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College Crosse Roundup: Duke edges North Carolina; Bryant upsets Robert Morris

Two games that could mean more come May.

David Welch/Duke Athletics

North Carolina played very well in their loss to Duke, but despite the effort, they’re still playing with fire as they enter Virginia next week at 6-5. Bryant got a huge NEC conference victory over Robert Morris, and maybe the Colonials might not have the NEC firmly in their hands?

Below is today’s Big Board with all of today’s results, box scores, and winning team recaps. Clicking on any box score will take you to that game’s box score. Clicking on the recap cell will take you to that team’s recap.

College Crosse Scoreboard For March 30, 2018

Time Box Score Game Recap Next Game
Time Box Score Game Recap Next Game
5:00 PM Duke 11, North Carolina 10 Duke Recap Duke (9-2): @ Notre Dame (4/7); North Carolina (6-5): vs. Virginia (4/7)
7:00 PM Bryant 10, Robert Morris 7 Bryant Recap Bryant (5-5): vs. Wagner (4/7); Robert Morris (6-3): @ Hobart (4/7)

Game Recaps

  • Duke 11, North Carolina 10 - The Tar Heels came out of the gate early and strong, leading Duke 4-1 with 11:40 left in the second quarter. But the Blue Devils would storm back to tie the game up at four, including Justin Guterding’s third goal of the game that helped him break through the 300-point barrier. Tied at five, North Carolina found ways to try and pull away with two-goal spurts, but Duke always found an answer, including a four-goal run that gave them a two-goal lead, which eventually gave them the win.

Guterding finished with four goals and three assists and finished tied for second with Jordan Wolf in all-time points at Duke with 304. Brad Smith also scored four goals and recorded two assists. Defensive midfielder Sean Cerrone caused three turnovers and goaltender Danny Fowler made nine saves.

For the Heels, Chris Cloutier and Timmy Kelly each recorded three goals, but the difference between the two is that Cloutier had an assist and also scored a goal with one hand:

For the fifth straight game, Tanner Cook failed to record a point. That’s also not a good streak to have.

Despite returning Charles Kelly, North Carolina only went a combined 7-of-24 on face-offs, with Kelly going 2-of-10. Starting defenseman Jack Rowlett went 5-of-12 and took the most draws for UNC. Alex Bassil stopped nine shots in a losing effort.

The Heels played very strong in their defeat, probably the best they’ve been since the Johns Hopkins win. But they could not afford another loss. They have three games left in the regular season, all against ACC opponents. Next week’s home game against Virginia will be the most impactful for both teams in April, with the obvious exception of Syracuse-Cornell. A win would probably put UNC in the ACC Tournament (and keep Virginia’s ACC winless streak alive, currently at 1,490 days), but a loss would require an unbelievable amount of effort to try and get into the ACC Tournament. Duke is at Notre Dame in South Bend.

  • Bryant 10, Robert Morris 7 - Looks like maybe Robert Morris was fool’s gold? The Colonials’ run and gun style worked early, but only scored two goals in the final 34:47 of the game compared to Bryant’s seven. Jake Buonaiuto and Kyle Cornell managed to score twice in the victory, while Marc O’Rourke and Cam Ziegler each added a goal and a pair of assists. Kenny Massa took care of duties at the face-off X, going 14-of-21 with 11 ground balls, and goalie Kevin Beimfohr stopped eight shots.

For the Colonials, Adrian Torok-Orban notched a hat-trick, and Matt Schmidt tallied a pair of goals. Alex Heger made 12 saves in a losing effort.

This game could matter for NEC hosting privileges. The Bulldogs now have the tiebreaker over Bobby Mo in terms of the head-to-head matchup. This was a textbook game for Mike Pressler’s defense, and maybe the Colonials don’t have the NEC in the bag just yet. Another big winner could be the CAA, whose conference champion now might not need to be in the play-in game for the NCAA Tournament.

Three Stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️: Jake Buonaiuto, A, Bryant - The redshirt-sophomore attackman assisted on the goal that gave Bryant the lead for the remainder of the game and scored the tally that would be the eventual game-winner in a big NEC win for the Bulldogs.

⭐️⭐️: Brad Smith, M, Duke - One of two Blue Devils to record four goals, the junior showed signs that he can be an elite midfielder. The Duke attack gets plenty of love, but Smith and Peter Conley up top is also a duo to look out for.

: Justin Guterding, A, Duke - The senior got his 200th point in the team’s win over BU last May. Since then, he’s played in 13 games and scored over 100 points. He’s not even done his final year and already has 66 points. With Connor Fields hurt at Albany for who knows how long, is this what Guterding needs in order to break away from the pack for the Tewaaraton race?