The Duke Blue Devils scored off of the faceoff to beat Notre Dame winning their first NCAA Championship, 6-5.
BALTIMORE, Md. – Sophomore CJ 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.
“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.”
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.
Freshman goalie Dan Wigrizer came up with the first of his five saves to start the second quarter, stopping a fast-break opportunity by the Fighting Irish to keep the game even at two. After a save from Rodgers, Notre Dame put together a long possession, but was unable to crack the Blue Devil defense for the go-ahead goal.
The second quarter defensive battle continued with both teams being held scoreless until the 1:24 mark when Schoeffel registered his second goal of the game to put Duke back in front 3-2 at the half.
Similar to the start of the game, Notre Dame scored early in the third quarter to tie the game at 3-3 with just 1:19 off the clock. Wigrizer came up with a save on the next Irish possession and the Blue Devils successfully cleared. After a shot from Quinzani sailed high, Howell got the ball back behind the cage and beat his defender around the crease to net his second score of the game and put Duke back in front 4-3 at the 9:30 mark of the third quarter.
Just over eight minutes later, Brenneman netted his third goal of the game to tie the score for the fourth time of the afternoon. The Blue Devils had the final possession of the frame, but a kick-save from Rodgers kept the score even at four heading into the final quarter.
Rodgers continued to come up big for Notre Dame, making two point-blank saves in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. After a turnover by the Blue Devils, the Fighting Irish raced down the field and Rogers and Earl connected to give Notre Dame its first lead since 14:11 in the first quarter.
A big save from Wigrizer on Notre Dame’s next possession gave the Blue Devils the ball back on offense. Duke set up its offense with Howell behind the cage. Howell fed Justin Turri on the right side and the West Islip, N.Y., native fired a low shot through the legs of Rodgers to tie the score at 5-5 with 8:44 left to play.
Both teams failed to capitalize on extra-man opportunities late in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes remaining, the Blue Devils regained possession following a turnover. Duke’s attack got off several shots, but was unable to score as the game was sent into overtime for the 10th time in NCAA history.
Duke held a narrow 33-31 edge in shots and won the ground ball game 26-22. The faceoff game was an even battle with the Fighting Irish winning eight to the Blue Devils’ seven. Neither team scored on man-up opportunities.
The victory gives Duke 12 National Championships in school history.
2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
C.J. Costabile, Long-Stick Midfielder, Duke University
Zach Howell, Attack, Duke University
Mike Manley, Defender, Duke University
Max Quinzani, Attack, Duke University
Zach Brenneman, Midfield, University of Notre Dame
Kevin Ridgway, Defense, University of Notre Dame
Scott Rodgers, Goalkeeper, University of Notre Dame
Chris Bocklet, Attack, University of Virginia
Steele Stanwick, Attack, University of Virginia
Steve Mock, Attack, Cornell University
Most Outstanding Player: Scott Rodgers, Goalkeeper, University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan
Opening statement about the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse national championship game
“I would like to congratulate Duke for winning its first national championship. It was a heck of a game. It was not the game that people saw the other night with Virginia but we certainly hoped it wouldn’t be. We didn’t think we would be in good shape in a game like that but we thought we could win a game like this. We came up one play short.”
On the Notre Dame defense and covering Duke’s Ned Crotty
“Kevin Ridgway is probably one of the most underrated defensemen in the country to start with. He is not flashy and not good with the ball. It seems like guys get first-team All-American for looking good carrying the ball. I don’t know where that started but somehow defensemen that carry the ball nicely now get extra credit and become All-Americans. I thought the job of the defensemen is to stop people from scoring. Guys like Kevin don’t get enough credit when they do that and they do it very well. Secondly, our short-stick defensive midfielders played very good defense [today]. It is a combination of things on a guy like him [Crotty].”
On the game-winning goal
“I am mad at myself for not putting our wings further down and playing a little bit more defensively there. Trever Sipperly had done a very good job all day, controlled the ball. We weren’t thinking that he was going to give up a break. He had been in control of the ball for the better part of the day. But that said, in that situation it might have been smarter to make sure because you know Costabile if he has a chance he will attack the cage like that. It might have been smarter to put our wings down and tell Trever, ‘if you win it just bring it to yourself.’ That way we would have been protected.”
