After both were able to erase a second half deficit in the first round of the 2013 NCAA tournament, the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the #7 Duke Blue Devils will face off in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Sunday, May 19th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Both teams found themselves in hot water during their opening round games. Notre Dame trailed Detroit in the fourth quarter 7-3 before reeling off six unanswered goals to seal the victory. Duke had to battle to double overtime with defending national champions Loyola before scoring the winning goal and winning the game 12-11.
The Fighting Irish will rely heavily on their freshman attackman Matt Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh provided the spark that Notre Dame so desperately needed again Detroit in the first round by scoring three goals in the final period and four overall for the game. The freshman has made an immediate impact on the offense in his first season in South Bend leading the team in goals and points, and tied for the team lead in assists. If Notre Dame has any shot to beat Duke, Kavanaugh must get hot from the beginning of the game and ride his wave.
On the other side of the ball, Duke is coming off a physically and mentally draining victory against defending national champions Loyola that took two overtimes to decide. The Blue Devils will look to junior attackman Jordan Wolf to provide the offensive spark against Notre Dame. Wolf leads the talented Blue Devil squad in both goals and total points, while being tied for the team lead in assists.
The quarterfinal matchup between The Fighting Irish and Blue Devils will not be their first meeting of the season. Back in February, Notre Dame went into North Carolina and dominated the Blue Devils 12-5. Both teams have come a long way since that early February matchup and we can expect Duke to be on the lookout for revenge.
The winner of this matchup will face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Cornell and #3 Ohio State in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 25th.