DURHAM, N.C. - A hat trick from junior midfielder Zach Brenneman (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) helped lead the No. 9 Notre Dame men's lacrosse team to an 11-7 season-opening win over No. 2 Duke on Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium. The Irish never trailed in the contest en route to defeating a team ranked in the top-two of the national polls for the first time in program history.
Senior attackmen Neal Hicks (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) and Colin Igoe (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) along with freshman midfielder Steve Murphy (Shirley, N.Y./William Floyd) all scored two goals apiece for the Irish. Senior All-America goalie Scott Rodgers (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) had 15 saves on the day.
Notre Dame (1-0) grabbed a 1-0 lead with 11:57 left in the first quarter as Igoe connected on his first shot of the game. The Irish had the first six shots of the contest and out shot the Blue Devils 46-33 on the day. Murphy made it 2-0 in favor of the Fighting Irish with just over eight minutes showing on the clock in the first quarter.
Duke got on the board with 4:29 left in the first quarter on a Max Quinzani goal. Quinzani led the Blue Devils with three goals.
The Irish came right back and scored less than a minute later to regain their two-goal advantage as Murphy notched his second goal of the game. The Blue Devils had a response of their own with 2:41 remaining in the first period as Will McKee deposited a goal to make it 3-2 in favor of Notre Dame.
The back-and-forth game continued as Igoe tallied his second goal of the game on an assist from Brenneman with 2:17 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame led 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Fighting Irish out shot the Blue Devils 16-8 in the period.
A man-up goal from Brenneman gave the Irish a three-goal lead (5-2) less than a minute into the second quarter. The Irish went up by four on a goal from sophomore attackman Nicholas Beattie (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) with 8:37 showing on the clock in the second quarter. Fellow sophomore Eric Keppeler (Baldwin, Md./Dulaney) picked up the assist on the score.
Duke tallied three goals in a 30-second span to slice the Irish lead to one (6-5) with 4:14 left in the first half. The scores came from Justin Turri (4:44), Zach Howell (4:34) and Parker McKee (4:14).
Notre Dame led 6-5 at halftime.
The Fighting Irish deposited the first tally of the second half as Hicks sent a shot into the back of the net with nearly five minutes elapsed in the stanza. Following Quinzani's second goal of the game, Hicks tallied his second goal to make it 8-6 in favor of the Irish with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Brenneman scored less than a minute later, on an assist from Igoe, to give Notre Dame a three-goal advantage (9-6). Quinzani's third tally of the day would make it a 9-7 contest in favor of the Irish after three quarters.
The Notre Dame defense, which led the nation last season with a 6.19 goals-against average, held Duke without a goal in the final quarter.
Brenneman completed his hat trick to put Notre Dame back up by three (10-7) with 5:35 left in the game. Hicks assisted on the goal. Junior midfielder David Earl (Simsbury, Conn./Westminster School) put the cap on the Irish victory as he scored with one minute left to produce the final outcome.
Fighting Irish senior Trever Sipperly (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich) went 10-for-19 in faceoff attempts. Notre Dame was 10-21 in faceoffs overall.
Notre Dame has won a program-record eight straight season openers. The Fighting Irish are 23-7 all-time in season-openers, including a 17-5 record under head coach Kevin Corrigan.
The Fighting Irish return to action when they play host to Penn State in the home opener on Sunday, Feb. 28. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Loftus Sports Center.
Duke vs. Notre Dame