Deemer Class (Loyola) had a career-high three goals, and Luke Aaron came off the bench to record nine saves over the final three periods as No. 1 Duke beat No. 4 Denver, 14-10, Saturday.
The host Blue Devils improved to 2-0 and the Pioneers fell to 1-1.
"I think after the first few saves [I started getting comfortable]," Aaron said. "The team really rallied behind me, and I felt at ease. The defensemen let me see the shots and they supported me. It was a big team effort today."
"Watching [Denver] on film, offensively, they just scared the heck out of us," Duke coach John Danowski said. "They're extremely talented, extremely patient, and they play a style that's unlike anybody plays. So I was very proud of our guys and the way they hustled all day. It was a very good win for us over a very talented team."
Aaron took the reins in the Duke net to open the second period and allowed just three goals over the next 36-plus minutes as Duke pushed a 5-4 lead to a 14-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter. His previous career-best effort was a seven-save outing against Mercer on Feb. 17, 2013.
"Luke had been playing terrific in practice and we just felt that it was time to see if we could create a spark," Danowski said. "I think when Luke made that first save, I think that the guys got really excited and it helped the team."
Led by Class, Duke received nine goals from its first and second midfield lines while faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler and long-stick midfielder Luke Duprey added one goal apiece. After sitting out last week's season opener, sophomore attackman Case Matheis posted two goals and two assists.
"They locked the bases so the attackmen were always covered," Class said. "So we have to throw it back to the middie and the middie has to make a move or one more [pass] to the other middie. So it was guys being unselfish and moving it one more as the keys to our success."
The game between two top-five squads included a high-scoring opening period as Duke secured a 5-4 advantage after 15 minutes, thanks to two goals and one assist from Matheis. After Denver tied the game less than two minutes into the second quarter on Jeremy Noble's goal, Duke outscored the Pioneers by a 3-1 margin to close the half for an 8-6 lead at intermission.
The Pioneers pulled within one goal at 8-7 early in the third period, but Duke used a 6-0 run over the next 17 minutes, capped by Class's third score of the afternoon, for a 14-7 advantage with 9:03 left in the fourth quarter. Denver ended its scoring drought of 19:41 at the 8:05 mark of the fourth quarter and scored the game's last three goals to account for the final margin.
No. 17 Fairfield 18, Delaware 8: The visiting Stags offense was too much for the Blue Hens (1-2).
Fairfield (1-0), which will join Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association next season, got five goals apiece from Eric Warden and Tristan Sperry, and two goals each from three other players.
Delaware lost its second straight game despite getting two goals each from Dan Keane and Paul Major and a dominating effort on faceoffs from Tyler Barbarich, who won 15 of 22 draws. Barbarich also added an assist while Major's goals were the first of his career.
No. 1 North Carolina 18, Boston University 8: Mallory Collins had four goals in a losing effort for the Terriers (0-1). The host Tar Heels improved to 2-0. They beat No. 4 Florida, 20-8, on Feb. 8.
No. 4 Florida 18, High Point 7: Shannon Gilroy set three school records to power the host Gators (2-1) past the Panthers (1-1).
She won 10 draw controls and scored eight goals off 13 shots, all single-game records at Florida.
Florida took a 14-2 lead at halftime. Alec Perry scored twice for High Point.
No. 9 Georgetown 19, Delaware 11: A pair of McDonogh grads led the way as Corinne Etchison and Hannah Franklin each scored four goals to power the host Hoyas (1-0) past the Blue Hens (0-1).
Georgetown scored six of the first seven goals and led 13-8 at halftime.
No. 17 Boston College 15, No. 11 Notre Dame 10: Mikaela Rix set career highs with six goals and an assist to lead the Eagles (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) past the Fighting Irish (1-1, 0-1).
Sarah Mannelly had four goals in the season debut while classmate Caroline Margolis had two goals. Moira Barry, Brooke Blue, and Covie Stanwick (Notre Dame Prep) each scored a goal for the Eagles.
Caitlin Gargan led Notre Dame with four goals.
No. 13 Massachusetts 7, Connecticut 5: The visiting Minutewomen (2-0) led 5-1 at halftime but the Huskies (0-1) controlled much of the second half, pulling within a goal at 6-5 with just under 13 minutes left. UMass' Ellie Bullitt scored the insurance goal on a free position with 8:29 left.
No. 14 Stony Brook 18, Bucknell 1: Courtney Murphy scored seven goals to lead the host Seawolves (1-0) past the Bison (0-1).
Sophie Kleinert had the lone goal for Bucknell.
No. 20 Stanford 11, Ohio State 9: Rachel Ozer had four goals and the host Cardinals (1-0) held off a late push by the Buckeyes (2-1).
Kaila Gottlick scored on a free position to pull Ohio State within two with 2:44 left.
Because of inclement weather, four top 20 games were moved to today: the Holy Cross men at No. 9 St. John's, the season opener for both teams, at 1 p.m.; the No. 16 Bucknell men (1-0) at Bryant (0-1) at 2 p.m.; the No. 19 Villanova men, in their season opener, at Lehigh (2-0) at 2 p.m.; and the No.6 Duke women (2-0) at William & Mary at 1 p.m.
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