Notre Dame falls on road against No. 8 Duke
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, April 8, 2019
No. 7 Notre Dame fell to sub-500 in the ACC this weekend after suffering a 14-8 loss to No. 8 Duke on the road in Durham, North Carolina. Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan gave junior John Zullo his first career start at goal, but the Blue Devils’ high-powered offense proved too much to handle.
Even though Duke (9-3, 1-2 ACC) won the opening faceoff and scored less than a minute into the game, Notre Dame (5-4, 1-2 ACC) responding by setting the pace with a strong defensive performance in the first quarter. Despite losing the initial faceoff battle 4-1, the Irish pressure resulted in five Duke turnovers in the opening frame. Sophomore attack Connor Morin opened Notre Dame’s account with his 13th goal of the season, and seniors Nick Stinn and Brendan Gleason added to the tally to give the Irish a 3-1 lead.
In the second, however, it was Duke’s turn to ramp up the defense, as Notre Dame coughed up the ball six times in the quarter, and struggled to generate offense with only four shots. The Blue Devils outscored the Irish 6-2, scoring three straight before junior attack Brian Willetts ripped his 17th goal of the year after a feed from Morin. Duke then added three more goals, before Morin juked his defender and finished goal-line extended for his second of the day to cut the Duke lead to 7-5 heading into the half.
The third quarter saw the Irish revamp their effort on defense, as Zullo made four saves on seven shots on goal in a back-and-forth, tightly contested 15 minutes. However, Duke dominated the ground ball game 9-3, and added two goals to increase the lead to 9-5. Morin finished off the hat trick with 43 seconds left, but the Blue Devils scored with 3.6 seconds left to go up 10-6 heading into the final frame.
Duke sealed the deal in the fourth, adding four straight goals to go up 14-6 with 5:39 left. With the clock winding down Notre Dame added two more goals, as Morin tallied his fourth with another goal-line extended finish and junior midfielder Bryan Costabile posted his own goal, but it was too little, too late for the Irish to mount a comeback.
Notre Dame will look to get back on track this week with a home matchup against non-conference foe Marquette on Wednesday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.