Matheis, Duke survive Loyola in double-OT
Freshman attackman Case Matheis scored with 1:40 left in the second overtime period to carry the seventh-seeded Duke Blue Devils to a 12-11 victory over reigning NCAA champion Loyola at Koskinen Stadium on Saturday.
The win extended the Blue Devils’ season into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face second-seeded Notre Dame next Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The programs had faced each other in the 25th meeting between the two earlier in the season, with Duke emerging as a 9-8 winner on March 8 and each expected to play an equally competitive game Sunday.
“I think Coach (John) Danowski does a great job in developing his team as the season goes forward,” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. “They’re a different team, Loyola’s a different team. It was an exciting game. I thought our guys came ready to play. That game could’ve been anybody’s in overtime.”
Matheis (3 goals) led eight Blue Devils scorers who fired 61 shots towards Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel, who recorded a career-high 22 saves in the losing effort for the Greyhounds.
“It’s a shame that one team had to lose,” Danowski said. “We were very proud to be part of what I thought was a really great college lacrosse game.”
It was a game of two halves, as the Greyhounds went on a 7-1 run after Duke opened the game’s scoring and eventually led 7-4 by halftime, while the Blue Devils outscored the Loyola 7-4 for the remainder of the game before heading to overtime.
Duke sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Turri made his share of stops throughout the game, facing 37 shots and finishing with 13 saves while allowing the offense to kick into gear when it needed to.
Attackmen Josh Dionne (two goals, one assist) and Jordan Wolf (two goals) scored key goals to keep the Blue Devils close, particularly during the third quarter when the Blue Devils finally tied the score 8-8 on a drive and shot from freshman midfielder Myles Jones.
Duke fell into penalty trouble at various points, which was especially costly during the first and fourth quarters when the Greyhounds finished 4-of-7 with their extra-man opportunities throughout the game.
The Blue Devils made it hard on themselves, converting only 2-of-10 man-up opportunities themselves, and they had to fight hard defensively to stay close to the Greyhounds throughout the game.
Both teams traded goals during the fourth quarter, and while trailing 11-10, it was Matheis who picked up the ball on a loose ball scramble in front of the Loyola cage and buried it with 1:05 to play.
As both teams battled to a draw during the first four-minute overtime period, their defensive battle continued into the second extra period until Matheis got the ball to Runkel’s left.
As he spun around his defender, the young attackman beat the keeper with a quick shot to the short side and sent the Blue Devils on to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.