Matheis leads Duke upset of No. 1 Notre Dame
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, April 27, 2015
No. 1 Notre Dame suffered just its second loss of the season Friday in the ACC tournament, falling 13-8 to No. 6 Duke in a semifinal contest at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the first quarter, but the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (11-5, 1-3) unleashed a scoring barrage in the second and third quarters, going on a 10-1 run to take a commanding lead.
In their regular-season matchup earlier this month, the Irish (9-2, 4-0) beat the Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina, 15-10. In that contest, four different Notre Dame players scored hat tricks, and sophomore goaltender Shane Doss recorded 17 saves. On the other hand, Duke’s top three scorers, junior midfielders Deemer Class and Myles Jones and freshman attack Justin Guterding, were held to just four goals total.
But Friday, the script was flipped, and Notre Dame was on the receiving end of an offensive thrashing. Junior attack Case Matheis was the catalyst for Duke’s offensive output. He scored his first of four goals to break the stalemate 51 seconds into the second period on an unassisted effort, and scored again two minutes later to lengthen Duke’s lead.
Notre Dame found it hard to get offensive momentum brewing, as the Irish won just seven of 24 faceoffs and were outshot 26-10 during Duke’s run in the second and third quarters.
Guterding, who is Duke’s team leader in goals, scored a hat trick to contribute to the Blue Devils’ victory. On the defensive side, sophomore goalie Danny Fowler contained Notre Dame’s offense to just two goals through three quarters.
Despite the 10-goal deficit, the Irish made a last-quarter push in an effort orchestrate an impressive comeback.
In a seven-minute stretch, Notre Dame scored six consecutive goals, trimming Duke’s lead from 12-2 to 12-8 with 4:14 to play. Sophomore midfielder Sergio Perkovic tallied a pair of goals in the run, while senior midfielders Jack Near, Will Corrigan and Nick Ossello and junior attack Matt Kavanagh also contributed in the goalscoring department during the rally.
However, that was all Notre Dame would manage, as Guterding completed his hat trick with 1:28 left to end any hopes of a second straight comeback victory for the Irish.
Duke ultimately lost 15-14 to No. 4 Syracuse in the ACC tournament championship game.
The Irish will conclude their regular season May 2 when they travel to West Point, New York, to face Army prior to the NCAA tournament.