Notre Dame senior goalie Scott Rodgers
On the game-winning goal
“You don’t really know what you are going to get. They are coming at you with a 6-foot pole and they can choose to go low or high. We had two guys chasing back on that last play and that isn’t what a goalie wants to see. Our game wasn’t lost on one play though; it’s lost throughout the game.”
Notre Dame junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway
On what’s it like to know that you have Scott there behind you?
“It’s a great feeling. He will be a big loss next year. It’s always a nice safety net and he has been there to support this team and give us confidence all year. The trust between this team is pretty remarkable. Scott’s just been a huge asset.”
On how hard this loss is, knowing it was a tight game that you could have won
“It hurts. We knew we executed our game plan well. We thought we could beat them. Unfortunately, we just came up one play short.”
Notre Dame junior midfielder Zach Brenneman
On your performance today
“It was okay. Duke was just sliding conventionally with the short-sticks. We were just trying to get to the backside and do what we do. Like Kevin said, unfortunately we just came up short.”
Duke coach John Danowski
Opening statement on the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse national championship game
“Kevin Corrigan and his staff...what a job. 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.”
On why he had CJ take the faceoff in overtime
“Sometimes it is a matter of individual techniques. We felt like CJ had a better chance of getting it out. We also felt that he had a better chance of getting it back if we did lose the faceoff. The faceoff is a team event and we try to create turnovers off 10 percent of the face-offs we lose.”
On his team’s defensive play
“I was so proud of our guys. I thought that the two freshmen we had playing were fabulous. If I was told before the game that we were going to hold a team to five goals in the national championship game I would have been delighted. Dan Wigrizer made 10 saves which is a 67 percent save percentage and that is a phenomenal day.”
Duke University sophomore long-stick midfielder CJ Costabile
On the faceoff battle throughout the day and the final faceoff
“It was a battle throughout the game, there was that one faceoff that went for over 25 seconds. It was a battle and to come out that clean [on the final faceoff], to get my hands in there and pull it out really quick the ball popped out in front of me, it was awesome. I mean the faceoff game is such a team thing and my wings did a great job on that, allowing me to pick up that ground ball really easily.”
On the feeling of scoring the game-winning goal
“It’s sick! 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 is the best moment about that.”
On the winning shot
“Everyone was pretty much shut-off. They were really tight on the attackman. So I took my lane, it was open. I kind of just let it rip and saw the back of the net move and saw [teammates] jumping around me.”
Duke University junior attacker Zach Howell
On preparing to play a tough defensive team like Notre Dame
“It’s certainly tough but we take pride in being a very good all-around team. We accepted the challenge and we knew, especially on offense, we needed to be mentally tough. It’s tough going in knowing you may not have the ball as much as you would like and we knew we had to be opportunistic against their [Notre Dame’s] defense.”
Duke is the first team to become the National Champion without previously owning an NCAA title since Princeton University won its first men’s lacrosse championship in 1992 (defeated Syracuse 10-9 2OT).
Each of the last two Division I championship games were decided in overtime, marking the first time it has occurred in NCAA Division I history (2010 – Duke won 6-5 OT; 2009 – Syracuse defeated Cornell, 10-9 OT).
This was the seventh meeting between the Blue Devils and the Fighting Irish, including the second time this season. Duke owns a 5-2 record in the overall series. Prior to today, Notre Dame won the last two meetings, including this season’s 11-7 win on Feb. 20.
The Fighting Irish made their first appearance in the NCAA Championship title game, while the Blue Devils reached the final game for the third time in program history.
The five combined goals scored in the first half ties the lowest output for two teams in the first half of the NCAA Championship title game. It happened twice before (1980 – John Hopkins 4, Virginia 1; 1982 – North Carolina 4, John Hopkins 1). The one goal in the second quarter is the second fewest goals scored in an NCAA final (1980 – Johns Hopkins and Virginia both went scoreless in the second quarter).
The eight combined goals scored after three quarters is the fewest goals scored through three stanzas in an NCAA Championship title game.
