Duke Wins OT Thriller Over Notre Dame for Championship

BALTIMORE, Md. – Sophomore C.J. Costabile scored the game-winning goal five seconds into overtime to give Duke University its first NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Title in program history. Winning the opening faceoff, the longstick midfielder raced down the middle of the field, dodged several Notre Dame defensemen and unleashed a high shot into the net to lift the No. 5 seed Blue Devils to the 6-5 overtime victory in front of 37,126 fans at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday afternoon.

C.J. Costabile en route to the game-winning overtime goal

“It's sick,” Costabile said about scoring the game-winning goal. “The best feeling about it is we set this goal from the beginning of the year. Guys who have been here before me, [those guys] who have been here three times before and finally seeing them walk-off that field with a big smile on their faces are the best moment about that.”

Photos by Ben and James Mackey

In a contest marked by strong defensive play, the two teams combined for just 11 goals, marking the lowest scoring output in an NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship game. Neither team led by more than one goal during the game as it featured four lead changes and five ties. The Blue Devils' attack struggled to find the net against Notre Dame's Scott Rodgers, who tallied 15 saves in goal.

“Kevin Corrigan and his staff...what a job,” head coach John Danowski said. “Those kids defensively were phenomenal on the ball and phenomenal as a unit. When we did get an opening Scott Rodgers was terrific. I am extremely happy and joyful for our students and anybody who has ever worn a Duke jersey. This game was a great battle.”

Senior Max Quinzani, juniors Zach Howell and Michael Manley and sophomore CJ Costabile all were selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. Rodgers was voted as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Duke finishes the season with a 16-4 overall record, while Notre Dame was 10-7.

Howell and senior midfielder Steve Schoeffel each recorded two goals for the Blue Devils, while seniors Ned Crotty and Max Quinzani were held to just one assist each.

“We knew that was the challenge coming into the game, and the coaches did a great job of telling us, 'Don't change anything that we do,” Howell said. “Keep shooting, keep taking opportunities, and they'll fall.' And I think that, since we stayed on it, nobody got discouraged when [Scott Rodgers] was making the good saves. We just stayed on it, and that just helped us grind through.”

The Fighting Irish and Blue Devils traded goals throughout the opening 15 minutes with the two squads heading into the first break knotted at two apiece. Notre Dame's Zach Brenneman struck first, 49 seconds into the game with an unassisted tally.

The Blue Devils won the ensuing faceoff and went down the field to even the score 36 seconds later. It was Howell finding the back of the cage for Duke off an assist from Crotty. The goal was Howell's 50th of the season.

Both defenses tightened up, keeping the offenses off the scoreboard for the next seven minutes. Schoeffel put the Blue Devils in front for the first time of the afternoon with a strike past the foot of Rodgers from seven yards out. Without a goal since the 14:11 mark of the frame, Brenneman registered his second of the game to tie the score with 50 ticks left on the clock.

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