Duke Captures NCAA Dl Title

Posted Tuesday, June 01, 2010 by Ray Nelson

Duke scores five seconds into OT to win national lacrosse title

Quick Summary

Duke scored a dramatic 6-5 victory over Notre Dame in the lowest-scoring NCAA men’s lacrosse championship game in history.

The Duke
Blue Devils celebrate

Photo credit: Getty Images | The Duke Blue Devils celebrate their first goal against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2010 NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse Championship game. (May 31, 2010)

BALTIMORE - Not much can rattle Scott Rodgers. At 6-4, 255 pounds, the Notre Dame goalie by way of MacArthur doesn't flinch when shots come rocketing his way at 90 miles an hour from the best attacks and middies in the country. But the sight of Duke defenseman C.J. Costabile wielding a long stick and bearing down on him untouched in the opening seconds of overtime in the national championship game Monday was more than a little unnerving.

"When his hands get high on top of that 6-foot pole, it's about 9 feet coming at you, and you don't know if he's dropping it off the table or staying up high," Rodgers said. "It's one of those shots you kind of have to take a guess on as a goalie and get your body in the way."

Costabile, a 6-1, 180-pound sophomore, fired one directly over Rodgers' head five seconds into overtime to give the Blue Devils a 6-5 victory before a crowd of 37,126 at M&T Bank Stadium. The quickest overtime goal in an NCAA Tournament final ended the lowest-scoring championship game in history.

"Every one was pretty much shut off. They were really tight on the attackmen," said Costabile, who made a quick move to win the faceoff cleanly. "So I took my [middle] lane and it was open. When I decided to shoot high or low, I couldn't say. I just let it rip and saw the back of the net move and guys jumping around me."

Costabile gave Duke (15-4) its first men's lacrosse championship. Notre Dame (10-7) was playing in its first title game.

Rodgers became the fifth player voted the Final Four's most outstanding player to come from a team that lost in the final. He made 15 saves Monday and had 16 in the Fighting Irish's 12-7 victory over Cornell in Saturday's semifinal.

"It's a bittersweet feeling,'' he said. "You have to think about how hard our guys fought against a Duke team that scored 17 against North Carolina, 14 on Virginia, then we come out and let up only six. We're disappointed, but I think we battled our hearts out."

The Irish battled the only way they know how: play tenacious defense and try to have long possessions on offense. The strategy worked beautifully as high-scoring Duke led only 3-2 at halftime of a game played in 90-degree heat and high humidity.

"It's certainly tough knowing you may not have the ball as much as you'd like," said Blue Devils attack Zach Howell of Huntington, who scored two goals Monday, 10 in the tournament and 51 for the season. He also had a huge assist, setting up Justin Turri of West Islip for the tying goal with 8:44 remaining in regulation.

Howell added: "But we take pride in being a very good all-around team. We accepted the challenge and we knew we had to be opportunistic against their defense. No one got discouraged when he [Rodgers] kept making those saves."

While Notre Dame's defense was brilliant, its offense was inefficient. The Irish put only 10 of 31 shots on goal. "That was our fault," said Zach Brenneman of East Hampton, who wasn't to blame for the Irish's offensive shortcomings, scoring three goals for a second straight game. "We just didn't shoot well."

Costabile's rare shot, however, was a thing of Blue Devils beauty. "It's sick!" he exclaimed, still barely able to believe his good fortune. "It's fairy-tale stuff. You don't think it will happen to you, but I guess it happened. Guys who have been here before me and guys [seniors] who have been here three times before and finally seeing them walk off the field with a big smile on their faces is the best moment."