Today’s contest is the lowest scoring game in NCAA championship game history in all divisions (97 games, 40 at Division I). The previous record was 12 goals when North Carolina took a 7-5 win over Johns Hopkins in the 1982 NCAA Division I Championship title game.
Attendance for today’s game was 37,126, the eighth highest attendance for an NCAA Championship final for men’s lacrosse. The combined attendance for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships for Division I, II and III was 116,289, making it the seventh most attended men’s lacrosse championships.
Duke has now won the 12th overall NCAA title in its fifth sport (men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s golf and women’s tennis). It is also the 455th all-time victory for the Blue Devils’ men’s lacrosse program. It marks the 285th career victory and 66th at Duke for head coach John Danowski.
Duke was 11-0 this season when leading at halftime. Duke is now 2-0 in overtime games in NCAA Championship history. The Blue Devils beat Johns Hopkins, 12-11, in the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Championship.
Six goals were the fewest goals scored by Duke since Mar. 17, 2009, when the Blue Devils lost to Cornell, 10-6. It is the fewest goals scored by Duke in a winning effort since defeating Georgetown, 6-4, on Mar. 24, 2007.
Heading into today’s championship game, Duke averaged 16.33 goals per game in the first three games of the tournament, while Notre Dame held its opponents to 5.67 goals per game.
Zach Howell scored his 50th goal of the season at 13:25 in the first quarter. It is the ninth time that a Duke player has scored 50 goals in a single season. It is also the second time that two Duke players have both scored 50 goals in a single season (2010 – Howell and Max Quinzani ; 2008 – Quinzani  and Zack Greer ).
Howell scored 10 goals in this year’s NCAA Championship, which ties him for fourth most by a Duke player in NCAA Championship history. He ranks sixth all-time in career goals scored by a Duke player in NCAA tournament play with 16.
Today was the first time this season that Quinzani did not score a single goal for the Blue Devils. He was held to one goal in Duke’s 19-8 win over Presbyterian on Apr. 9. For his career, it is the seventh time in 78 games that he did not score a goal. The last time he went without scoring a goal was in the 2009 ACC Tournament, when Duke defeated Virginia, 16-5, in the semifinals.
With his assist at 1:24 in the second quarter, Quinzani extended his scoring streak (goal or assist) to a nation’s best 66 games.
Duke senior attack Ned Crotty’s assist at 13:25 in the first quarter was his 63rd of the season, which is tied for the 10th most in a single season in NCAA history.
The last time Crotty and Quinzani were each held without a goal was on Mar. 20, 2007 against Cornell, when Duke lost, 7-6.
Sophomore long-stick midfielder CJ Costabile scored his first game-winning shot for the Blue Devils by finding the back of the net just five seconds into the overtime stanza. It was the fastest goal scored in overtime in NCAA Championship game history in all three divisions of men’s lacrosse. It was Costabile’s 11th goal in his college career.
Notre Dame junior midfielder Zach Brenneman recorded a hat trick in both games against Duke this season. He had three goals in the Fighting Irish’s 11-7 at Duke on Feb. 20, and registered three more goals in today’s game. It also marked the third time that Brenneman has posted a hat trick at M&T Bank Stadium. Today’s hat trick gave him a team-high six this season.
Notre Dame senior midfielder Grant Krebs had his team-best nine-game goal-scoring streak snapped after being held without a goal in today’s game.
Notre Dame senior attackman Neal Hicks, the Fighting Irish’s second leading scorer, was held without a point for just the second time this year. The other instance was on Mar. 20 in Notre Dame’s 7-6 overtime win over Ohio State.
Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Scott Rodgers was named the 2010 Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship. It is the fifth time that the Most Outstanding Player was awarded to a member of the team that lost in the championship game. The last time was in 1996 when Virginia’s Michael Watson received the honor following the Cavaliers’ 13-12 overtime loss to Princeton.
Rodgers made 53 saves in the four games of the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship. He averaged 13.25 saves per game for the Fighting Irish in the championship.
|Zach Howell||(2, 1)|
|Steve Schoeffel||(2, 0)|
|Cj Costabile||(1, 0)|
|Justin Turri||(1, 0)|
|Ned Crotty||(0, 1)|
|Max Quinzani||(0, 1)|
|Dan Wigrizer||5 (0.500)|