Notre Dame men’s lacrosse downs No. 1 Duke in show-stopping home performance
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 13, 2021
It was a big weekend for the Irish as the No. 5 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team defeated No. 1 Duke in a home matchup on Saturday. The Fighting Irish (6-1, 2-1 ACC) delivered Duke’s (10-1, 2-1 ACC) first loss, ending the Blue Devils’ perfect season while marking a milestone win for coach Kevin Corrigan. Corrigan is now the winningest head coach at a single program in NCAA DI history.
The anticipated matchup hosted a full-capacity fan base in the stands, causing several onlookers to line the fences around Arlotta stadium to catch a glimpse of the gameplay. Despite Duke having one of the leading offensive fronts in the country, Notre Dame fans were able to watch as the Irish defense were able to shut the Blue Devils down, keeping them to a season-low eight goals.
Duke was the first on the board, but the Irish quickly responded with show-stopping moments in the first quarter alone. Sophomore attacker Pat Kavanagh made a behind-the-back shot with four defenders approaching to tie the game up. Two more unanswered Notre Dame goals were charted before Duke landed the final point of the period, making the score 3-2.
The second period proved to be the closest of the matchup. Graduate student attacker Will Yorke extended the team’s lead by netting back-to-back goals early in the period. Sophomore goalie Liam Entenmann — who would go on to make 12 saves throughout the match — managed to hold Duke off from taking the lead, but Duke eventually rebounded with three goals in three minutes, tying the score 5-5. When it looked as though the teams would head into halftime on an even playing field, the Irish pocketed two goals in nine seconds to put them up 7-5.
At the end of the first half, despite a weak showing in face-offs, the Irish had forced 13 Duke turnovers and held them to 17 shots.
Again, the Blue Devils were the first to score in the second half, with senior attacker Joe Roberston making it a one-point game from an extra-man goal. The Irish proceeded to conduct a 5-0 run. Senior midfielder Wheaton Jackoboice scored twice in the attempt — contributing to his hat trick — and the team rendered Duke scoreless for 14 minutes of play while they made the run. The streak was broken when Duke freshman Brendan O’Neill scored his third goal of the day.
At the end of the game, Duke was able to add another point in the last eight seconds of play, but it was not enough to come back. The Blue Devils fell 13-8 to the Fighting Irish. Senior midfielder Morrison Mirer left with four goals to his name, while graduate student and defenseman Jack Kielty held the force of Duke graduate student and attacker Michael Sowers to one assist and no goals, making this the second time all season he has been unable to score.
The Irish will seek to continue this winning streak as they look ahead to another match against Duke on April 22, this time in Durham, North Carolina, giving Duke the home-field advantage. Coach Corrigan will also seek to add to his already record-breaking 311 wins while on the road.