No. 3 Duke downs No. 7 Notre Dame for sixth consecutive victory
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Duke senior attackman Jordan Wolf tallied four goals and three assists and sophomore Deemer Class added five goals and two assists to lead the No. 3 Blue Devils to a 15-7 win over seventh-ranked Notre Dame in ACC lacrosse action on Saturday.
“I give all the credit to my teammates,” said Class. “We came out here to Notre Dame and got the win in a great environment against a great team. I’m really happy for our team. We worked hard all week and got better and came out and executed.”
Duke extends its win streak to six games and improves to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. The Blue Devils currently own a share of the top spot in the conference standings. Notre Dame drops to 4-4 and to 2-2 in conference play.
“It’s hard to explain,” said head coach John Danowski. “You watch individuals gain confidence over the course of a season and then group chemistry begins to develop because kids have confidence not only in themselves, but in each other. So you play with a different calmness and it’s been interesting to observe.”
The Blue Devils and Fighting Irish scored 49 seconds apart early on before Duke tallied four unanswered to go ahead 5-1 in the second quarter. Wolf sparked the run at the 9:07 mark and Class gave the Blue Devils their first two-goal lead with a stick-side high strike from 10 yards out.
A goal from Wolf and Class along with outstanding play from Luke Aaron and the Duke defense gave the Blue Devils a 5-1 lead early in the second quarter. The Fighting Irish ended a 21:57 scoreless drought with a Sergio Perkovic extra-man goal to make it 5-2 at the 5:08 mark.
Duke responded less than a minute later with a score from Class to head into halftime with the 6-2 advantage. Aaron had six saves in the opening half, including five in the first quarter.
The Blue Devils continued to cruise in the second half as they fired on all cylinders both on offense and defense to go ahead by as many as nine in the third quarter. Class and Wolf combined for three goals and three assists in the period to help the Blue Devils pull away.
“We’re playing really fundamental lacrosse,” said Class. “They guys are working well shooting and playing with both hands -- a lot of stuff we teach early on in the fall and it just keeps building as the season goes forward. We’re really buying into our system.”
Notre Dame, trailing 13-3 early in the fourth, put together a three-goal run to cut the Blue Devils lead to 13-6. Duke regrouped and got a pair of goals from sophomore Myles Jones two minutes apart to stretch the advantage back to nine.
Aaron finished with 10 saves to grab his ninth win of the year. Shane Doss and Connor Kelly split time, making five and seven saves, respectively. It marks the seventh game the Blue Devils have held their opponents to fewer than 10 goals this season.
Notre Dame’s Liam O’Connor won the faceoff battle against Duke’s Brendan Fowler 15-10. Fowler also finished with a team-high five ground balls. Nick Ossello led the Fighting Irish with two goals and Conor Doyle finished with a goal and three assists.