Senior captain David Lawson tallied a career-high five goals to lead Duke to a thrilling 12-11 comeback victory over No. 2 seed Notre Dame in front of 7,749 fans at the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinal at Lucas Oil Stadium. The win launches Duke to its seventh straight championship weekend appearance and ninth overall in program history.
Duke (14-5) scored the game’s final three goals to rally from an 11-9 deficit in the fourth quarter and capture its second straight one-goal NCAA Tournament victory. The Blue Devils avenged the regular season loss to Notre Dame (11-5) in the NCAA Tournament for the third time since 2010.
“I thought they [Notre Dame] were brilliant today,” said head coach John Danowski. “Their faceoff guy was terrific. Their goalie was tremendous. They shot the ball extremely well. It was one of those games playing against a dear friend Kevin Corrigan that you hate to see someone lose. With that being said, I am extremely proud of our guys from beginning to end. We wanted to play for 60 minutes. We certainly don’t script these endings, last week or this week. We just wanted to play the game. Kyle Turri, while he didn’t have a great day in the goal statistically, comes up with a big save on the outlet. He keeps his poise and allows us to score the tying goal.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair for the entire 60 minutes, featuring nine ties and five lead changes with the largest lead being two goals by both squads. Junior attackman Jordan Wolf had four assists on the day, while classmate Josh Dionne had three tallies in the win.
Trailing 11-9 with 9:29 to play, the Blue Devils defense buckled down and held the Irish scoreless while the offense made the final charge. Duke made it a one-goal game, 11-10, on an unassisted score from junior Christian Walsh with 8:31 to play.
With 3:30 to play and neither team having scored for five minutes, Duke goaltender Kyle Turri came up with his biggest play of the afternoon as he stopped Sean Rogers’ shot on the crease and sent an outlet pass to Greg DeLuca. The senior midfielder raced down the field and found Wolf who quickly dished it to Dionne for the game-tying score with 3:18 to play.
“The defender tripped on the back of the goal,” said Turri. “He came around and I just matched his stick. I kept the stick high, saw it all the way and it was really nice to get the last one.”