The Blue Devils started out the scoring when senior middy Michael Satyshur scored unassisted at 12:39 left in the first. Drawing first blood is a great boost for a team, but often that's not enough. This is the only lead Duke would see all afternoon. They also would only see one tie, and that came when Conner Gill fed J. Christmas for Virginia's first score. The Cavs poured it on for the remainder of the quarter notching four more to Duke's one more. Nick Russo connected with Joe Yevoli for the Cavs' second goal giving them a lead which they did not relinquish. The next three goals all came at the end of the quarter, within minutes of one another, and all unassisted. First it was Glading ripping one past Duke keeper A.J. Kincel at 3:59, then Nathan Kenney at 2:04, and finally, top scoring middy A.J. Shannon at 1:39. The Blue Devil's hopes were kept alive however, when Ben Brenneman, a freshman defenseman from Denver, took an Alex Lieske feed and capatilized with just under 20 seconds to play in the first.
The Virginia defense was certainly intense from the start with marked play by defensemen Mark Koontz and junior Ned Bowen. Duke's A.J. Kincel would draw the spotlight early in the second quarter however, with a huge save during an extra man opportunity for Virginia. After the save, Kincel was way out of net when an attempt to clear went sour, but Rotelli couldn't handle a pass which would have given him a great look at the empty cage. After a UVA timeout, Kincel would save the ball again and send it down field where after some messy play, Ned Bowen would rough up Duke's Lieske causing a turnover and a VA clear. Rotelli , who was on the other end of the clear, ripped one high and hard, but only came up with the clanking of the cross-bar, and Duke was able to get it back on their end. All this wild play took a matter of minutes and ended when Kevin Cassese turned a hard face dodge into a bounce-shot goal, cutting Duke's deficit to two at 12:11. Virginia answered back twice though, both times with the involvement of Chris Rotelli who was probably still hearing that clanking crossbar from a minute ago. First Rotelli fed A.J. Shannon up top who lazered one in at 11:26. Then, after some diving but fruitless offensive efforts by Matt Monfett on Duke's end, Rotelli got the ball on offense and scored sweeping right, nailing one to the lower right corner of the net. Alex Lieske had his first goal of the day and Duke's fourth, when he pushed his way inside and got his shot to dribble in after deflecting off of Tillman Johnson. Again, UVA answered back twice, this time with Gill having a hand in both efforts. Firstly, Gill took advantage of a ball-watching Paul Jepsen by finding Yevoli wide open on the backside who finished strong at just under seven left in the second. Then it would be Gill who scored about a minute later when Christmas fed him a dart which he stuck. UVA keeper Tillman Johnson stymied Duke's offensive and turned seemingly good opportunities for the Blue Devils into saves for himself. But just after a great Johnson kick save, Duke would get possession and finally score over Johnson's left shoulder with a hard rip from Terrence Keaney and an assist to freshman Matt Rewkowski. Duke's defense held strong and prevented anymore scoring for the quarter, and when Cassese drew a penalty the Blue Devils got an offensive opportunity with 1:39 left in the half. They capitalized with 49 seconds left when Lieske fed Dan Chemotti who ripped it top shelf on Johnson. Time expired with Duke knocking on the door.
Duke kept it close in the third by matching Virginia's two goals. Shannon opened up the scoring for the Cavs at 14:22, taking a feed from Gill and scorching a worm-burner past Kincel's feet. Alex Lieske notched his third assist of the day as he fed teammate Matt Monfett for the freshmen attackman's first point on the afternoon despite his tireless efforts on offense. Duke then closed within two when Chemotti scored unassisted at 5:37, but, Christmas came up with his second goal of the day and UVA's eleventh to keep the Blue Devil's at bay with just under 2:00 left in the third.
The fourth quarter produced some of the most exciting lacrosse in the game thus far, and some unlikely clutch players as well. The excitement started when Duke pulled within one early in the quarter. Chemotti showed his senior leadership when he put one past Johnson not more than a minute and a half into the fourth. Then a Matt Monfett feed to a streaking Cassese put a tie game very much within sight as the scoreboard showed Virginia 11, Duke 10. Duke was pressuring hard, looking to tie when their luck ran out. The Blue Devil's unofficial demise started as long-stick middy Trey Whitty snagged an unwise Duke pass from the sky and cleared it to a breaking Russo. Russo took the pass up the field and finished for the Cavaliers' twelfth goal. Any chance Duke had at this point was made even more slim by Tillman Johnson's excellent play, and also by some Blue Devil penalties which wasted precious minutes. The Duke defense wasn't giving up though, and A.J. Kincel stood strong in cage during the man-down period saving a nasty shot by Yevoli. After killing one penalty another soon came when Michael Ferrari was called for illegal a body check.
Jared Little came up with the next goal at 9:04 left in the fourth when Rotelli found him open up top. He let this low rip go from just inside the box, and gave a little point to the sky to celebrate his fourth goal of the year. Duke had more chances to score but, (and at the risk of sounding repetitive) Tillman Johnson and his quick hands made him look clairvoyant as he snagged shots out of the air. Russo added another nail to the coffin as he beat two Duke defenders and dropped one in on the run with 6:40 left. With about 5 minutes left Duke took a time out to gather themselves after Johnson deflected another one of their shots. They were working the ball around looking for an open shot, but a deflected pass found its way into Virginia's hands. The Duke defense played brave in the end with strong play by senior Dan Hauber who harassed the ball out of Conner Gill's stick. Defenseman Michael Ferrari got the groundball and cleared it to the offense who only managed to eat-up about 1:30 because the Virginia defense was pressuring strong. Virginia played a complete game at every position, but it was a defensman who got his name called out last. Longpole middy Trey Whitty found himself on the offense end with the ball at his feet when he picked it up and scored for his second of the year and Virginia's 15th and final goal of the day. The end of the game had Christmas, Gill, and Yevoli eating up the clock, and when the Duke finally got the ball back it just wound up in Johnson stick eventually. Matt Rewkowski chased the Virginia keeper around the cage until the final whistle blew. Although the typical offensive threats scored for Virginia Saturday in the beginning, it is worth noting that the unlikely scoring combo of Russo, Little, and Whitty was the one which closed the deal and put the game out of reach for Duke.
Duke and Virginia may very well see each other again next weekend during the ACC tournament (April 19-21) in Durham , N.C.
|Joe Yevoli||(2, 2)|
|John Christmas||(2, 2)|
|Aj Shannon||(3, 0)|
|Nick Russo||(2, 1)|
|Conor Gill||(1, 2)|
|Chris Rotelli||(1, 1)|
|Trey Whitty||(1, 0)|
|Jared Little||(1, 0)|
|Nathan Kenney||(1, 0)|
|Billy Glading||(1, 0)|
|Tillman Johnson||14 (0.583)|