DURHAM, N.C.—Duke’s valiant comeback effort against Notre Dame came up just short as the No. 3 Blue Devils fell to the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish 12-10 in the ACC Men's Lacrosse Championship Semifinal Saturday afternoon.
Notre Dame (8-5), paced by Bryan Costabile’s five goals, led for the entire 60 minutes and by as many as five goals to earn its second straight appearance in the ACC title game. Duke falls to 11-4 overall on the year and will now await its NCAA Tournament fate next Sunday when the field is announced.
CJ Carpenter led Duke in scoring with a career-high four goals, while senior captain Brad Smith had a goal and three assists. Once again, Turner Uppgren was excellent between the pipes with a career-high matching 15 saves.
The Irish jumped out in front 3-0 before junior Kevin Quigley put the Blue Devils on the board with 4:48 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame extended the lead back to three goals, 4-1, at the start of the second before Carpenter scored consecutive goals in a 50-second span to pull the Blue Devils within one.
Duke, hampered by unforced errors throughout the game, never got any closer as the Irish tallied four of the next five goals to take an 8-4 lead into halftime. The Blue Devils managed just 15 shots in the opening 30 minutes and won only three faceoffs.
The Irish extended their lead to 10-5 in the third period before Duke made a small run to come within three again with 15 minutes left to play. Smith and Joe Robertson tallied the goals in the final four minutes of the quarter to keep the Blue Devils within striking distance.
After a Notre Dame marker to start the fourth quarter made it 11-7, Duke buckled down and hit a hot streak in scoring three unanswered to pull within one, 11-10 with 2:57 remaining. Carpenter had two of the goals including an individual effort on extra man.
With momentum shifting in Duke’s favor, Notre Dame quelled the Blue Devil crowd by winning the ensuing faceoff and forcing the Blue Devils to play defense. The Irish drew a penalty on Duke, allowing them to keep possession with a new 80-second clock and only 1:27 left on the clocker.
Needing to force a turnover, senior defenseman Cade Van Raaphorst made an exception play in blocking a shot on the crease to an open net to give the Blue Devils back the ball with just over a minute left to play.
However, Duke failed to clear, turning over the ball in the middle of the field and giving Costabile the open net to seal the victory.
Notre Dame goaltender Matt Schmidt stonewalled the Blue Devils all afternoon, finishing with 18 saves. The Irish won the faceoff battle 17-9, while both teams both picked up 31 ground balls apiece.
The 2019 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Selection Show will be aired live on ESPNU at 9 p.m., May 5.