- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

DURHAM, N,C. — No. 3 Virginia might have played its most efficient offensive game in more than a month in yesterday’s ACC tournament final.

Trouble was, No. 2 Duke was even smoother.

Zack Greer had three goals and three assists and tournament MVP Matt Danowski scored three goals as the opportunistic Blue Devils earned a 12-9 victory and their first ACC tournament title since 2002 before 6,517 at Koskinen Stadium.

Ben Rubeor and Garrett Billings both scored three goals for the Cavaliers (12-3), who lost for the second time in 15 days to Duke and will wait for Sunday’s NCAA tournament announcement to learn their postseason seeding.

“The thought of coming here this weekend and maybe seeing Maryland and Duke was a little overwhelming to me,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “I thought a better lacrosse team walked off that field here in blue uniforms than arrived here on Thursday.”

Virginia, though, didn’t quite measure up to the Blue Devils (13-2), who responded to a 4-3 halftime deficit with a seven-goal outburst in the third quarter.

The multifaceted Danowski was the nexus of the Duke offense despite drawing Virginia’s top defender. Freshman Max Quinzani scored twice, and the Blue Devils’ second midfield line combined for three goals to fluster the Cavaliers.

“Teams have to key on [Danowski] or he’s going to explode in games,” Greer said. “Our middies have gotten so much better over the past couple weeks, and a bunch of guys stepped up and scored key goals. When he’s drawing attention and they’re so conscious of what he’s doing, it opens it up for other guys.”

There were still some highlights left for Danowski, the nation’s only player with 30 goals and 30 assists. He broke down two defensemen for a goal at the end of the first quarter, and his off-balance shot out of a scrum deflected off goalie Kip Turner to Greer, whose goal made it 10-7.

Danowski also corralled an outlet pass and slipped it to Greer for an 11-8 edge with 4:24 left, all but clinching it for Duke.

“He’s most dangerous in unsettled stuff, and that’s where he was able to create a lot of his opportunities and get all his points today,” said defenseman Ricky Smith, who has marked Danowski in both of the teams’ meetings. “You really have to concentrate, and he’s always looking for someone.”

PATRIOT LEAGUE

No. 11 Navy 15, No. 16 Colgate 9

ANNAPOLIS — Nick Mirabito had four goals and two assists, and Rob Lenseth scored his first three goals of the season as the Midshipmen (11-3) defeated the Raiders (10-5) for their fourth straight Patriot League tournament title and an automatic NCAA tournament berth.

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