Late Game Heroics Fall Short Against Duke
DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 10 Virginia women’s lacrosse team’s late game heroics weren’t enough to overcome No. 4 Duke on the road in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, as the Cavaliers fell to the Blue Devils, 15-13, in overtime in Koskinen Stadium.
The Cavaliers trailed by as many as four midway through the second half, before scoring eight of the final 10 goals in regulation to force overtime. Senior All-American Ashley McCulloch had three points in the run, while junior Brittany Kalkstein caused a turnover with 3:15 remaining and senior All-American Blair Weymouth capped off the streak by converting a free position goal with 2:34 remaining in regulation.
Duke won the opening draw control of the overtime period and controlled the possession, before Lindsay Gilbride slipped a shot into the next 2:22 into play. The Blue Devils then scored on an open net with five seconds remaining to secure the two-goal victory.
McCulloch led the Cavaliers with four goals and three assists, while freshman Julie Gardner completed her second hat trick of the season. Weymouth had two goals and an assist, while junior Kaitlin Duff had a goal and two assists. Kalkstein contributed a goal and an assist, while redshirt junior Whit Hagerman and senior All-American Jenny Hauser rounded out the scoring with a goal each.
Kalkstein won five draw controls to break her own single season record in the category, collecting 73 this year and currently sits five shy of the program’s career mark. In goal, redshirt sophomore Lauren Benner scooped up a career-high five ground balls and stopped six shots. Sophomore Liz Downs caused two turnovers.
For Duke (15-5), Caroline Cryer and Gilbride led the way with six points each, on four goals and two assists.
The Blue Devils got the scoring started right away, scoring 22 seconds into the contest, but the Cavaliers rallied to find the back of the net at 28:14, on an unassisted goal from Weymouth.
The contest remained heated throughout the consecutive minutes, with Duke converting a free position shot before McCulloch found Gardner, who fired a shot into the net, giving McCulloch her 200th career point with the assist.
Duke had an answer for the goal just 49 seconds later, but two-straight scores from Virginia, the first from Gardner, assisted by Kalkstein, and the second, a free position score from McCulloch – the 100th goal of her career – gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the game, at 20:29.
The run was halted when Cryer flung a shot past Benner at 18:57, but McCulloch dished out her second assist of the contest, this time to Kalkstein, to push Virginia ahead again, at 13:02.
The lead was the last the Cavaliers would see though, as the Blue Devils strung together four-unanswered goals to take an 8-5 lead into the intermission.
Virginia looked to get back on track at the beginning of the second half, with McCulloch firing an assisted goal – from Duff – into the net just 27 seconds into play, before a fluke play – in which Duke’s own defender knocked down a pass from Hauser into its own goal, crediting Hauser with the score – pulled Virginia within one, at 8-7, with 24:08 on the clock.
The efforts weren’t enough to push Duke away though, as the Blue Devils scored three-straight goals to extend their lead back to four, at 11-7, with 17:44 to play.
McCulloch stepped up in the next minute, scoring a goal from Weymouth before dishing a pass to Gardner at 15:29 to pull Virginia within two, at 9-11. The Blue Devils added another unassisted tally at 12:56, but back-to-back goals from the Cavaliers cut Duke’s lead to one, at 11-12 with 11:31 to play.
Another goal from the Blue Devils with 9:42 on the clock maintained the home team’s edge, but Virginia worked to even the score on free position goals, the first from Hagerman, and the game-tying score by Weymouth at 2:34, sending the game into overtime.
Duke’s final two scores marked the season finale for the Cavaliers, and the final game for seniors Catharine Chambers, Sarah Hackman, Sara Hairfield, Jenny Hauser, Jen Holden, Ashley McCulloch, Katie Shannon and Blair Weymouth. The class ends their career with an overall record of 59-19 and three ACC Championships, while the 2009 season ended at 11-8.