If that’s not a dynasty, what is it?
“It’s Duke,” coach John Danowski said Monday, shortly after the Blue Devils claimed another national championship with an 11-9 win over Notre Dame.
“The kids who come here, we push them from Day One. But they accept that and want to be something that’s greater than themselves,” Danowski said. “It’s just a mix of tremendous character young men and a place that provides them an opportunity to grow.”
The top-seeded Blue Devils (17-3) limited the Irish to one goal over the first 35 minutes, built a six-goal lead in the third quarter and held on.
“Our offense didn’t have our best day today, but we kept working to try to get our shots clicking,” said Jordan Wolf, who had two goals and four assists.
The sixth-seeded Irish (12-6) closed to 9-8 with 5 minutes left and had the ball with a chance to tie. But after Duke goalie Luke Aaron stopped a shot by Jim Marlatt, Kyle Keenan scored on the other end with 2:39 to go for a two-goal cushion.
“They doubled, the goalie was out and I just ran past it and dunked it,” Wolf said.
Duke earned its first title in 2010 with a one-goal win over Notre Dame. This one, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference matchup, looked to be a lopsided rout before the Irish rallied.
“Just obviously a very, very disappointing day,” Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Just played 30 minutes of poor lacrosse to start the game. I really don’t know what to attribute it to. But it’s my responsibility; we didn’t come out prepared to play our best lacrosse.”
Notre Dame tied a record for fewest first-half goals in the championship game last set by Cornell in 1988. The Irish, who came in averaging 12 goals and 37 shots per game, took only 18 shots.
Duke’s swarming defense had a lot to do with that.
Notre Dame has played in 19 NCAA tournaments and reached the Final Four on four occasions but still has not won the championship.
Duke, on the other hand, appears to be in the midst of a dynasty.