No. 6 Duke Barely Outlasts No. 14 Delaware

Delaware had a 40-30 edge in shots and both squads finished with 36 ground balls apiece. Cooney won 19 of 32 faceoffs for the Blue Hens, while Costabile was 6 of 12 at the X and Brendan Fowler went 5 of 13 in restarts. Costabile led all players with 10 ground balls, while Chris Hipps had four.

In goal, Fossner had five saves and two ground balls. Rock picked up one ground ball to go with his career-high 12 saves.

Duke and Notre Dame will square off for the second time this season when the two teams meet in the NCAA Quarterfinal in Foxborough, Mass. The Fighting Irish defeated the Blue Devils earlier this season, 12-7, in Jacksonville, Fla. The winner will advance to championship weekend in Baltimore, Md. on May 28-30.

Notes: Duke improves to 21-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and is 12-3 in the postseason since 2007 ... The Blue Devils have won their previous five NCAA Tournament outings ... Head coach John Danowski improves to 15-10 overall and 12-3 at Duke ... This will be his ninth appearance in the quarterfinal round all-time ... Senior Zach Howell now has 22 goals and eight assists for 30 points in eight career NCAA Tournament games to rank fourth in goals and fifth in career points in Duke history ... Jordan Wolf and Howell both have six hat tricks on the year to lead Duke, while it is Howell's fifth five-point outing and Wolf's fourth ... Duke is now 8-5 in one-goal games under Danowski and is 5-7 all-time in one-goal contests in the NCAA Tournament ... Senior goaltender Mike Rock is now 3-0 in NCAA Tournament games after securing wins in the first two NCAA outings in 2010.

* * * *

DURHAM, N.C. -- Blue Hen ran out of comebacks Saturday night and left Koskinen Stadium, wishing they had just a few more valuable seconds to play.

While moral victories are certainly not in the Blue Hens' vocabulary, this one came close as the Blue Hens battled back from deficits all day long and fell just short in suffering a 15-14 NCAA Tournament first round setback to host and defending national champion Duke.

The No. 14 ranked Blue Hens (11-7), who captured the Colonial Athletic Association title last week and were making their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, rallied back from a 6-1 deficit to start the game and almost posted a miraculous comeback victory after trailing four goals with less than four minutes left to play before coming up just short. The Hens were down by at least four goals in every quarter before rallying each time.

"I just wish we had just 20 more seconds," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who was looking to post his 300th career victory Saturday night while leading the Blue Hens to their sixth NCAA Tournament. "I couldn't be more proud of these guys. Our guys played their hearts out and just never quit. The experience this team had this year and the effort they gave day in and day out.....it was tough getting the words out after the game."

After Duke went up 15-10 with 4:50 left to play, the Blue Hens stormed back as Grant Kaleikau and Eric Smith scored 12 seconds apart the Taylor Burns scored twice in the final 3:15, including a goal with 19 seconds left that cut the gap to one-goal. Delaware's Dan Cooney won the ensuing faceoff but had the ball knocked away in a scramble. Delaware regained possession but a length of the field shot just before the final horn sounded was off the mark by several yards.

Duke, the defending national champion who came into the game ranked sixth nationally and holding the tournament's No. 5 seed, improved to 13-4 with the win and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals next Sunday when they will take on No. 4 seed Notre Dame in a Foxborough, Mass. in a rematch of last year's national championship game. The Fighting Irish advanced Saturday with a 13-6 win over Penn.

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2011-05-14



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