Saturday Wrap: Joe Robertson Scores 4 Goals in First Game in 630 Days


Joe Robertson, who hadn't played a game in 630 days, scored four goals to lead Duke to a blowout win over Mercer.

Joe Robertson’s last lacrosse game in a Duke uniform was 630 days ago. On May 18, 2019, he scored the game-winner against Notre Dame to punch the Blue Devils’ ticket to the final four. 

This afternoon, he picked up right where he left off. The senior captain from Salem (Va.), who missed all of last season with an ACL tear and entered today’s game with 119 career points, tallied a hat trick in the first quarter. He finished the game with four goals (on five shots) and added an assist to help propel Duke to a 17-8 win over Mercer (1-2). 

“We know what Joe can do,” Duke assistant Matt Danowski said during the fall. “He had almost 100 goals in two years. He understands exactly how we play and will be a great leader for us.”

A week after falling behind early in consecutive games, No. 1 Duke got off to a hot start. The near-freezing temperatures in Durham today did not faze the Blue Devils, though the cold compelled the Duke coaching staff to purchase space heaters in advance for both teams’ sidelines.

Dyson Williams scored off a Nakeie Montgomery (three assists) assist less than a minute after the opening faceoff. Despite 21 turnovers amid the sloppy conditions, the Blue Devils never looked back. They led 8-1 at the end of the first quarter and 13-3 at the half. Eight players scored in the first half. 

After Robertson, it was Michael Sowers who shined. He finished the game with four goals and two assists. Williams registered a hat trick. Robertson’s return to the starting lineup at attack also shifted highly touted freshman Brennan O’Neill to the midfield. He scored one goal and added an assist. 

With the win, Duke moves to 3-0 and will travel to play Towson next Saturday. Mercer will look to rebound against Jacksonville. 

St. John’s Prevails Despite Tierney’s Big Day

Ryan Tierney almost made history, but St. John’s spoiled Hofstra’s fun Saturday afternoon.

The Pride’s star attackman set a Hofstra record and broke his career-high with eight goals and finished one point shy of the program’s all-time record of 12. His goal with 15.7 seconds left sent the game to overtime, where Mike Madsen fired home the game-winner from long distance to give the Red Storm the 19-18 win in the game of the day.

Alex Concannon and Tierney combined for five goals in the first half, and Sam Lufti scored a buzzer-beater, helping Hofstra take an 8-7 lead at the break. St. John’s led by two goals early, but a three-goal run helped the Pride regain their lead.

The Red Storm got hot in the third quarter, pouring in five straight goals from five different scorers to take a 13-9 lead with 5:17 left in the quarter. Joe Madsen, Mike’s brother, had a goal and an assist in the run.

Tierney and Justin Lynskey combined to help Hofstra score five of the next six goals, pulling their team to a 14-14 tie with just over 11 minutes remaining. No team led by more than a goal through the remainder of the game.

Down 17-16, Tierney scored with 1:53 left to assure a wild finish. Ryan Schaeffer scored what looked like the game-winner for St. John’s with 32 seconds remaining, but Tierney added his eighth with 16 seconds left on a slick dodge and close finish.

Madsen’s winner came with 2:41 left in the first overtime period.

Kevin Rogers Dazzles in High Point Debut

One year ago today, Kevin Rogers was busy preparing for a big matchup for his Lynchburg team against Franklin & Marshall — a game in which he dropped five goals and two assists.

A canceled season and a transfer for High Point later, Rogers made his Division I lacrosse debut on Saturday against Robert Morris. The result was a four-goal game, leading the Panthers to a 21-15 season-opening victory.

Rogers fit right in with the High Point offense, scoring the first goal of the season for the Panthers. He was one of seven scorers in a first quarter that gave the home team a four-goal lead. Asher Nolting scored twice and added an assist in the second quarter to push the lead to 12-8 at the half.

A five-goal, third-quarter run from High Point helped it take an 18-9 lead, too large for a Robert Morris comeback. 

Ryan Smith and Jimmy Perkins both had four goals to lead the Robert Morris effort. Nolting led the way with four goals and three assists for High Point.

