ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Ned Crotty had two goals and six assists
as third-seeded Duke held off North Carolina 12-11 in the
quarterfinals of the NCAA lacrosse tournament on Sunday.
Zach Howell scored three goals for the Blue Devils (15-3), who
advanced to the semifinals for the fourth time in the last five
years. The Blue Devils did not participate in the playoffs in 2006
after their season was cancelled due to rape allegations that were
eventually proven false.
Max Quinzani scored two goals and Mike Catalino had a goal and
an assist for Duke, which will face second-seeded Syracuse on
Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Eight players scored for the Blue
Devils in their ninth straight win.
Rob Schroeder made 11 saves to help Duke beat North Carolina for
the third time this season.
"Its something we've focused on all year. Nobody has to carry
the load. Everybody contributes, everyone is capable of making a
play," Duke coach John Danowski said.
Sean Delaney and Bart Wagner each scored three goals for the Tar
Heels, who have not reached the Final Four since 1993.
North Carolina's Billy Bitter entered the game as the nation's
leading scorer with 69 points but was held without a goal by Duke
defender Mike Manley.
"We think the world of Billy Bitter. If you look at the numbers
he's put over the last month of the season, you could make an
argument that he's the best offensive player in the country,"
Danowski said. "Mike Manley is a blue collar, unsung hero type of
player. We challenged Mike all week and he responded."
Crotty is now the nation's leading scorer with 76 points after
equaling a career high with eight.
"To get assists, guys have to get open and they have to catch
the ball and shoot it in the goal," Danowski said. "I'm certainly
glad Ned is on our team."
Defenseman Tom Montelli scored a rare long-stick goal following
a faceoff to give Duke a seemingly comfortable 12-8 lead with 11:31
left in the fourth quarter. However, Carolina scored consecutive
extra-man goals just over a minute apart to get right back in it.
Wagner then slipped inside his defender and beat Schroeder 1-on-1
to cut the deficit to 12-11 with 6:10 to go.
North Carolina had two possessions in the final 6 minutes,
committing a turnover without taking a shot on the first and then
having Delaney's shot from 18 yards out sail high of the goal as