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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (16-2) advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Championship with a 2-1 victory over sixth-seeded and 20th-ranked Duke Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C. Freshman Elly Buckley and sophomore Tara Puffenberger scored for Virginia, while teammate Michelle Vittese assisted on both goals.

The Cavaliers will play No. 2 North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. Friday; that game will be webcast on

Virginia outshot the Blue Devils (8-11) 9-7 for the contest and took six penalty corners, allowing just two for Duke. Both the UVa’s goals came after penalty corners.

“Both teams came ready to play,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “We executed our corners well today and that was the difference.”

Virginia made it 1-0 in the 19th minute when the Cavaliers were awarded their first penalty corner of the game. Senior Haley Carpenter (Virginia Beach, Va.) injected to Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), who found Buckley (Perth, Australia) for the score. It was Buckley’s 15th score of the season.

The Cavaliers led 1-0 at the half.

In the second half, it was Vittese who once again assisted on a Virginia goal. On another UVa corner, Vittese sent the ball to the post where Puffenberger (Dallas, Pa.) deflected it into the cage for a 2-0 Virginia lead.

The Blue Devils were able to convert in the closing minutes when Susan Ferger rebounded her own shot of goalkeeper Kim Kastuk’s pads and scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Ferger’s goal came with 1:14 to play in the game.

Kastuk finished with four saves in the win. Duke’s Samantha Nelson tallied two saves.

Top-seeded and top-ranked Maryland will take on fifth-seeded Wake Forest at 4 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal game. The host Demon Deacons knocked off fourth-seeded Boston College 2-1 in overtime Thursday to advance.

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