Saturday Wrap: Johnson's 21 Saves Fuels UNC Upset Win over Duke


North Carolina picked up a big win at home Saturday, downing Duke 10-8 behind 21 saves from Caton Johnson.

With no wins over ranked opponents entering the weekend, North Carolina needed a victory to kick off its ACC schedule. The Tar Heels wanted nothing more than to take down rival Duke on Saturday at home. They did just that.

Freshman Caton Johnson got his first career start against the Blue Devils, and he won't forget it. Johnson turned in 21 saves to hold Duke in check and fuel the 10-8 upset victory for North Carolina.

Timmy Kelly kickstarted a fast start for the Tar Heels, who held a 3-2 lead after one quarter. Matt Gavin and Alex Trippi added tallies in the second quarter to give North Carolina the 5-3 lead at halftime.

Duke found its offense in the third quarter, thanks to three goals from Nakeie Montgomery, to pull ahead to an 8-6 lead. North Carolina, however, had another run left.

The Tar Heels scored three goals in the final 90 seconds (Will Nicklaus, Brian Cameron, Andy Matthews) of the third quarter to take back the momentum. Justin Anderson added another goal with 3:50 left.

Johnson had nine saves in the fourth quarter to hold off Duke in the final minutes and seal the crucial win.

Notre Dame Holds On

Notre Dame hosted Syracuse on Saturday in a matchup of two ACC teams with completely different stories. 

For the Irish, the battle with the Orange was crucial given they’d blown five-goal leads in each of the past two games. For Syracuse, it was another chance to get a quality win after coming back to beat Duke, Rutgers and Johns Hopkins.

So when Notre Dame jumped out to an eight-goal first-half lead, the storylines returned. Could Notre Dame hold on this time? Or would Cardiac Cuse return in a big way?

Despite the Orange’s best efforts, it was the former. Notre Dame led by as many as nine goals in the first half, and withstood a furious Syracuse rally to win 13-10. Bryan Costabile turned in a career-high five goals to fuel the Irish victory — one that was much needed.

Costabile had a hat trick within the first quarter and a half, helping Notre Dame jump out to a 9-1 lead with 7:58 left in the second quarter. Syracuse got goals from Brendan Curry and Jamie Trimboli to cut the deficit to 11-3 before half.

Notre Dame outshot Syracuse 22-12 and won the ground ball battle 19-13 in the first half.

But the Orange weren’t done yet. They put together a six-goal run that extended into the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to two goals with 10 minutes left. Nate Solomon had two goals during the run that put an improbable comeback in sight.

But a man-up goal from Costabile cut the run and shifted the momentum back to Notre Dame with 8:12 left. He followed that goal with his fifth, putting the game out of reach at 13-9.

Penn Wins Thriller over Yale

The Penn Quakers are very much for real. Losses to Maryland, Duke and Penn State to start the season put a damper on the noise surrounding the Penn program, but it has caught fire in the month of March.

Penn got its biggest win of the season on Saturday — one that caps a four-game win streak and puts the Quakers in the driver’s seat of the Ivy League race.

Tyler Dunn tied the game on a buzzer-beating goal to make it 12-12. After two scoreless overtime periods, Sam Handley won it on a shot with 3:02 left in the period. Read More.

Tierney Gets Win No. 400

Bill Tierney became the second Division I men's coach to reach the 400-win mark when his Denver Pioneers took down Big East rival Georgetown 16-9. 

Austin French had four goals and two assists to lead the Pioneers to the conference victory.

After a 5-3 first quarter, Denver used a run of seven out of eight goals to take a commanding 12-4 lead late in the third quarter. Alex Ready had 12 saves for Denver to keep Georgetown at bay throughout the second half. Brett Boos won 17 of 28 faceoffs.

It was an important win following Denver’s mid-week loss to Princeton in Tierney’s homecoming.

“It was a pretty devastating loss on Tuesday for so many reasons,” Tierney told Devin Farrell and Brad Thompson after the game. “We may not be the most talented group in the country, but I’ll tell you these kids are resourceful and have a lot of guts and do what we ask them to do. I’m really proud of them.”

Spencer, Lindley Light Up Scoreboard

Pat Spencer was himself on Saturday in a 21-7 blowout win over Colgate, but Loyola got another strong performance from Kevin Lindley in the process. Spencer scored twice and added eight assists, while Lindley dropped eight goals and two assists to make him the nation’s leading scorer (at least until Mac O’Keefe plays tomorrow). Spencer and Lindley are the first pair of teammates this decade to drop 10-point performances in the same game.

Loyola jumped out to a 6-1 lead and extended the margin to 14-6 by halftime. Lindley had seven goals in the half alone.

