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April 13, 2002

Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia closed with a four-goal run, including two from senior middie Nick Russo, to capture the ACC’s regular season title with a 15-10 win over Duke this afternoon before 3258 fans at Kl?ckner Stadium.

The win is Virginia’s seventh in a row as the Cavaliers improve to 8-1 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the ACC. The Blue Devils lost for the second time in their last three games to fall to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the ACC.

Duke’s Michael Satyshur opened the scoring less than two-and-a-half minutes into the game with his first goal of the season, but the Cavaliers ran off five straight goals-by five different players-to build a 5-1 lead. The Blue Devils added a goal in the waning seconds of the opening quarter to cut Virginia’s lead to 5-2. Freshman Joe Yevoli scored the first of his two goals with 7:47 to put Virginia ahead 2-1, a lead the Cavaliers would never relinquish.

The remainder of the game saw Virginia build a lead of as many as five goals, only to see Duke rebound and cut the deficit to on or two.

Conor Gill’s goal 5:43 before halftime pushed the Cavaliers’ lead to 9-4, but the Blue Devils closed the half with two unanswered tallies as Virginia held a 9-6 lead at the break.

A.J. Shannon’s third goal of the game in the opening minute of the second half pushed the Cavaliers’ lead to four again at 10-6, but once again the Blue Devils used a mini-run of two goals to cut the lead in half. Freshman John Christmas’ second goal of the game with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter slowed Duke’s momentum for a time and gave the Cavaliers a little breathing room heading into the final period.

Once again Duke edged closer behind goals by Dan Chemotti, his third of the contest, and Keven Cassese to inch within one at 11-10 with 12:42 to play.

Russo’s first goal was set up by an outstanding defensive play by long stick middie Trey Whitty. Whitty intercepted a Duke pass in his own defensive zone and hit Russo in stride at midfield. The senior from Port Jefferson, N.Y., raced down the middle of the field dodging several Blue Devils and beat A.J. Kincel with a hard bouncer that changed the game’s momentum with 11:11 to play.

Freshman Jared Little notched his fourth goal of the year two minutes later to give UVa a three-goal advantage. Russo continued the scoring run by sending another bouncer past Kincel. Whitty closed the scoring by capitalizing on a botched Duke clear and beat Kincel with a one-on-one move with 2:39 left.

Duke held a huge advantage in faceoffs, winning 22 of 28 draws, but the Blue Devils were rarely able to benefit from their success.

Virginia goalie Tillman Johnson tied his season-high with 14 saves, none of which were easy. The performance is the seventh game in a row he has recorded at least 10 saves. The last time Virginia had 10 or more saves seven games in a row occurred in 1998. During the Cavaliers’ seven-game winning streak, Johnson has posted a .593 save percentage and is allowing just 8.43 goals per game.

Shannon scored a season-high three goals to lead Virginia. He has scored a career-high 17 goals this season. The freshman duo of John Christmas and Joe Yevoli each scored twice and added two assists. Christmas has tallied 30 points (19g, 11a), 12th by a freshman in school history. Yevoli, fourth among freshmen in the nation in goals, has scored 24 goals this spring, tied for the third-highest total by a Virginia rookie. Kevin Pehlke scored 34 goals as a freshman in 1990. All told, 10 different players scored goals for Virginia this afternoon.

Chemotti’s three goals led the way for Duke, while Cassese was close behind with two. Alex Lieske scored once and had three assists, the third time in the last four games, he’s had three assists.

With the win, Virginia earns the top seed in next weekend’s ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers will have to wait until Monday, however, to learn their opponent. Duke, Maryland and North Carolina all finished league play with 1-2 records and will be seeded via a blind draw Monday.

The tournament, played at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium, opens at 6:00 p.m. Friday with the Cavaliers meeting the fourth seed. The second and third seeds meet in the evening’s second game at 8:30 p.m. The only exception to this schedule is that as the host school, Duke will play in the second game regardless of seed.

Duke captured last season’s ACC Championship with a 10-6 win over Maryland. The Cavaliers’ last ACC championship occurred in 2000 as they won the title for the second year in a row.

Duke		2-4-2-2-10Virginia	5-4-2-4-15att-3258

ShotsDU 39UVa 43

Ground ballsDU 42UVa 39

ClearingDU 19 of 19UVa 25 of 29

FaceoffsDU 22UVa 6

PenaltiesDU 9-7:00UVa 5-3:00

Extra-Man ScoringDU 2 of 5UVa 3 of 9

Goalie SummaryDU- A.J. Kincel 13 saves, 15 goals, 60 mins.

UVa- Tillman Johnson 14 saves, 10 goals, 60 mins.

Duke scoringGoals- Dan Chemotti 3, Kevin Cassese 2, Kevin Brennan, Terrence Keaney, Alex Lieske, Matt Monfett, Michael Satyshur.

Assists- Lieske 3, Monfett, Matt Rewkowski.

Virginia scoringGoals- A.J. Shannon 3, John Christmas 2, Nick Russo 2, Joe Yevoli 2, Billy Glading, Conor Gill, Nathan Kenney, Jared Little, Chris Rotelli, Trey Whitty.

Assists- John Christmas 2, Conor Gill 2, Joe Yevoli 2, Chris Rotelli, Nick Russo.

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