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May 21, 2000

Baltimore, Md. – The third of senior midfielder Drew McKnight’s three goals proved to be enough to lead second-seeded Virginia to a 10-9 victory over seventh-seeded Duke in an NCAA Quarterfinal at Homewood Field on Sunday. The victory sends Virginia to its second consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance.

McKnight’s goal, coming at 2:21 of the fourth quarter, broke a 9-9 tie. It came on a second-chance opportunity, as McKnight’s first shot deflected off of Duke goalie Matt Breslin and rebounded into McKnight’s stick. He then circled behind the cage and beat Breslin over his right shoulder.

The goal ended a fourth quarter rally in which Duke outscored Virginia 4-1. The Blue Devils’ final scoring chance, coming with 45 seconds remaining in the game, was turned away as Cavalier goalie Derek Kenney forced Chris Kakel to fire a shot that ricocheted off the pipe. Virginia regained possession of the ball and did not relinquish it for the remaining time.

The Cavaliers will play third-seeded Princeton in the NCAA Semifinal in College Park, Md. at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.

“There’s no panic on this team,” said Virginia Head Coach Dom Starsia. “Our kids had great composure at the end. They battled for 60 minutes and the big boys stepped up.”

The win was Virginia’s second victory over Duke this year — the Cavaliers triumphed 12-7 on April 15 in Charlottesville — and it marked a perfect 6-0 season against ACC competition. With a trip to the Final Four on the line, this game was tension-filled from the start.

Virginia battled its way to a 2-0 lead on goals by Ian Shure and Hanley Holcomb at 11:45 and 4:24 of the first quarter, respectively, but the Blue Devils responded. Goals by Nick Hartofilis and T.J. Durnan knotted the game at two by quarter’s end. With 9:55 left in the second quarter, goals by Kevin Cassese and Hunter Henry gave Duke a 4-2 lead.

The margin did not hold up, however, as Virginia battled back with four consecutive goals scored by four different players. Jason Hard, Chris Rotelli, Hanley Holcomb and McKnight, netting his first goal of the game, each scored to build a 6-4 halftime lead.

Once again, Duke would not go away. Outshooting Virginia 13-8 and playing a man-up for two minutes in the third quarter, the Blue Devils held possession in its offensive zone for most of the period and forced Kenney to stop several good scoring opportunities. Four of Kenney’s ten saves came in the third quarter. A McKnight goal with five seconds remaining pushed the Cavalier lead back to two goals at 7-5.

An early goal by Hard, assisted by Jay Jalbert — his third of the day — at 14:28 of the fourth expanded the margin to three goals. While Hard and David Jenkins continued to dominate on faceoffs in the quarter — Virginia won six of eight in the fourth, thirteen of twenty-three for the game — Duke capitalized on Virginia mistakes. The Blue Devils broke four of nine Cavalier clear attempts in the quarter. Prior to that point, Virginia had been successful on 23 of 29 clears. A Greg Patchak goal at 2:44 tied the game for the first time since 4:22 remained in the first half.

McKnight scored the game winner after the Cavaliers were awarded possession on a ball that went out-of-bounds after a faceoff. He worked the ball into the offensive zone and fired at point-blank range at Breslin, who finished the game with 12 saves. The ball bounced off the Duke goalie’s helmet and into the awaiting McKnight’s stick. The goal that resulted marked McKnight’s 6th hat-trick on the season.

Also notable was what the game did not include. Sophomore attackman Conor Gill, with 24 goals and 35 assists entering the game, was held with out a goal or an assist for the first time in his career. In Virginia’s regular season win over Duke, Gill netted two goals and assisted on three others.

“Duke was determined to hold onto the tempo of the game,” Starsia said. “Conor had a great defenseman covering him. We knew he could have his hands full and we needed Drew to really step up and make some plays for us. Drew filled the void.”

The Cavaliers will take a school record 13-game winning streak into its semifinal game with Princeton. Like Duke, Virginia also defeated the Tigers earlier in the season, a 15-8 decision on March 11 in Charlottesville.

#7- Duke 2-2-1-4= 9

#2- VIRGINIA 2-4-1-3= 10

SHOTS: Duke-44, UVa-41.

SAVES: Duke-12 (Breslin-12), UVa-12 (Kenney-12).

FACEOFFS: Duke-10, UVa-13.

CLEARS: Duke (19-22), UVa (23-29).

GROUND BALLS: Duke-26, UVa-46.

PENALTIES: Duke (2-1:30), UVa (3-2:30).

EMO: Duke (0-3), UVa (0-2).

SCORING SUMMARY: Duke goals (Nick Hartofilis-2, Hunter Henry-2, Kevin Cassese, Craig Schubert, Greg Patchak, Jared Frood, T.J. Durnan), UVa goals (Drew McKnight-3, Jason Hard-2, Hanley Holcomb-2, Ian Shure, Chris Rotelli, Jay Jalbert).

Duke assists (none), UVa assists (Jalbert-3, Shure, Koontz).


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