Notre Dame attack Mikey Wynne throws a pass.

Second-Half Surge Pushes #2 Notre Dame Past #12 Duke in Men's Lacrosse

April 10, 2016

Final Stats | Photo Gallery | Box Score

The second-ranked Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team saw its offense come to life in the second half–and the Irish defense did its part in impressive fashion in holding Duke to a pair of goals in the final 30 minutes Sunday at Arlotta Stadium.

That enabled the Irish, now 8-1 (3-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play), to twice come back from two-goal deficits to defeat the 12th-rated Blue Devils 8-6 in front of a record crowd of 5,000 fans on the University of Notre Dame campus on a cloudy, 41-degree afternoon.

Irish freshman Ryder Garnsey scored consecutive third-period goals to tie the game at five. Then, after Duke’s Deemer Class gave the visitors their final lead at the 7:31 stop of the final period, Notre Dame junior Sergio Perkovic completed his hat trick with the tying goal at 7:22 and the ultimate game-winner inside the five-minute mark.

Notre Dame’s defensive unit held Duke to its lowest goal total of the season–and three goals less than in any other game of 2016–just a week after the Blue Devils scored 16 times against North Carolina (and 16 the weekend before that against Syracuse).

The Irish did that by limiting Duke senior Myles Jones (he’s the leading active NCAA Division I career scorer in the country), who had a career-high 11 points against the Tar Heels, to a single assist. Blue Devil veteran Class, who leads the team in goals, finished with only a goal and an assist–as Notre Dame forced 23 turnovers (six of those credited to Jones).

“At this point, that’s who these guys are,” said Irish coach Kevin Corrigan of his team. “It starts with guys like Matt Kavanagh who compete every single second out there and set the example. We end up in a lot of close games because we play a very good schedule and a lot of really good teams like this one today. Our guys expect to be in close games and they know to play until the last whistle and try to finish them.”

Coming out of a 2-2 tie after the opening period (Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner scored for the Blue Devils, Perkovic and freshman Brendan Gleason for the Irish), Duke (7-6 overall, 1-2 in ACC play) built its initial two-goal advantage on tallies by Case Matheis and Chad Cohan. Mikey Wynne’s goal with 1:35 left before the halftime break made it 4-3 for the visitors at intermission.

Guterding’s second score in the first four minutes of the second half gave Duke another two-goal advantage, then Garnsey’s scores at 5:07 and 1:34 of the third period kept it tied after three periods.

On an afternoon dominated by defense, neither Jones nor Class nor Irish top scorer Kavanagh managed a shot on goal during the first three periods.

Following Class’ goal at the 7:31 mark of the final period, it took Perkovic only nine seconds to tie the contest at 6-6 after a ground-ball scramble and a nifty assist from defender Garrett Epple. Perkovic then came right down the middle of the Duke defense to grab the first Irish lead at the 4:45 juncture, and Notre Dame senior Kyle Trolley added a final score in the last 32 seconds.

Duke’s Kyle Rowe claimed 11 of 17 face-offs, while Blue Devil goalie Danny Fowler made 12 saves. Notre Dame goaltender Shane Doss finished with 11 saves and kept his streak alive of not permitting a 2016 Irish opponent to reach the double-figure mark in goals. All eight of the Irish goals came unassisted.

Notre Dame remains at home to play host to 19th-ranked Marquette (8-1) at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Arlotta Stadium.

Score by Period 1 2 3 4 F
#12 Duke (7-6) 2 2 1 1 6
#2 Notre Dame (8-1) 2 1 2 3 8

Duke Scoring:
Goals: Jason Guterding 2, Chad Cohan 1, Case Matheis 1, Jack Bruckner 1, Deemer Class 1

Assists: Guterding 2, Class 1, Myles Jones 1, Matheis 1

Notre Dame Scoring:
Goals: Sergio Perkovic 3, Ryder Garnsey 2, Brendan Gleason 1, Mikey Wynne 1, Kyle Trolley 1

Assists: None

Duke: Danny Fowler, L, 60:00, 8 goals against, 12 saves
Notre Dame: Shane Doss, W, 60:00, 6 goals against, 11 saves