Hey guys, anyone else watch the Duke v. Jacksonville game? I was there at Koskinen stadium yesterday and I have to say I wasn't surprised how either team played whatsoever. In the beginning of the season, Duke tends to falter at the beginning of a lot of games before they get their confidence. From the very start it was a physical game, Duke was clearly unhappy by not winning the first face off and they pounded whoever, I don't remember who, carried the ball off the GB, not allowing him for a while to make a pass. Even though they were the national champions last year it was still the case for the first quarter for Duke, having not answered Jacksonville's 3 consecutive goals it was a bit disappointing. Sitting right behind the team you could tell people were pissed, especially Brendan Fowler, those sophomores from JU were a lot better than I expected.
But once Duke got its first goal, things went back on track, they continued to score until they passed JU at 4-3 and then you knew they had it. Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne destroyed at that point, earning several points each. Miles Jones had a couple shots and finally got one in during the first half I believe, even Fowler had a shot which was nice to see him testing his boundaries.
Not to disparage Kyle Turri, but I feel that it was the defensive side Duke struggled the most, primarily in the cage. Turri only had two saves the whole game and Peter DeLuca played amazingly having I believe almost 20 saves. But it wasn't entirely Turri's fault, Duke's defense as a whole was not playing to the best of its ability the first half. They looked fairly disorganized and didn't use the space of the field too well, once or twice they screened some shots and I think it hurt Turri's confidence a little. Luke Deprey hurt the Devil's a little bit having a couple slashes.
But the second half was a different ball game, Duke gave up a few goals, Jacksonville's attack deserves a lot of credit, they generated a majority of the shots either taking them themselves or drawing the double. Overall though, Duke came out swinging and didn't look back ending the game at 16-10, coming back from a scoreless first quarter. I was happy it wasn't a blowout as a lot of people expected, and even though I'm a Duke fan, I'm excited to see where Jacksonville goes this year. Their consistent improvement is not to be trifled with and I think they can improve on an already fairly impressive record last year for such a relatively new team. Duke showed its colors though and proved itself to be just as good as last year, I don't know what happened in the first half, but I saw a championship team in the second half, despite their losses such as Jake Tripucka. Duke showed its attack is possibly unrivaled in the entire country, though with many close contenders.