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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The third-ranked and third-seeded Virginia field hockey team (17-2) knocked off sixth-seeded Duke (9-10) by a score of 3-1 Thursday in the first round of the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The Cavaliers move on to the semifinals to face No. 2 North Carolina in the second game Friday, scheduled for 6 p.m.

No. 1 Maryland and fourth-seeded Wake Forest start the action at 4 p.m. Friday. The Demon Deacons beat fifth-seeded Boston College 4-3 in the first game Thursday to move on to the semifinals.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the fourth consecutive season. Virginia needs two more wins to tie the program’s all-time record for victories in a season.

Against the Blue Devils, sophomore Paige Selenski scored twice, her 23rd and 24th goals of the year, while classmate Inga Stöckel also notched a goal for the 3-1 victory.

“We are excited with the result,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “Performance-wise, we had to make some adjustments with Duke. They play a different kind of style. We struggled a little bit with that but overall, once we got our attack going, we were able to create some opportunities.”

For the game, Virginia outshot Duke 11-5 and also had a 7-2 advantage on penalty corners. All three of UVa’s goals came on corners.

Stöckel’s goal in the 14th minute was the first of the game, putting the Cavaliers up 1-0. Charlotte van den Broek and Traci Ragukas assisted on the score.

Duke tied the game three minutes later, also converting on a penalty corner. Abby Hassinger notched her third goal of the year on an assist from Lauren Miller.

Selenski’s first goal came with 26 seconds left in the first half, on an assist from classmate Michelle Vittese. Virginia led 2-1 at the break.

After playing the second half entirely scoreless, Selenski again scored as the clock was winding down, at 69:14, to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 victory. The Shavertown, Pa., native, tipped in a shot from Stöckel at the top of the circle for the goal.

“She is a money player,” Madison said of Selenski. “We put it in her and Inga’s hands on those penalty corners and she sealed it with the third goal.”

Duke’s Samantha Nelson finished with three saves while Kim Kastuk had one stop for the Orange and Blue.

“When you play North Carolina it’s always a big game,” Madison said. “I told the girls they had to earn the right to play North Carolina and that’s what they did today.”

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