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Duke men's lacrosse repeats as national champions

Members of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate after

Members of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 11-9 to win the 2014 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse championship at M&T Bank Stadium on May 26, 2014 in Baltimore. Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

BALTIMORE - The entire Duke lacrosse team and coaching staff went to the movies last week and saw "Godzilla."

"I'd never go see 'Godzilla' on my own," joked Duke coach John Danowski.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" would've been more appropriate -- or at least "The Wolf of Russell Street."

That's the address of M&T Bank Stadium, where on Monday, before a Memorial Day crowd of 25,587, Duke made it back-to-back men's lacrosse Division I championships thanks to the slick stick skills of Jordan Wolf, who had two goals and four assists as the Blue Devils held off Notre Dame, 11-9.

"Our offense didn't have our best day, but we kept working. I just happened to be in some right spots and got some easy ones in transition," said Wolf, who was voted Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Wolf had three goals and two assists in Saturday's semifinal victory over Denver and helped Duke hold off Notre Dame. "We knew they were going to make a run. We just wanted to make a couple of more plays at the end," he said. "That's what we did."

Wolf was at the front door on the biggest of those plays. After the Fighting Irish cut a six-goal deficit to 9-8, Wolf, from behind the cage, fed a cutting Kyle Keenan (Smithtown West) to give the Blue Devils (17-3) a two-goal cushion with 2:39 left.

Emerging freshman star Sergio Perkovic scored for Notre Dame (12-6) with 49 seconds left to again make it a one-goal game. But Duke's Brendan Fowler (Chaminade) won the critical ensuing faceoff and got the ball to Wolf. The senior All-American from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, escaped a double-team and scored the clincher into an empty net.

"I missed the one two minutes before, so I had to make up for it on that one," said Wolf, alluding to Conor Kelly's great save on Wolf's shot from point-blank range with 2:16 left. "They doubled, the goalie was out, and I just ran past it and dunked it."

Wolf shared with Long Island players other than Keenan, too. In the third quarter, Wolf fed Whitman's Myles Jones (two goals, one assist) for a thunderous overhand blast that was Wolf's 98th point, setting a Duke single-season record. His 99th point came 1:04 later when he found Chaminade's Thomas Zenker down the alley for a quick-stick goal that gave Duke an 8-2 lead.

"I didn't even think I was open, but he put it right on my stick," said Keenan, a junior who scored twice Monday and totaled six goals during Final Four weekend as a replacement for injured star attack Josh Dionne. "I was supposed to post on the crease and Jordan gave me a great feed. I think he's the best attackman in the country. I'm honored and humbled to play with him every day."

Despite a scoreless first period and a listless first half in which it committed 11 turnovers, Notre Dame got back in the game. Perkovic scored five second-half goals, and one of them -- off an assist from Chaminade's Matt Kavanagh (two goals, one assist) -- reduced the deficit to 8-6 with 11:01 left.

That's when Wolf stepped out from the pack again, making a dazzling double-dodge maneuver for an unassisted goal and a 9-6 lead with 9:56 left.

"I thought Jordan's next-to-last goal, the one where he re-dodged and put his foot in the ground and finished in front of the goal, was a big one for us," Danowski said. "Sometimes a guy has got to make a play."

Sometimes a Wolf has to turn into a monster.

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