Notre Dame Rallies to Beat Duke, Bringing Potential Chaos to NCAA Field

PHOTO VIA TWITTER/@NDlacrosse


The NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse tournament bubble got a whole lot more interesting, confusing, baffling, confounding — you pick the adjective — as Notre Dame rallied to beat Duke 16-14 on Saturday, earning a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship with Virginia. Notre Dame and Virginia each went 5-1 in league play.

It was the lone game of the day that wasn’t in a conference tournament, but it might have been the most important as it relates to the NCAA playoff picture.

Our bracketologist, Patrick Stevens, had Duke wrapping up a tournament berth with a win over Notre Dame, and it appeared the Blue Devils were on their way. Duke led by as many as five goals in the game and led 14-11 entering the final quarter. But Notre Dame outscored the Blue Devils 5-0 in the fourth quarter for the victory.

Jake Taylor wrote another chapter to his improbable story, scoring six goals, including this behind-the-back goal that tied the game in the fourth quarter.

Taylor, a junior, had three goals in his career before getting his first career start on April 2 against Syracuse. He scored eight times in that game and has stayed hot with 25 goals in his last six games. He scored three of Notre Dame’s final six goals on Saturday.

The other big hero of the comeback was Eric Dobson. He scored all three of his goals in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead goal with 5:16 remaining goal. He then clinched it on a goal with 2:18 left.

Notre Dame outshot Duke 17-3 in the final quarter, but Blue Devils goalie Mike Adler did his best to keep his team in it, making eight of his 17 saves in the final quarter. Duke won four of six faceoffs in the final quarter, but was hampered by seven turnovers in the final 15 minutes.

Duke scored nine times in the second quarter, including the first five of the quarter and then closed with the quarter’s final four goals to take an 11-7 halftime lead. Dyson Williams led Duke’s offense with four goals and an assist with all of his points coming in the first half.

Notre Dame has now won six straight games to improve to 8-4 for the season while Duke is 11-6. Both teams are squarely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament field, which will be announced on Sunday night at 9 p.m.







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