Women's Lacrosse NCAA ACCtion: Sunday, May 16

May 16, 2010

No. 4 Virginia Pulls Together to Defeat No. 11 Towson in NCAA First Round

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - In front of a record crowd of 2,270 supportive fans, the No. 4 Virginia women's lacrosse team overcame a huge hurdle on Sunday afternoon, defeating No. 11 Towson, 14-12, at Klöckner Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The win marks the first for the Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament since 2007 and advances them to next weekend's quarterfinal round.

"I thought our team did a great job today," head coach Julie Myers said. "I think emotionally, we went out really strong, scoring three goals pretty quickly. Towson did a great job of coming right back at us. We knew Towson wasn't going to have it be easy for us and I thought they did a phenomenal job."

The Cavaliers got out to a hot start to open the game, with senior All-American Brittany Kalkstein winning the opening draw control and creating a fast break opportunity that saw redshirt senior Whitaker Hagerman dish a pass to sophomore Charlie Finnigan - who scored just 12 seconds into play, marking Virginia's fastest start to goal all season.

Kalkstein then assisted senior All-American Kaitlin Duff at the 28:35 mark, before classmate Caity Whiteley made it 3-0 in favor of Virginia just 2:46 into play.

Towson answered with a three-goal spurt of its own in a span of 2:35, knotting the score at 3-3 with 21:47 on the clock.

Following a UVa timeout and a point-blank save by the Cavaliers' goalkeeper - redshirt junior Lauren Benner - Virginia was able to break the stalemate with a goal from sophomore Julie Gardner at 18:49. Back-to-back scores from the Tigers, however, gave Towson its first lead of the game, 5-4, at 15:04.

The Cavaliers forced the game's third tie score after Kalkstein fired a goal into the net at 12:44, and then regained a two-goal lead at 10:06 following scores from Gardner and Whiteley.

"What I loved seeing was that our team went fast, they broke a little bit, then they came right back," Myers said. "When we were up by three, and then instantly tied, our team did a nice job of staying a step ahead. I give them a lot of credit. I'm very proud of how they were able to play, especially under the circumstances that we have been in."

Last-Second Goal Lifts Duke to Victory Over Vanderbilt

DURHAM, N.C. - Trailing by two with less than eight minutes to play, the Duke women's lacrosse team rallied for three unanswered goals, including Lindsay Gilbride's gamewinner with a second remaining, to edge Vanderbilt, 16-15, Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium in the first round NCAA Tournament match.

A back-and-forth contest throughout, the Blue Devils tied the game at 15-all on a Sarah Bullard score from the right side with three minutes to play. As the clock ticked under a minute, goalkeeper Kaitlin Gaiss came up with a huge save to give possession back to the Blue Devils. After calling a timeout with 19 seconds left, Duke capitalized on the opportunity to put the game away as Bullard found a cutting Gilbride whose shot hit the back of the net with one second remaining on the clock.

"We ran the play for Lindsay Gilbride, who was having a really good day" head coach Kerstin Kimel said. "It was a play we have in our repertoire that we use. It wasn't executed perfectly, but it was executed enough to get the look we wanted."