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March 29, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Duke junior midfielder Kat Thomas and freshman defender Taylor Virden have been named Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week presented by Chevrolet, respectively, for the period ending on Monday, March 28.
Thomas, Duke's leading scorer with 28 goals this season, had a big game for the Blue Devils last Saturday at Virginia, registering a game-high four goals. The midfielder from Latham, N.Y., capped a 3-0 Duke start with her first goal of the afternoon, then provided the answer to UVa's first score to give the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead 21 minutes into the game. After Virginia made a run in the second half to tie the game at six-all, Thomas responded with the go-ahead goal, giving Duke a 7-6 lead and igniting a 3-0 Blue Devil run to secure the victory. Thomas' fourth goal came with 6:37 in the second half after Virginia had pulled within two. Thomas also added three draw controls and two ground balls in the effort, while the contest marked the fifth game this season the Duke junior has scored four or more goals.
Virden, who has started every game this season as a rookie, was also instrumental in the win at eighth-ranked Virginia. The freshman defender totaled two caused turnovers, two ground balls and two draw controls as well as a key goal. Early in the second half, Virginia had overcome a three-goal halftime deficit to tie the game at six-all. Duke scored a goal to take a narrow lead, but Virginia gained possession and looked to tie the game again. However, Virden came up with a key caused turnover and ground ball to thwart the UVa attack. Three minutes later, the Duke freshman scored a huge goal, her fourth of the season, to give Duke a two-goal lead and swing the momentum in the Blue Devils' favor.
ACC Women's Lacrosse action continues tonight (Tuesday, March 29) as two ACC schools face nonconference opponents on the road. Maryland travels to take on Towson, while Virginia Tech visits Liberty. Both games are slated to begin at 7 p.m.