Top Seed Virginia Defeats No. 4 Seed Duke, 16-12, in First ACC Men's Lacrosse Semifinal
April 23, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md.— Top-seeded Virginia defeated fourth-seed Duke, 16-12, in the first semifinal of the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship, which was held on Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland.
Sophomore attackman Chris Bocklet and junior midfielder Shamel Bratton each tallied a hat-trick to lead the second-ranked and top-seeded Cavaliers to their 13th appearance in the ACC championship game and first since 2008. The win also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Duke.
“These conference games are always the toughest games we have,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “It was great that we got a chance to face Duke, one of the toughest teams in the country, again just days after them beating us on our home field. Coming into this tournament, with four of the top five teams in the country – no matter who you play is going to be a tough contest. And today, we completely played our hearts out.”
The win improves the Cavaliers to 12-1 overall (2-1 ACC) and advances them to Sunday’s championship game, in which they will play the winner between No. 2-seed North Carolina and tournament host and No. 3-seed Maryland, who get underway in today’s second semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. The loss drops Duke to 11-4 overall (1-2 ACC).
Today’s contest marked the 72nd all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and the Blue Devils, a series that began in 1938 and which UVa owns a 49-23 advantage. The programs have faced each other every year since 1972, except the 2006 season, and have battled in the first round of the ACC Championship five times.
Duke continued its dominance over Virginia as the Blue Devils outscored the Cavaliers 8-3 in the second half on its way to a 13-9 victory just seven days prior to the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils picked up where they left off last week, scoring four-straight goals to open the league’s two-day tournament.
A pair of senior midfielders Steve Schoeffel and Will McKee and graduate student midfielders Mike Catalino and Jonathan Livadas each scored a goal to lead the way for the Duke start, while Blue Devil senior attackman Ned Crotty, who ranks second in the nation in assists (2.79 pg) added two assists in the 4-0 opening.
Starsia called for a timeout with 5:28 remaining in the first period to regroup his Cavalier squad, which responded by rattling off four unanswered goals and tying the game at 4-4.
Freshman Matt White tallied his 14th and 15th goals of the season in the comeback for Virginia, while senior midfielder Brian McDermott and the Bratton brothers, Rhamel and Shamel, each added goals to allow Virginia to pull ahead 5-4.
Duke senior attackman Max Quinzani netted his team-leading 48th goal of the season to knot the teams at five-all, and Robert Rotanz added an insurance goal, his sixth score of the season, as the Blue Devils went ahead 6-5.
Duke allowed Virginia to score four of the next five goals, eventually giving the Wahoos a 9-7 advantage heading into the break.
Virginia started the second frame in much the same fashion as the second period, scoring three of the four third-period goals and five of the first six goals in the second half to extend their lead to 14-8 and keep the momentum in their favor.
Duke tried to mount a run of its own, scoring four of the final six goals on the day and a quick trio of goals with less than two minutes remaining in the contest.
Bocklet tabbed his third goal of the night in the fourth period, giving the sophomore seven hat-tricks this season. He entered the tournament ranking No. 3 in the nation in hat-tricks made, a category that Duke’s Quinzani owns with 10 this season.
The Blue Devils outshot the Cavaliers, 36-30, and earned the groundball edge, 38-33; however, the game-deciding factor in semifinal No. 1 came on face-offs won as UVa successfully had 22-of-32 face-offs taken, large in part to McDermott’s 17-of-19 face-off won.
Junior goalie Adam Ghitelman logged all 60 minutes in the creese for the Cavaliers and recorded 12 saves in the winning effort. Freshman goalie Dan Wigrizer had five saves for the Blue Devils in his first ACC tournament contest, giving his team nearly 45 minutes of action.
The winner between the Tar Heels and tournament-host Maryland will meet Virginia in Sunday’s championship game at 3:38 p.m. The match-up will be televised live on FS Florida, FS South, and CSN Mid-Atlantic, and next-day delayed on NESN (3 p.m.) and SunSports (9 p.m.).
#1 VIRGINIA vs. #4 DUKE
Virginia head coach Dom Starsia
Opening Statement: “These conference games are always the toughest games we have. It was great that we got a chance to face Duke, one of the toughest teams in the country, again just days after them beating us on our home field. Coming into this tournament, with four of the top five teams in the country – no matter who you play is going to be a tough contest. And today, we completely played our hearts out.”
On what you told the guys after breaking an eight-game losing streak to Duke: “The very first thing that I told our guys was that we came here to win a championship. We have to actually move past this game and challenge ourselves to focus on the upcoming game. We are going to begin preparing for Sunday now.”
On always beating up each other in your own conference: “Sitting besides my ACC peers and colleagues earlier today, I was thinking what a great opportunity it is to play these specific schools. Not only are they great lacrosse teams, but they are great schools and great academic programs. We have to hustle every night to win at the recruiting game against each other. Especially since any guy that comes to play in any of the ACC schools has a unique opportunity.”
On being down 4-0 to start the game: “I really was caught off-guard today, because I thought that we would be the ones to bring the momentum – especially coming off of our last game against them (loss at home). I was actually really glad when we got the first goal, let alone the next few.”
Duke head coach John Danowski
Opening Statement: “I am obviously disappointed with the outcome of today’s game; however, I have to tip my hat and give due credit to Virginia, who did a fabulous job. They were extremely hungry today and played really hard. They just whipped us today and actually the score isn’t as indicative as how hard and how bad Virginia wanted the win today.”
On the Virginia coaching staff:“I will tip my hat as well to the Virginia coaching staff, who did a great job of preparing their team. It was apparent that they wanted the win.”
On Ken Clausen being such a defensive force: “He came out before the game and yelled to our guys saying ‘not today.’ He made that point clear during the game as he and the team did exactly that.”