With less than 45 seconds left in the game and the score knotted at nine, junior goalkeeper Jamie Lockwood made one of her most clutch saves in a Duke uniform, giving the Blue Devils a chance to land a comeback victory.

However, the ball bounced right to sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan, who buried the rebound to give the Fighting Irish the lead with just 31 seconds left.

Despite Duke’s best efforts with the clock winding down—after senior captain Maddie Crutchfield’s draw control win, freshman midfielder Abby Landry’s shot hit off the post—the Blue Devils could not complete the comeback from a 6-1 halftime deficit.

In what was a big blow to No. 19 Duke’s NCAA Tournament chances, it lost 10-9 to Notre Dame at Arlotta Stadium in South Bend, Ind., Saturday afternoon despite outscoring the home side 8-4 in the second half. The Blue Devils did not convert any of their four free-position opportunities and had two first-half goals waved off due to crease violations.

“We were much more aggressive in the second half going to the cage, and there were a couple of possessions in a row that we were able to score really nice goals,” Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel told Goduke.com. “[We] got the looks we really wanted in the first half [but] weren’t generating.”

After junior attack Olivia Jenner started the game off less than five minutes in with an unassisted goal, Duke (7-7, 2-4 in the ACC) went more than 34 minutes without finding the back of the net again, as nine first-half turnovers and a stagnant offense plagued the unit. 

Jenner’s second goal of the day gave the Blue Devil offensive group a new start. Three consecutive goals from freshman Charlotte North, junior Ellie Majure and sophomore Catherine Cordrey brought the deficit to just one, and North’s second tally tied it at seven with just more than 10 minutes left.

The Fighting Irish (8-7, 3-4) responded with two quick goals, but Cordrey and Jenner answered with two scores in a 40-second span to tie it up again and set up the dramatic finish.

Duke’s second-half run chased starting goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone—who seemed unflappable in the first half after six saves in the period—for a brief time before the junior resumed her duties right at the end of the contest.

Giacolone was not the only netminder to be replaced.

Sophomore Gabbe Cadoux was chased after playing the first 20 minutes despite making five saves. At the time, the score had just gone up to 5-1, and the Blue Devils sorely needed some momentum after falling flat offensively.

Although immediate relief did not come, Lockwood entered and registered six saves, including a couple to keep the score close late in the contest.

“We made a couple of adjustments defensively, just with our matchups and in terms of throwing a face guard on [freshman midfielder Maddie Howe], so I think we were able to limit them,” Kimel said. “We had a lot of really good stops in the second half.

Normal faceoff star Olivia Jenner struggled on the draw, grabbing just four draw controls, but freshman midfielder Catriona Barry and Crutchfield picked up the slack, as the NCAA team leaders in draw controls per game still managed to win the battle 11-10.

Duke often had trouble finding ways to delve into the teeth of Notre Dame’s defense, with errant passes into tight windows highlighting the Blue Devils’ first-half struggles.

Duke will have nearly a week to prepare in hopes of landing a marquee upset against Tobacco Road rival and fifth-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill before heading into the ACC tournament likely in need of one more signature win to guarantee an NCAA tournament berth.

"Our kids did a great job of responding to being down. I don’t think we’ve been in a game this season where we’ve really got back into the game and made it a game the way we did,” Kimel said. “Offensively, we’ve just got make sure that we’re being aggressive and attacking in transition. That’s where we seemed to have the most success.”