played magnificently, making at least three stops on hard shots from about five yards out.

These two teams are so fast and so aggressive that the game has been largely played with the ball on the ground. Neither squad has established a rhythm.

6:20 1st Quarter, Duke 2 Virginia 1. Virginia looked impressive in its first offensive possession, as star attackman Ben Rubeor drew the attention of the defense as he ran all the way around the back of the net, then dumped it over a Duke defender to teammate Ryan Carrol for a point-blank shot past goalie Dan Loftus.

Duke equalized it with a garbage goal shortly thereafter, though. After goalie Bud Petit stopped a Blue Devil shot, the Cavaliers botched their clear attempt, as an errant pass ended up right in front of Duke’s Brad Ross with an empty net in front of him.

A few minutes later, Steve Schoeffel dodged and netted an unassisted goal on a bounce shot from six yards away. Despite the lead, Duke’s offense looks a bit out of sorts as multiple shots have missed wide.

–by Matthew Iles

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Filed under ACC Tournament, Live Blog, Men's Lacrosse