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May 9, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers held the Princeton Tigers at bay and advanced to the 1998 NCAA Lacrosse Semifinals with an 8-7 victory in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers had a three goal lead in the first half and a two goal lead in the second half, but Princeton battled back to tie the game both times. Senior captain Kara Ariza’s (Lansdowne, Pa./Penn Wood) goal with 2:50 remaining was the game-winner for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers got on the board first with a 80-yard run by senior captain Peggy Boutilier (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country) 4:05 into the game. Virginia went up by two 80 seconds later when Ariza converted a 1-on-1 challenge. The Tigers go on the board when Cristi Samaras hit a rolling ball into the net two minutes later. The Cavaliers, however, responded one minute later when Samm Taylor (Springfield, Va./Robinson) converted a free position to give the Cavaliers a second two-goal margin. Virginia went up by three with 17:28 to go when Taylor hit again, this time coming from the top.

After the Princeton time-out and a goalie change, the Tiger defense shut out the Cavaliers the rest of the half. Meanwhile, Samaras hit her second goal with an assist from Tice Burke with just over 6 minutes left in the half. Princeton’s Julie Shaner converted a free position 70 seconds later, forcing Virginia to call a time out. The Tigers tied the game with nine seconds left in halftime when Tice Burke took a feed from behind the cage and manuevered for a bounce shot.

The Cavaliers came out in the second half much like the first and scored two quick goals to go up 6-4. Jess Hull (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) converted a challenge from the top and Boutilier scored on a like play 90 seconds later. The Tigers pulled within one when Melissa Cully ran the length of the field and scored, making the score 6-5 in favor of the Cavaliers. Lacey Aumiller’s (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep) goal from the top of the arc gave the Cavaliers their second two-goal lead in the second half.

The Tigers roared back as Cully hit a quick-stick goal from Burke with 11:00 to play. They tied the game as Julie Shaner raced into the cage with 6:01 remaining, making the score 7-7 and forcing the Cavaliers to call a timeout.

Although the Tigers had a number of chances throughout the game, the Cavaliers did not break, thanks to the outstanding saves from senior Heather Castle (Timonium, Md./Notre Dame Prep), who made nine saves on the day, including two point-blank saves in the last six minutes. One save led to an outlet pass to the defense, which made its way to Ariza for the game-winner.

Other Cavaliers leading the defense included Stephy Samaras (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis), who picked up four ground balls and Ashley Widger (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) , who started today and made two caused turnovers. Peggy Boutilier started in her 69th consecutive game today, setting a new Virginia record. She holds the record for games played with Kara Ariza, who has also played in 69 consecutive games.

The Cavaliers advance to the NCAA National Collegiate Semifinals, where they will face fourth-seeded Dartmouth, who defeated Loyola 9-8 in overtime today. The second semifinal will pit North Carolina against Maryland. UNC defeated Temple 11-10 and Maryland defeated James Madison 13-8.

                   1   2   Final (Records)Princeton (#8)     4   3   7     (12-5)Virginia  (#1)     4   4   8     (16-2)Scoring: Goals (V): Boutilier 2, Taylor 2, Ariza 2, Hull, Aumiller   (P): Samaras 2, Cully 2, Shaner 2, BurkeAssists: (V): none (P): Burke 2Clearing: V: 9-12; P: 6-12      Caused Turnovers: V: 8; P: 8    Turnovers: V: 9; P: 13Draw controls: V: 8; P: 9       Ground balls: V:22; P: 15       Fouls: V: 16; P: 17Shots: V: 19; P: 19             Free Positions: V: 11; P:7      Saves: V: 9 (Castle 9);        P: 12 (Mettler 3, Field 11)
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