KENNESAW, Ga. – Duke overcame a four-goal deficit and scored 40 seconds into overtime to defeat Notre Dame, 10-9, in the second semifinal of the 2016 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
After the Blue Devils scored five of the final six goals in regulation, Myles Jones found Justin Guterding in front of the net for the game winner. The goal was the 38th of the season for the sophomore attacker.
Chad Cohan led the way for the Blue Devils, notching three goals and two assists for his fourth hat trick of the year. Deemer Class chipped in with two goals in the third quarter to push his league-leading total to 44.
With the win, third-seeded Duke (10-6) advances to Sunday’s ACC Championship game, where it will face fourth-seeded Syracuse on Sunday on 12 p.m. The game will be a rematch of last year’s title game, when Syracuse defeated Duke, 15-14, to win its first ACC title.
Notre Dame’s Mikey Wynne scored the only goal of the first quarter, notching his 29th of the season. Duke’s Case Matheis got the Blue Devils on the board in the second, but Sergio Perkovic and Ryder Garnsey gave the Irish a 3-1 lead going into the halftime.
Both teams scored five goals in the third quarter in a high-scoring 15 minutes. Notre Dame got two goals from Kerkovic and one each from Kavanagh, Wynne, and Garnsey, while Duke’s Jack Brucker, John Prendergast, Deemer Class (2), and Chad Cohan all found the back of the net in the third quarter.
Garnsey’s goal with 4:01 remaining in the third pushed the Notre Dame lead to 8-4, but Duke’s Cohan and Class closed the deficit to two goals heading into the fourth quarter.
Cohan found the back of the net twice in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, both coming on extra man opportunities. Jones tallied his 30th of the season for Duke to tie the game at 9-9, and the two teams were held scoreless over the final 7:37 of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Danny Fowler made 12 saves in net for the Blue Devils, who improved to 10-6 on the year.
Head Coach John Danowski
I can honestly say I’ve never been involved in a game like this, where we were so thoroughly dominated in the first half and even the first five minutes of the third quarter where Notre Dame certainly had their way with us and so we called time out and there was spark. There was just something there. From then on it appeared our guys were having a little more fun and playing with more intensity. We all saw the results and we are delighted to be playing on Sunday at noon.
On how much fun it is to play in a game like that
It’s an unbelievable feeling. We leaned on our seniors towards the end. Thirteen points from our seniors. We leaned on them and they showed us the way. Fortunately, I was the last one, I just got to put it in the back of the net. Myles told me, at the end of regulation, to just come to the ball. I was ready. Things weren’t going my way all game but hard work, I guess, has paid off.
Head Coach Kevin Corrigan
On what changed from the first half to second half
They played faster, they played more aggressively, and they stopped dancing in their dodges and we didn’t react well.
On positives to take going into the NCAA Tournament
I don’t know, I’ll have to think about that. We are three plays away from being undefeated and No. 1 in the country and I’m not about to sit here and beat up my team. We were 3 plays away from being the best team in the country and we have to go out and prove it that we’re the best team, that’s all.
On why he thinks Notre Dame is the best team in the country
Because I think we’re the best team in the country, that’s why. I see these guys every day and work with them and I think we’re the best team in the country and we have to play for 60 minutes.
On message to the players
We were three plays away from being undefeated but we are not and we have to be clear about what we did and didn’t do. I still believe in this team and I think this is a team that can win a national championship.