In a highly anticipated clash between two lacrosse powerhouses, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish showcased their defensive prowess and offensive firepower to secure a resounding victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse National Championship. From the opening faceoff to the final whistle, Notre Dame displayed unwavering control and determination, shutting down Duke’s offense and delivering a championship performance that will be remembered for years to come.
First Quarter (Notre Dame 3 – Duke 1)
The game began with Duke earning the first possession, capitalizing on the opportunity as Garrett Leadmon fired a goal past the Notre Dame goalie. However, the Fighting Irish responded swiftly with a last-second shot clock goal by Brian Tevlin, assisted by Chris Kavanagh. Both teams displayed exceptional defensive prowess, allowing only one goal each during the first half of the quarter. Notre Dame’s Eric Dobson and Chris Kavanagh found the back of the net to give the Fighting Irish a 3-1 lead. Notre Dame’s ability to contain Duke’s high-caliber offense posed a significant challenge for the Blue Devils.
Second Quarter (Notre Dame 6 – Duke 1)
The second quarter saw Notre Dame’s dominance intensify as they extended their lead. Jake Taylor and Jeffery Ricciardelli added to the Fighting Irish’s tally with impressive goals, leaving Duke struggling to find answers. The Blue Devils called a timeout in hopes of regrouping and finding a way to break through the Notre Dame defense. However, Liam Entenmann, Notre Dame’s outstanding goalkeeper, stood tall, making save after save and frustrating Duke’s offense. Entenmann’s exceptional performance, coupled with a solid defensive effort, limited Duke to just one goal in the entire first half.
Third Quarter (Notre Dame 9 – Duke 7)
The third quarter witnessed a dramatic turn of events as Duke found its rhythm and launched a spirited comeback. Jack Gray and Dyson Williams ignited the Blue Devils’ offense, scoring three unanswered goals to narrow the gap. Brennan O’Neill capitalized on a man-up opportunity to bring Duke within one. However, Notre Dame responded with a man-up goal of their own, courtesy of Jeffery Ricciardelli. Duke’s Aidan Danenza and Charles Balsamo added crucial goals, knotting the game at 7-7. Nonetheless, Notre Dame’s Brian Tevlin and Chris Kavanagh struck late in the quarter, reestablishing a two-goal lead for the Fighting Irish.
Fourth Quarter (Notre Dame 13 – Duke 9)
Entering the final quarter, Notre Dame remained determined to seal their victory. Eric Dobson opened the scoring for the Fighting Irish, extending their lead to three goals. Despite a valiant effort from Duke’s Owen Caputo, Notre Dame’s resilient defense denied the Blue Devils any significant momentum. Jack Simmons and Jake Taylor further padded Notre Dame’s lead, leaving Duke struggling to find a breakthrough. Quinn McCahon’s goal provided the exclamation point for Notre Dame’s triumph. Although Duke fought hard until the end, the exceptional performance of Notre Dame’s defense, anchored by Liam Entenmann’s exceptional goaltending, proved insurmountable.
After not making the NCAA Tournament last year, the Notre Dame Men’s Lacrosse program emerged victorious, claiming their first national title. From the opening faceoff to the final whistle, Notre Dame’s suffocating defense, coupled with their offensive efficiency, proved to be the winning formula.
Liam Entenmann- 67% SV
Chris Kavanagh- 2G, 1A
Eric Dobson- 2G
Jack Simmons- 1G, 2A
Garrett Leadmon- 2G, 1A
Brennan O’Neill- 1G, 1A
Owen Caputo- 1G, 1A
Will Frisoli- 3CT