Geoff Shannon

Six Seconds and A Lifetime for Lowe’s Senior Class Award Winner C.J. Costabile

by Geoff Shannon May 28, 2012 in Lacrosse


Six seconds can change a life. Duke’s C.J. Costabile knows this. Six seconds and the 2012 Lowe’s Senior Class recipient went from a known lacrosse talent to the creator of one of the greatest lacrosse moments in the history of the modern game.

By all available indicators Costabile has established a decorated career in men’s lacrosse. To wit: He’s been named a four-time USILA All-American and this year was the recipient of the 2012 Lt. Donald McLaughlin, Jr. Award as the nation’s most outstanding midfielder. He’s also a 2012 Tewaaraton finalist.

Stat-wise, he’s posted a .531 career face-off percentage, 368 career groundballs and 65 career caused turnovers heading into the 2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse final four.

The Connecticut native’s resume is stout. All those accolades, however, stand in the shadow of Costabile’s six second, career-defining moment.

Flash back to final four weekend of the 2010 NCAA tournament, held in Baltimore. Duke and Notre Dame have finished regulation tied 5-5 in the national championship game. Next goal wins.

Costabile was lined up for the face-off.  After quick push forward with his defensive longpole, he scooped up the the ball, drove the middle of the field and fired a top shelf shot over Notre Dame All-American goalie Scotty Rodgers.

Boom, six seconds, game over. In a moment, Costabile secured Duke’s first ever NCAA national championship, and helped create a new narrative after previous championship weekend losses.

“I was so happy to have those seniors walk off with their head up high,” says Costabile, reflecting back on the 2010 championship moment. “Those guys had been through some tough stuff going back to ’06. Three final fours they were unsuccessful. It was great to give those guys what they deserve.”

Costabile grew up in talent-rich Connecticut and tutored under some of the best minds in the state. He played for New Fairfield high school, winning a state championship as a senior. He was named both a Top 10 recruit by Inside Lacrosse in 2008 and made the U-19 U.S. National team. 

At Duke, Costabile gradually developed into a jack-of-all-trades with defensive longpole. He could face-off deftly. He could play the wing and snag groundballs. In the transition game, he learned how to be a scoring threat. And, through the years, he also learned just what type of leadership skills he could bring to the team, first tutoring under the older players then learning through his own chances as a senior.

“I’m not a vocal guy,” says Constabile. “I never really have been. The best thing I could do is lead as example through my play, putting guys in the right spots, and vice versa. The guys build off that, and they motivate me that way. Duke has a great tradition of senior leadership and everyone in the senior class, if they step on the field or not, helps to assist the underclassmen.”

Costabile’s leadership style emulates Duke’s approach to leadership and community outreach. The team quietly does work with the local Ronald McDonald House and the Children’s Hospital in Durham. They also teach the game to the growing North Carolina lacrosse playing population. “We’re really blessed with the community that supports us,” says Costabile.

A graduating senior, Costabile is looking to possibly start a career in an alternative investment firm this summer. Also a top professional lacrosse prospect, Costabile was drafted by the Bayhawks but recently traded to the Long Island Lizards.

There are other long-term decisions to make. Six seconds may define his collegiate career, but Costabile also doesn’t mind looking at the long-term, as long as lacrosse is involved somehow.

“I’ll just keep on keeping on,” says Costabile of his future. “Maybe I’ll start a bunch of lacrosse camps. I’ll always be a lax rat.”