CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Ashley McCulloch’s game-winning goal at 3:08 in overtime was all that Virginia needed, as the Cavaliers posted their second come-from-behind victory to upend No. 1 seed Maryland 10-9 and clinch the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship at Scott Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The league title marked the third in a row for Virginia and the fourth in the last five years.
In addition, the win was the 200th career victory for Virginia head coach Julie Myers and the first over Maryland for the league crown. Sunday’s championship game was also the first overtime contest in ACC women’s lacrosse tournament history.
The first 10 minutes of the opening half was a back-and-forth affair between the conference’s top-two seeded teams. Maryland took an early 1-0 lead after senior attacker Lauren Cohen scored the first of her two goals just three minutes into the game. It didn’t take long for Virginia to get on the board, as the Cavaliers capitalized on a Maryland foul and set up Jenny Hauser for a free position shot that tied the game 1-1.
Midfielder Dana Dobbie gave Maryland a 2-1 edge on a goal at the 22:25 mark, but Virginia answered on the next possession when Brittany Kalkstein found the back of the net to even the playing field at 2-2.
After senior Kelly Kasper netted a goal that gave the Terrapins a 3-2 advantage at 19:28, Maryland went on an offensive run for the next 14 minutes and collected four more goals. Virginia was able to cut the lead to 5-3 on a goal by McCulloch in between the four Maryland goals, but ended up trailing the Terrapins 7-3 at the break.
Having been out-shot 13-8 in the first half, Virginia came out in the second half with a vengeance. Despite giving up a goal to Maryland just four minutes into the stanza, the Cavaliers went on a scoring spree for the next 17 minutes behind the performances of seven other different players.Kalkstein’s second goal of the day put the Cavaliers within one point and Blair Weymouth scored the game-tying goal two minutes later on a free position. Kaitlin Swagart took a feed from O’Malley and found the back of the net to give the Cavaliers a 9-8 lead, their first of the day.
Maryland went on a late rally and tied the game when Caitlyn McFadden scored with less than two minutes left in regulation.
The title game went into overtime for the first time and McCulloch proved to be the keymaker for the Cavaliers as she scored with eight seconds left in the first portion of the six-minute overtime period.
Virginia goalkeeper Kendall McBrearty, who was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, made eight saves in all 66 minutes of action to earn the win.
Claire Bordley anchored Virginia’s defense and was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team for shutting down both Duke and Maryland’s top players. The senior won two draw controls, caused two turnovers and scooped up two ground balls in today’s action.
Jenny Hauser, Brittany Kalkstein, Megan O’Malley and McCulloch joined McBrearty and Bordley on the all-tournament team for Virginia.
Kaitlin Swagart, Kalkstein and McCulloch paced the Cavaliers’ offense in the championship game, each tallying two goals. McCulloch also dished out two assists, while Blair Weymouth, Hauser and O’Malley each added a goal and an assist. Kaitlin Duff rounded out the scoring with a goal.
Virginia (14-3, 4-1 ACC) wraps up the ACC Tournament with an overall record of 15-7, including winning 10 of its last 11 games, and extends its win streak to seven straight contests. The Cavaliers earned the conference’s automatic bid into the national tournament and will await the NCAA Selection Committee’s announcement of the 16-team field for the 2008 tournament. The championship bracket will be released Monday, May 5, between 7-8 p.m., and will be televised on the CBS College Sports Network.
2008 ACC Women’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Claire Bordley, Virginia
Sarah Bullard, Duke
Allie Buote, Maryland
Lauren Cohen, Maryland
Carolyn Davis, Duke
Dana Dobbie, Maryland
Jenny Hauser, Virginia
Brittany Kalkstein, Virginia
Kelly Kasper, Maryland
*Kendall McBrearty, Virginia
Ashley McCulloch, Virginia
Megan O’Malley, Virginia
*Denotes ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player