But overall it was a disappointing end to the season for the Greyhounds, who lost, 12-7, in the first-round game at Koskinen Stadium.
"We were trying to get back to what we had success with in the first quarter," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "It just kind of got away from us."
Loyola's season ended with three consecutive losses.
Finnerty, who was one of the Duke players falsely accused in the highly publicized 2006 rape case, made his first game appearance on his former home field. He scored three goals, receiving a hearty ovation from the home fans after each one.
"It was a great feeling to be back with the playoff atmosphere," Finnerty said. "It felt great to be scoring. I was happy to be stepping up for my team.
"It was a lot of emotion with the fans from Duke supporting me. I'm not surprised by their character."
After the game, Finnerty posed with several of his former teammates for a photograph near midfield.
"They're great guys, all of them," he said. "There's nothing but good vibes between us."
Said Toomey: "I hope it's a little bit of closure coming down here. I think there's a piece of his heart that's still at Duke."
Duke defenseman Tony McDevitt said his teammates have special feelings toward Finnerty.
'He played awesome," McDevitt said. "We would like him to not score so much."
Finnerty, from Garden City, N.Y., scored his first goal with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter. He scored again with 2:52 left in the third quarter and with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter.
The top-ranked Blue Devils (17-1), stymied for most of the first 22 minutes, unleashed five goals in the next eight minutes - the final two by Max Quinzani. The 13th-ranked Greyhounds (7-7) never recovered, failing to reach the eight-win mark for the sixth consecutive season.
Loyola goalkeeper Jake Hagelin (Boys' Latin), the first true freshman to start in goal for Loyola in an NCAA tournament game in 16 years, helped keep the Blue Devils in check. He made eight of his 13 saves in the first half.
Loyola, which lost, 21-8, to Duke at home March 8, played better in the rematch, Toomey said.
"We felt like we were able to possess [the ball] offensively and play defense with our offense in the first quarter," he said. "Then they had a couple of unassisted goals, which was frustrating. You've got to defend them for 60 minutes."
Steve Schoeffel scored three goals for Duke. Teammate Zack Greer, who leads the team in goals, scored two, both in the second half.
Duke's Matt Danowski, a fifth-year player, became the NCAA's all-time points leader with an assist on Quinzani's goal with five seconds left in the first half. He finished with two goals and five assists, giving him 347 career points.
The Blue Devils play Ohio State, a 15-7 winner yesterday over No. 8 seed Cornell, next Sunday in Ithaca, N.Y.
Loyola 1 1 2 3 - 7
Duke 1 5 5 1 - 12
Goals: L-Finnerty 3, Daly, MacDonnell, Richards, Willcox; D-Schoeffel 3, Danowski 2, Greer 2, Quinzani 2, Young 2, Catalino. Assists: L-Koppens, Langan; D-Danowski 5, Loftus, Schoeffel. Saves: L-Hagelin 13, Shinall 0; D-Loftus 9.