DURHAM, N.C. – Senior attackman Jack Bruckner scored four goals and goalkeeper Danny Fowler made 10 saves to lead No. 10 Duke to an 11-8 home victory over No. 3 Notre Dame in ACC men’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,257 spectators at Koskinen Stadium.
The win pushes the Blue Devils to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in league action while the Fighting Irish fall to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play. Duke is 7-1 in the past eight games, including four top-20 wins.
Thanks to a pair of goals by Bruckner, Duke jumped out to a 5-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter and maintained its two-tally cushion, 6-4, heading into the locker room. Bruckner registered three of Duke’s six first-half goals, while rookies Kevin Quigley and Reilly Walsh had one apiece. Brad Smith netted the lone goal for the Blue Devils in the second period to send Duke into the half up 6-4.
“The first quarter was an emphasis all week,” said head coach John Danowski. “We practiced the first-quarter segment for 10-15 minutes every day just emphasizing three or four things we should focus on in that first quarter in order to help us be successful.”
Fowler responded with five saves in the third period to spark the Duke offense as the Blue Devils outscored the visitors 4-1 to claim a 10-5 lead entering the final quarter. Defensively, Duke held Notre Dame to just 19 shots through three periods and 0-of-3 on man-up chances.
Trailing by five, the Fighting Irish pulled within three goals at 10-7 when Ryder Garnsey scored with 3:42 left in the fourth period, but Bruckner’s final marker of the day pushed the lead back to four with just 1:27 remaining.
Fowler spearheaded a Duke defense that blanked Notre Dame’s man-advantage offense in four attempts. The Blue Devils man-down defense sports a 73 percent success rate this season, killing 24-of-33 their opponents’ man-up opportunities.
“Our defensive success is a combination of a few different people,” Danowski said. “You have a few new guys who are terrific athletes and then you have guys with great experience. There is this combination of these older guys who have played a lot for us and younger athletic guys and it’s growing.”
For Notre Dame, Garnsey, Mikey Wynne and Sergio Perkovic tallied two goals each while goalkeepers Shane Doss (7 saves & 6 goals allowed in 36:14) and Owen Molloy (2 saves & 5 goals allowed in 23:46) shared time in the Irish net.
Duke remains home next week to host Virginia in the regular season finale Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast by ACC Network Extra.