May 23, 2014

Glory Days: Duke Breaks Through in 2010

As told to Gary Lambrecht | | Twitter

Going into the 2010 season, anything less than a national championship would have felt like a failure to the Duke men's lacrosse team. (John Strohsacker/

Lacrosse Magazine gathered stories of NCAA tournament lore, straight from the mouths of champions, as part of our May 2014 edition. Extended versions appear here. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 415,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

On a muggy Memorial Day, Duke became the first team to win its first NCAA Division I title since Princeton in 1992. It came four years after Duke's scandal-shortened 2006 season. After the alleged rape charges against three former players proved to be bogus, the Blue Devils had made it to three straight final fours, only to fall short each time before breaking through thanks to long-stick midfielder CJ Costabile's faceoff win and goal 5 seconds into overtime.

Ned Crotty, one of several fifth-year seniors awarded additional eligibility for the canceled 2006 season, won the 2010 Tewaaraton Award.

Ned Crotty

Some people called us chokers. That [title] kind of shut them up. We had been to three final fours and a national championship game, and we had won three ACC titles, which was great. But coming into the season, winning a national championship was our goal. Anything less would have made the season feel like a failure.

My class was the last of the fifth-year guys. After everything the program had been through, it was like the best of times after the worst of times. That win closed the book on all of that.

Being a high-powered, successful team is what Duke is known for. We did not like playing slow, 6-on-6 lacrosse. In that aspect, Notre Dame won. But we made our shots count, and we got the momentum after Notre Dame had it.

The biggest thing was we didn't freak out in the biggest game of our careers.

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