Duke junior Chris Hipps tracked down a ground ball in front of his own net with less than a minute remaining in Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup between the Blue Devils and No. 2 Notre Dame. From there, Duke salted away the final seconds of a 12-11 win at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
Irish goalie John Kemp made 13 saves in a losing effort Sunday in Indianapolis.
Duke scored the final three goals of the fourth quarter to keep the postseason monkey glued to Notre Dame’s back. The Irish have faced Duke three times in the last four NCAA Championships and have yet to come away with a win. The Blue Devils have won those three meetings by a combined total of four goals. The 2013 version was another neck-and-neck battle in the growing rivalry.
The game featured nine different ties and neither team led by more than two goals at any point. Duke took its final lead with 2:16 left on the clock when senior David Lawson found the back of the net for the fifth time in the game. Notre Dame called timeout shortly after the goal and had a chance to tie the score yet again, but was unable to find a clean shot.
Lawson’s five goals led all scorers in the game. He beat Irish goalie John Kemp for the first time less than three minutes after the opening faceoff and had a hat trick midway through the second quarter.
“David from about halfway through the season started smiling during practice,” Duke coach John Danowski said in an ESPNU interview following the game. “He was having fun and he’s playing like a senior.”
Duke outshot Notre Dame 43-32 and had twice as many shots on net as the Irish. Kemp kept the game close at times, finishing with 13 saves in his final collegiate performance.
Freshman Matt Kavanagh was once again the offensive engine for Notre Dame. He scored three times and added three more assists. He scored his final goal of the game midway through the third quarter to tie the score 8-8. From there, he found open teammates as the Blue Devils did their best to keep him from getting to the net.
Kavanagh assisted midfielder Jim Marlatt on a fourth-quarter go-ahead goal and fed sophomore Conor Doyle, who also had a hat trick in the game, for two more.
The Irish offense struggled in its three previous games, but was able to stick with Duke’s potent scoring attack blow for blow throughout most of Sunday’s game. Notre Dame’s midfield and attackmen dealt with constant pressure well and drew the game’s only four penalties. They capitalized, scoring on three of the four extra attacker opportunities.
Doyle’s final extra attacker goal gave Notre Dame an 11-9 lead, its largest of the game, with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter. Duke goalie Kyle Turri was credited with only two saves, but one of them kept the Irish from opening a 12-9 lead minutes later and led to a fast-break score on the other end of the field — a swing that tipped momentum toward the Blue Devils for good.
Danowski has now taken his team to the national semifinals in all seven years that he has been the head coach at Duke. Notre Dame missed out on its third trip to championship weekend in four years. The Irish also lost to Duke in the quarterfinals in 2011, one year after losing to the Blue Devils in overtime of the national championship game. The Irish finished the year with an 11-5 record.