A little more than five minutes into the third quarter of Friday's ACC tournament semifinal between second-seeded Notre Dame and third-seeded Duke, it looked like the Fighting Irish were poised to blow the Blue Devils out.

Duke trailed 6-2, and its three All-ACC offensive stars had been held to just one point.

But the Blue Devils showed their experience fighting to lock up an NCAA tournament berth, battling back led by senior attackmen Case Matheis and Chad Cohan—who used their speed to combine for four goals and five assists—to send the game to overtime.

Two of the Blue Devils' All-ACC performers then delivered in the sudden-death extra session, with senior midfielder Myles Jones finding sophomore attack Justin Guterding for a game-winning over-the-shoulder goal 40 seconds into overtime to give the No. 14 Blue Devils a stunning 10-9 victory Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. Jones also tied the game at nine with 7:37 left in regulation, dodging to the right and beating Fighting Irish goalkeeper Shane Doss for his first goal of the contest. 

Duke trailed by four goals at two different points in the third quarter, but its seniors combined for 13 points to send the Blue Devils back to the ACC championship game. 

“I don’t know when I’ve been involved with a game like that, where we were so thoroughly dominated for 35 minutes and then the guys came back and had the will to keep working at it the last 25 minutes,” head coach John Danowski told GoDuke.com.

Although the Blue Devils (10-6) came out on top, Friday's game started the same way the regular season matchup between the two teams ended, with No. 4 Notre Dame (9-3) dictating tempo with its fifth-ranked scoring defense and Duke struggling to find a rhythm. After scoring just two goals in the second half of their 8-6 loss April 10 in South Bend, Ind., the Blue Devils were held scoreless for the first 19:30 of action Friday before Matheis found Guterding to tie the game with 9:29 left in the first half.

Duke went cold the rest of the second quarter, committing five of its 15 turnovers in the period, and goals from Fighting Irish midfielder Sergio Perkovic and Ryder Garnsey—who paced the team with three goals apiece—gave Notre Dame a 3-1 halftime lead. Despite junior faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe's perfect six-for-six mark on first-half faceoffs for the Blue Devils, Duke's inability to create space for its potent offensive stars allowed the Fighting Irish to hold Danowski's high-powered offense in check for 30 minutes. The Blue Devils entered the game tied for second in the nation at 14.0 goals per contest, but started Friday's game with their lowest scoring half of the season.

"Early in the game when I thought we were tight, passes weren’t on people’s sticks, they were below people’s waists. We were fumbling the ball and turning it over," Danowski said. "At the end we were sharp and confident.”

Despite its first-half struggles, Duke came out of the locker room with a different mentality and increased the tempo of the game. After the teams combined for 25 first-half shots, 21 attempts were fired in the third quarter alone, with two more Perkovic goals sandwiched around a Jack Bruckner score for the Blue Devils, matching the teams' first-half goal total just three minutes into the period. 

Facing a 6-2 deficit early in the second half following a Mikey Wynne goal, Duke found its offense when it needed to most, with freshman midfielder John Prendergast scoring in transition and All-ACC senior midfielder Deemer Class getting on the board 41 seconds later to quickly cut the deficit to two.

All-American Notre Dame senior attack Matt Kavanagh answered for the Fighting Irish, and Garnsey added another tally to make the score 8-4 with 4:01 left in the third quarter, but with the tempo in their favor the Blue Devils cut the deficit back to two entering the fourth quarter following goals from Cohan and Class.

Danowski noted that his team's defense and focus on the other aspects of the game kept Duke within striking distance before Cohan and company found a rhythm in the second half.

“You don’t know when a play is going to make a difference,” Danowski said. “John Perndergast’s goal—he’s a freshman, that’s his second goal of the year—created a lot of emotion. Ian Yanulis picking up a ground ball on the wing—he picked up seven tonight, which is a phenomenal number. Kyle Rowe fighting at the faceoff X—it’s so much more than the guys who get goals and assists.”

Cohan continued his strong play early in the final period, adding another score off a Matheis assist before Garsney picked up his hat trick 44 seconds later. 

But Duke's seniors continued taking advantage of their quickness on the offensive end and Matheis found Cohan for yet another score with 11:09 remaining to make the score 9-8.

With Rowe continuing to get the ball back for the Blue Devils—the Vienna, Va., native won 18 of 23 faceoffs Friday—and Duke besting Notre Dame 20-10 in ground balls collected in the second half, the Blue Devils continued pressuring Doss in their bid to draw even for the first time since the score was 1-1.

Jones delivered, but neither team was able to generate much offense the rest of the way, with Doss, who notched 11 saves, and Duke goalkeeper Danny Fowler—who saved 12 shots—neutralizing the remaining threats to send the game into overtime.

The Blue Devils got the break they needed to start the extra session with a faceoff violation, after which senior Ben Scharf brought the ball into Duke's offensive zone and found Jones, who quickly fed Guterding to complete the comeback.

After avenging its regular season loss to Notre Dame in the ACC tournament semifinals for the second straight year, Duke will take on fourth-seeded and No. 7 Syracuse–which fell 16-15 in a regular-season shootout in Durham—Sunday at noon in the ACC championship game.