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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference field hockey Championship begins at 1 p.m. today in Charlottesville. Fourth-seeded Wake Forest (11-5, 2-3) and fifth-seeded Boston College (13-5, 1-4) open the event at 1 p.m.

The third-ranked and third-seeded Virginia field hockey team (16-2, 3-2 ACC) will take on sixth-seeded Duke (9-9, 0-5 ACC) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the second game of the tournament.

The Virginia-Duke winner will advance to play second-seeded North Carolina (16-1, 4-1) at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the semfinals. The Boston College-Wake Forest winner will face top-seeded Maryland (18-0, 5-0) at 4 p.m. Friday in the other semifinal game. The two semifinal winners will meet in the championship at noon Sunday which will be broadcast live on the ACC’s regional sports network. First round and semifinal games of the ACC Championship will be available on-demand on ACC Select.

Virginia finished the regular season with a 16-2 record, with the team’s only losses coming to No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 North Carolina (in overtime). The team’s two losses this season tie the fewest losses in the regular season in program history. In 1997, the Cavaliers also had two regular season losses (to Old Dominion and UNC). That year, UVa hosted its first and only NCAA regional, made its first (of two) national semifinal appearance, and went on to finish 19-3.

UVa is 14-26 all-time in the ACC Tournament dating back to 1983 and 3-3 in the conference championship under Michele Madison. In her three previous seasons, UVa won its first round game but lost in the semifinals.Last year in Durham, Virginia defeated Duke 5-2 in the first round before falling to eventual champion Maryland 3-2 in overtime. Virginia has never won an ACC Tournament championship; North Carolina (16 times), Maryland (seven) and Wake Forest (three) are the only schools that have claimed the crown.

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