BETHPAGE, N.Y. – Duke senior men’s lacrosse midfielder Brad Smith scored the game-winning goal with 32 seconds left in overtime to lift the third-ranked Blue Devils to a thrilling 10-9 victory over Marquette in the sixth annual Battle at Bethpage Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Nakeie Montgomery provided the assist on the winner
Duke closes out the regular season with an 11-3 overall record. The Blue Devils open ACC Tournament action versus Notre Dame in the ACC semifinals. Duke will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament following a win by the Irish over North Carolina.
Smith finished the game with two goals and an assist, while Montgomery had a goal and two assists to pace the Duke offense. Jake Seau and CJ Carpenter also had two goals apiece. Turner Uppgren once again was excellent between the pipes with 11 saves.
After a back-and-forth 50 minutes of lacrosse that featured five ties and three lead changes and left Marquette (6-7) with a narrow 9-8 advantage with 10:34 remaining on the clock, the Blue Devils buckled down on defense to keep the Golden Eagles off the board for the final 14:02.
Trailing 9-8 early in the fourth period, Carpenter came up big again with what proved to be the tying tally with 7:34 remaining in regulation. The goal was his second of the day after he notched one with 2.5 seconds remaining in the third to give Duke the 8-7 lead after three periods.
Those final seven minutes were a defensive battle with neither team able to score. Marquette had a long possession with under three minutes left, but the Blue Devils stood strong to eventually force a shot clock violation with less than 90 seconds left on the clock.
Duke cleared and got two good looks at shots, but couldn’t find the cage, forcing an extra four minutes of lacrosse.
Rookie faceoff specialist Jordan Ginder won the faceoff to start overtime, but a turnover by the Blue Devils gave the Golden Eagles the first offensive possession of the day. Marquette had a couple shots go wide before Uppgren collected a blocked shot and raced up the field to seemingly clear the ball.
Amidst the excitement of Duke’s goaltender running into the offensive box, the Blue Devils were whistled for offside. Then suddenly in a turn of events in Duke’s favor, Marquette ran offside as well to give Duke the ball back with what seemed like would be the final possession of the first overtime.
Coming out of the timeout, the Blue Devils fired a couple shots wide of the cage. Then with about 40 seconds on the clock and the ball in the stick of Montgomery on the right side, the sophomore midfielder threw a skip pass to Smith who fired it low past Marquette goaltender John Hulsman for the win.
John Wagner of Marquette led all scorers with five goals. Hulsman also had 11 saves for the Eagles, including five in the fourth quarter.
Duke won the ground ball battle 30-29 and had a narrow 12-10 edge in faceoffs. Marquette outshot the Blue Devils 40-39 and went 2-of-3 on extra man.
Duke will face Notre Dame in a rematch April 27 at 4:30 p.m.., at the UNC Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPNU. The ACC Championship will be played at the highest remaining seed May 4 at 2 p.m.