It felt a little like homecoming Wednesday night in Stony Brook for the Duke lacrosse team. Well, it did for coach John Danowski and 10 members of the two-time defending national champions, anyway.
The No. 6 Blue Devils have nine Long Islanders on their 47-man roster -- including All-American midfielder Myles Jones, of Huntington and Walt Whitman High, and starting goalie Danny Fowler of Wantagh and Chaminade, who also played football for the Blue Devils in the fall -- plus Danowski, the former longtime Hofstra and LIU Post coach. The Blue Devils also had on their roster Stony Brook transfer Kyle Rowe, their No. 2 faceoff man.
"Long Island, to me, lacrosse is king here, and it brings back so many memories just coming back," Danowski said.
With a pumped up crowd of 4,860 in attendance on a pleasant night, Duke pulled away from a scrappy Stony Brook team, winning, 17-11. Then the Blue Devils stuck around and signed autographs for the young fans. Duke (9-4) got five goals from attackman Jack Bruckner, a product of nearby Ward Melville, in improving to 4-0 all-time against the Seawolves. Jones, the 6-4, 240-pound junior, chipped in with three goals and two assists and Fowler, the redshirt freshman, had 10 saves in winning his second straight decision.
Stony Brook (10-4) got two goals from Brody Eastwood, who broke the school record for goals in a season with his first on the night. He now has 53. Senior attackman Mike Rooney had three goals and two assists, and broke the school's Division I mark for points in a season. He has 82 points on the season (36 goals, 46 assists).
The Seawolves led early in the game at 2-1 and 3-2. After an eight-goal run put Duke up at 10-3, Stony Brook closed the first half on a five-goal run and was down 10-8 at halftime.
"I think we have a good enough team, we can play with anybody," Rooney said. "I think every time we step on the field, we go to win the game. We go out there and we just try to play hard."