It was a physical game with countless hard hits, plenty of scores on both sides to keep the game tight, and an incredible effort right down to the final ticks of the clock. There is no love lost between this growing rivalry and Notre Dame was looking to avenge being knocked out of the tournament by Duke in 2 of the last 3 years.
In front of a crowd of around 8,000 people, it looked as though the fans at Lucas Oil Stadium, just 15 minutes from Notre Dame’s campus, would watch their hometown team finally shake off the postseason blues from the Devils.
But, #7 Duke would prove to be too much for #2 Notre Dame.
After being knotted up for most of the game, Notre Dame would pull ahead in the fourth quarter with goals from Jim Marlett and Conor Doyle. Unfortunately for the Irish, their luck would run out as Duke came back to tie it with 3:17 left and one minute later get the game winning goal from David Lawson with 2:16 remaining.
The final score was Duke Blue Devils 12, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 11.
This marks 7th consecutive year that Duke will advance to the Final Four, where they take on the red hot Big Red of Cornell.
Duke is technically the only ACC team remaining, and will be responsible for representing the state of North Carolina, following Denver’s dramatic come-from-behind win over UNC.
All-in-all, it was a fantastic game and a great example of how the game is to be played. As the sport continues to migrate west, it is games like this one that will continue to advance the popularity of lacrosse among fans that are looking for a fast paced sport in the spring.