Chris Gray on Display

Chris Gray took over the lacrosse limelight during the dinner time hour Saturday night, wowing fans with no-look assists and delivering a backhanded shovel shot that is still making its rounds on social media.

In total, Gray tallied four goals and three assists to help North Carolina cruise to an 18-7 victory over a Jacksonville team that provided a t3est in the first half. The Tar Heels outscored the Dolphins by seven goals in the second half, showcasing the same offensive firepower that they did last weekend against Denver.

Gray scored three goals in the first half, which saw North Carolina score six of seven goals at through the middle of the second quarter. The Tar Heels took a 9-5 lead into halftime.

William Perry took over in the final 30 minutes, scoring three times to help North Carolina extend its lead. Contributors like Lance Tillman and Nicky Solomon also featured in the Tar Heels' offense.

Jack Dolan adn Evan Tyler each had three points to lead Jacksonville.

Pallonetti’s Six Goals Fuel Stony Brook Blowout

After not seeing any game action while at the University of Maryland last spring, Dylan Pallonetti’s college debut couldn’t have gone better. The Ward Melville grad who won two state championships with the Patriots, where he was a four-year letter winner and the program’s fifth all-time leading scorer, continued his winning ways back home at Stony Brook. 

The redshirt-freshman attackman scored six goals and added an assist in a 20-8 win over Sacred Heart at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. 

"Our goal is to get the best players on Long Island and in the country to become Seawolves," Stony Brook head coach Anthony Gilardi said after Pallonetti’s transfer was announced last May. "By adding Dylan, we are doing just that." 

The team’s other notable addition, grad transfer Matt DeMeo (three goals), joined the Seawolves in the fall after setting career marks in goals and points at Maritime. 

Senior attackman Cory VanGinhoven also tallied three goals and added three assists.

Denver Bounces Back

Denver traveled the shortest distance for a game all season when it visited Air Force on Saturday at Holiday Athletic Center. Ethan Walker made sure he brought his top game with him.

Walker, the dynamic Canadian attackman, dropped five goals to lead the Pioneers to a 15-6 victory over their in-state rivals to cap the day's action. 

With the game tied 2-2 early, Walker and Jackson Morrill each had two goals to lead an eight-goal run into the third quarter that gave Denver breathing room throughout the second half. Sophomore Alec Stathakis won 17 of 21 faceoffs for the Pioneers.

Towson Picks Up Win No. 1

Andrew Milani scored with 2:36 remaining in overtime to lift Towson to an 8-7 over Saint Joseph’s at Johnny Unitas Stadium. It was the Tigers’ first win since the CAA championship game on May 4, 2019. That was 651 days ago.

The Tigers used a four goal run, which featured three goals by fifth-year attackman Brody McLean, to take a 6-2 lead early in the third quarter. The Hawks, however, responded with a three goal run of their own to pull within one.

After the teams traded goals, St. Joe's junior midfielder Austin Strazzulla scored his second goal of the afternoon to tie the score at 7-7 with 1:32 left in the fourth quarter.

Bryan Outlasts Providence

Jake Buonaiuto and Kevin Groeninger each scored twice to lead Bryant to the 9-8 win over Providence in the opener for both teams.

Five scorers got on the board for Bryant in the first half, including Austin Kent, who gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead with 7:15 left in the second quarter, which they held into halftime.

Matt Grillo, John Hoffman and Bennett Abladian scored in the third quarter to pull Providence into a 7-7 tie entering the final period. Buonaituo and Groeninger each scored to kick off the fourth quarter, providing enough insurance for Bryant to hold off Providence. 

Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Top 20

No. 1 Duke 17, Mercer 8
No. 6 North Carolina 18, Jacksonville 7
No. 9 Denver 15, Air Force 6

Other Scores

Bryant 9, Providence 8
High Point 21, Robert Morris 15
St. John’s 19, Hofstra 18 (OT)
Stony Brook 20, Sacred Heart 8
Towson 8, Saint Joseph’s 7 (OT)

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