Second Half Surge Leads No. 3 Duke to an 11-8 Victory Over No. 8 Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 3 Duke women’s lacrosse team used three-straight goals midway through the second half to erase an even 6-6 score and hold on for an 11-8 victory over No. 8 Virginia Saturday afternoon in an Atlantic Coast Conference game played at Klöckner Stadium. The outcome marks the 13th time in the 16 regular-season contests that the road team has been victorious, and the seventh-straight.
With the win, Duke (8-1, 2-1 ACC) extends its win streak to six-consecutive games, while the Cavaliers fall to 5-4 on the season and 0-3 in the league.
Junior Josie Owen led Virginia’s attack with three goals and one assist, while junior Charlie Finnigan shared team-high honors of four points, notching two goals and dishing out two assists. Redshirt junior Ainsley Baker and junior Julie Gardner also had one goal in the contest, marking the ninth time in as many tries that Virginia’s starting attackers have all scored. Sophomore Annie Thomas and freshman Maddy Keeshan rounded out the scoring, with Thomas contributing one goal and Keeshan being credited for an assist.
For Duke, Kat Thomas scored a game-high four goals, while Virginia Crotty, Christie Kaestner and Kim Wenger each had two. Taylor Virden also had one score.
The Cavaliers, 1-3 when giving up the first goal of the game, saw themselves in an 0-3 hole by the 21:13 mark of the first half. Crotty scored back-to-back goals to open the game, before Kat Thomas made it a third-straight for the Blue Devils.
Virginia got on the board at the 12:42 mark when Annie Thomas scored on an assist from Finnigan, but Kat Thomas would record her second of the day at 9:06 to give Duke a 4-1 advantage.
Kaestner added to the Blue Devils’ lead at 8:39, before Virginia started chipping away at Duke’s lead.
Owen scored her first of the day at 7:05, before Finnigan converted a free position shot at 6:25 to bring the score to 5-3, in favor of Duke.
Wenger scored the final goal of the half for the Blue Devils at 6:10 and Duke took a 6-3 lead into halftime.
Out of the break, Owen fired a goal into the net from Finnigan – at 25:03 – before assisting Gardner at 23:43. Owen then converted a free position shot at 22:11 to even the score at 6-6 and complete the sixth hat trick of her career.
Duke would respond with a three-goal spurt of its own, notching scores at 21:11, 16:42 and 16:04, to extend its lead back to three, 9-6.
Baker would go one-on-one with her defender and tally her first goal of the day at 12:46 – marking the 16th-straight game she has had a goal, but back-to-back Blue Devil goals would give Duke it’s largest lead of the game, 11-7, with 5:41 left to play.
Finnigan tried to spark a comeback for the Cavaliers, with a goal from Keeshan at 2:35, but that would prove to be the final goal of the game, as Duke went on to win, 11-8.
Defensively for the Cavaliers, sophomore Kim Kolarik came up with nine saves, including seven in the second half. Junior Bailey Fogarty had two caused turnovers, while Finnigan and Annie Thomas each scooped up three ground balls.
Senior All-American Liz Downs won three draw controls, earned two ground balls and caused a turnover.
Virginia will return to action on Wednesday as it heads to Old Dominion for a 7 p.m., contest.