The Greyhounds dropped five unanswered goals in the third quarter to put the game away. Loyola moved to 3-0 in the Patriot League.

Towson Holds On

Towson was No. 1 in the country just a few weeks ago, but was in jeopardy of losing its fourth straight game Saturday. The Tigers trailed CAA foe Hofstra by three goals in the first half.

However, a six-goal run from Towson helped give it the lead in the fourth quarter and fuel a vital 10-9 victory. Brody McLean and Grant Maloof each had hat tricks to lead the Tigers to the CAA opening win.

Down 7-4 in the second quarter, McLean led the six-goal run that spanned over halftime and gave the Tigers the 10-7 lead with 12:51 left. Hofstra scored twice in the final minutes, but couldn’t find the tying goal.

UMass Comes Back

UMass overcame a four-goal halftime deficit to beat CAA foe Drexel 10-9 in the conference opener. Chris Connolly had four goals to lead the Minutemen to the victory.

Connolly had two first-half goals, but Drexel got hot in the second quarter to take a commanding 6-2 at halftime. Nick Fox had a pair of goals for the Dragons in the first half, which ended with a Matt Soran goal with six seconds left.

UMass came out of halftime with a 4-1 third quarter, cutting the deficit to 7-6 entering the final period. Matthew Varian gave Drexel a 9-7 lead with 9:14 left, but UMass ended the game on a 3-0 run to steal it.

Jeff Trainor had two of the three goals, including the eventual game-winner with 5:58 left.

Cornell Gets Much-Needed Win

Cornell got a response after its loss to Penn last weekend, downing Dartmouth 15-5 on Saturday. Jeff Teat had three goals and three assists to continue a strong season and fuel the Big Red win.

After a low-scoring first half that saw Cornell lead 4-2, the Big Red scored five of six in the third quarter to create breathing room. Jack McCulloch had two goals in the run.

Dartmouth cut the deficit to 10-5 with 8:23 left, but Cornell responded with five straight goals to close out the game.

Johns Hopkins Gets Big Ten Win

Johns Hopkins moved over .500 for the season with a 14-8 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor. Forry Smith led the Blue Jays with four goals.

Down 5-3 in the second quarter, Johns Hopkins scored 10 unanswered goals through halftime and into the late third quarter. Smith had three goals in the rally that put the Blue Jays up by eight goals entering the fourth quarter.

Gunner Garn had 15 saves for Michigan.

Other notable results:

  • Chris Young had five goals to help High Point rebound from its loss to Jacksonville with a 17-10 victory over Furman.

  • Army used a six-goal, third-quarter run to pull away from Bucknell and pick up a key 15-13 Patriot League over Bucknell. Brendan Nitchern (four assist as well), Nate Jones and Miles Silva each had four goals to lead the Black Knights’ effort.

  • Lehigh made it six straight wins with a second-half run to pull away from Boston U for the 10-8 victory. Five different scorers combined for a 5-0 third quarter that broke open a tie game at halftime to give the Mountain Hawks some breathing room. Tristan Rai had four assists for Lehigh.

  • Villanova scored seven out of eight goals over a 35-minute span to take a commanding lead on Marquette and coast to the 15-11 win in Big East play. Corey McManus had seven goals to lead the Wildcats to their third straight win.


Sophomore Corey McManus scored seven goals as Villanova opened Big East play with a 15-11 win over Marquette. Villanova's win snapped Marquette's three-game winning streak.


No. 18 Penn 13, No. 1 Yale 12 (3OT)
No. 20 North Carolina 10, No. 5 Duke 8
No. 6 Loyola 21, Colgate 7
No. 10 Notre Dame 13, No. 9 Syracuse 10
No. 11 Cornell 15, Dartmouth 5
No. 12 Towson 10, Hofstra 9
No. 13 Lehigh 10, Boston U 8
No. 14 Army 15, Bucknell 13
No. 15 UMass 10, Drexel 9
No. 16 High Point 17, Furman 10
No. 19 Johns Hopkins 14, Michigan 8


Air Force 14, Jacksonville 7
Albany 14, Hartford 10
Bellarmine 16, Mercer 13
Brown 14, Princeton 10
Bryant 13, Wagner 4
Canisius 12, Monmouth 2
Delaware 15, Fairfield 7
Detroit Mercy 12, Marist 11
Holy Cross 12, Navy 9
Manhattan 11, NJIT 10
Mount St. Mary's 14, Sacred Heart 10
Providence 8, St. John's 7
Quinnpiac 13, Siena 10
Robert Morris 15, Saint Joseph's 9
UMBC 19, Lafayette 8
Villanova 15, Marquette 11
VMI 23, Hampton 9

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