DURHAM—Josh Dionne was flying around the net Sunday in the first half against Johns Hopkins— finding the back of the cage on a bounce shot and a quick, jumping turnaround off of his right foot, both of which were highlight-reel worthy. Dionne took four shots, and he scored four goals in Duke’s 19-11 NCAA quaterfinal win. But then Johns Hopkins midfielder Rob Guida decked him, and his right knee gave out.
That hit ended the senior attackman’s career.
"I gave my body to the team, and that’s all you can ask for," Dionne said after the game.
He elaborated at practice Tuesday.
"I had a feeling that it was pretty bad," he said. "First off, I was worried that I turned the ball over. They went down the other way pretty quickly. I didn’t know what happened. I was able to walk off the field, which was good, with the help of (trainer) Joe (Ferraro) and Luke (Duprey), but I didn’t really know anything until we got back, and then they kind of broke it down for me."
Dionne had an MRI Monday night, but head coach John Danowski declined to go into specifics, saying only that the team was planning to move forward without him.
At practice, Dionne was roaming the sidelines with crutches, also sporting a brace and wrap on his right knee. He joked that this was his internship week, as he is now more coach than player.
"That’s actually what I wanted to do next year," Dionne said of coaching. "Hopefully, eventually I can go back and coach and teach at a prep school, like where I went (Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut), so I can give back a little bit."
Dionne, Danowski and the rest of the Blue Devils downplayed the impact of the lineup change. Junior Kyle Keenan, who had been on the second midfield line, will move to attack and fill Dionne’s spot Saturday against Denver. I’ll have more on that later in the week.
"The impact is more emotional in that your heart breaks for Josh," Danowski said. "He’s a senior and was playing the best game of his career."