Panthers fall to No. 7 Blue Devils, 10-5

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• Senior Michael LeClair posted one goal and one assist to extend his scoring streak to 42 games – the third-longest active streak in the nation.
• Sophomore Tim Troutner Jr. posted a solid night in goal making 11 stops and grabbing one ground ball.
• Senior Sean Harrison and juniors Connor Robinson, Jason Ashwood and Chris Young all tallied their first goals of the year.

DURHAM, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 1-0 lead and trailed by one at the break, but couldn’t keep pace as Duke earned a 10-5 victory at Koskinen Stadium on Friday night.

The Panthers (0-1) took the lead as juniors T Moyer and Jason Ashwood hooked up for a first-quarter goal. However, the Blue Devils (1-1) answered with back-to-back goals to grab a 2-1 lead.

Junior Chris Young, then, evened the score at 2-all before Duke responded with a 2-0 spurt to go up 4-2 and take an advantage it wouldn’t relinquish. The Purple & White battled back in the second quarter to pull within one at the half, but were outscored 5-1 after halftime.

“When you play a team like Duke that is incredibly well coached and skilled, you need to minimize minute mistakes and play with solid fundamentals,” head coach Jon Torpey said. “Ultimately, we struggled with that in the second half and that was the game.”

Sophomore Tim Troutner Jr. produced a stout performance in the cage making 11 saves and grabbing one ground ball.

“Timmy played a solid game for us tonight,” Torpey said. “I’m just proud of his effort and the way he is coming along because we know we’re going to get a solid performance in the cage every time out.”

On the other end, seniors Michael LeClair and Sean Harrison both tallied a goal and an assist. LeClair’s points extended his scoring streak to 42 games, which is the third longest active streak in the nation.

Meanwhile, juniors Connor Robinson, Chris Young and Ashwood all netted their first goals of 2017. Likewise, Moyer added an assist in the contest to round out the point scoring.

Duke earned a 14-of-19 edge on face-offs and a 32-16 margin in ground balls in the game. That ball control advantage allowed the home team to attempt 40 shots compared to 26 by the Purple & White. Freshman Nick Walsh paced HPU with three ground balls while Young and freshman Jack Marshall were credited with two apiece.

Similarly, the Blue Devils converted two of their four EMOs on the night while the Panthers also scoring on 50 percent (1-2).

Defensively, junior Terrell Sands, sophomore Griff Caligiuri, Robinson and Young all forced one Duke turnover.

High Point opened the scoring as Moyer found Ashwood coming around the back of the crease to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the 12:47 mark. However, Duke responded with back-to-back goals to lead 2-1 with 8:13 to play in the first.

Young, then, won the ensuing face-off and stayed on the field to score and even the contest at 2-all (7:08, 1st). From there, the Blue Devils regained the lead posting consecutive goals in the final two minutes to take a 4-2 lead into the second frame.

Five minutes later, Harrison burned the Blue Devils with a rocket from 10 yards out to pull HPU within one. However, Duke answered at the 2:40 mark before LeClair bullied his way in front of the goal to make it 5-4 as the teams headed to the break.

After halftime, the Blue Devils took advantage of another EMO and then added a seventh goal with 5:24 on the clock to build a three-goal edge. HPU, then, earned its own EMO and converted as LeClair found Robinson cutting in front of the cage to make it 7-5 as the game went to the fourth.

From there, Duke notched three more goals while the HPU offense just missed on a handful of shots in the period as the Blue Devils closed out the 10-5 win.

High Point will be right back in action on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. with its home-opener at Vert Stadium against Georgetown.

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