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Duke edges Irish for first lacrosse title

5/31/2010

BALTIMORE -- Every kid with a lacrosse stick envisions
scoring the goal that wins the national championship.

CJ Costabile thought about it when he was growing up, never
believing the opportunity would come his way.

And then it did.

Costabile scored with five seconds gone in sudden-death overtime
Monday, giving Duke its first NCAA men's lacrosse title with a 6-5
win over Notre Dame.

Asked if he once dreamed of pulling off such a feat, Costabile
said, "Everyone kind of thinks about that. It's kind of cool. It's
fairy tale stuff. You don't think it's going to happen."

And then, after a slight pause, he added, "I guess it kind of
happened."

Costabile won the faceoff from Trever Sipperly and sprinted
downfield before beating standout goaltender Scott Rodgers with a
shot from directly in front of the net.

"I took my lane, it was open," Costabile said. "Whether I
decided to shoot high or low, I couldn't tell you. I just kind of
let it rip and saw the back of the net move."

The Blue Devils rushed onto the field and created a massive pile
of players, sticks and helmets while celebrating the fastest goal
to start an overtime in NCAA championship game history.

"For CJ to make a play like he did in overtime certainly made
it a lot easier for the rest of us," Duke coach John Danowski
said.

Said Rodgers: "That's the kind of shot you don't want to see as
a goalie."

Duke (16-4) twice before advanced to the title game -- and lost
by one goal both times. This time, however, the Blue Devils walked
away with the championship trophy by defeating the unseeded Irish
(10-7).

"The best feeling about it was we set this goal at the
beginning of the year," Costabile said.

It was the lowest-scoring title game in history, yet what it
lacked in offense it made up for in drama. There were five ties,
and neither team led by more than one goal.

"We thought we could win a game playing like this, but we came
up one play short," Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said.

The previous lowest-scoring game was in 1982, when North
Carolina beat Johns Hopkins 7-5.

Zach Brenneman scored three goals and Rodgers finished with 15
saves for the Irish, but he couldn't stop the last shot that came
his way. That ended a brilliant postseason run by Notre Dame, which
defeated three seeded teams to advance to the title game for the
first time.

The Irish beat Duke earlier this season, and in the rematch they
set the pace from the outset. But the result wasn't at all what
Notre Dame had in mind.

"It hurts," defenseman Kevin Ridgway said. "We executed our
game plan pretty well. We thought we could beat them. It's kind of
a bummer."

The game was played cautiously by both sides, with defense and
possession the priority. The teams set a championship-game record
for fewest combined goals through three quarters (eight) and tied
the mark for fewest at halftime (five).

Notre Dame went up 5-4 with 11:56 by converting a rare
fastbreak. David Earl picked up a loose ball and ran 30 yards
before passing across the field to Sean Rogers, who pumped a shot
past goaltender Dan Wigrizer.

Justin Turri scored for the Blue Devils with 8:44 left to tie
the game for the last time.

Duke led 3-2 at halftime after scoring the lone goal of the
second quarter.

The Blue Devils took 13 shots, including nine on goal, but
Rodgers -- voted the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four -- had
six saves and Duke committed five turnovers.