Falcons Bedevil Blue Devils Once Again


Grant Gould scored two goals in Air Force's 11-10 season-opening win Sunday at Duke.

The first significant upset of the 2017 NCAA men’s lacrosse season should not shock anyone who has followed the recent trajectory of the Southern Conference.

Air Force, the reigning SoCon champion, took down Duke for the second straight season, holding on for an 11-10 victory Sunday in both teams’ season opener at Koskinen Stadium.

The Falcons, ranked No. 19 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Preseason Top 20, scored five unanswered goals bridging the third and fourth quarters to take an 11-8 lead.

The 10th-ranked Blue Devils scored twice and came tantalizingly close to tying the game, but Brad Smith hit a pipe and then Air Force goalie Paxton Boyer (14 saves) got enough of Jack Bruckner’s point-blank shot to keep it from crossing the goal line.

Duke jumped offside on its final possession.

Nick Hruby scored a career-high four goals for the Falcons, who have won 14 straight regular season games dating back to last February. They lost at Notre Dame in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Otherwise, ACC teams found tough sledding against the SoCon last season. High Point and Richmond also scored upsets of Virginia and Duke, respectively. The Falcons beat the Blue Devils 10-9 in overtime.

Sunday Scoreboard

No. 19 Air Force 11, No. 10 Duke 10
No. 18 Ohio State 12, Furman 6

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