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DURHAM, N.C. – The 12th-ranked Virginia women’s lacrosse team earned a 14-12 victory at sixth-ranked Duke on Saturday (March 24) at Koskinen Stadium.

The victory, UVa’s second-consecutive, improved the Cavaliers’ record to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The loss was Duke’s first league setback of the year as the Blue Devils fell to 8-4 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.

“It was a huge game and Duke is one of the best teams we face all year,” Virginia head coach Julie Myers said. “It was a matter of who had the will to win at the end and our second half was a different story than our first half. Our fourth years really were clutch. Julie Gardner and Josie Owen scored some big goals and Ainsley Baker chipped in as well. The whole team stepped up and rode the energy and emotion and it is a huge win for us.”

Josie Owen (Gibson Island, Md.) was held scoreless in the first half but scored two goals and added three assists in the second half – including on the game-winner – to lead UVa in points (five).

Katie Slater (Kensington, Md.) led UVa with four goals, while Sloan Warren (Philadelphia, Pa.) tallied two goals and one assist and Julie Gardner (Severna Park, Md.) added two goals and an assist.

Ainsley Baker (Corning, N.Y.) scored two goals, including the game-winner with 5:59 left in the game. Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) and Morgan Stephens (Olney, Md.) rounded out Virginia’s scoring with one goal apiece.

Trailing 8-5 at halftime, Virginia opened the second half on a three-goal run and tied the game at 8-8 at the 23:24 mark on Blue’s goal.

The game was tied four more times, including the last tie at 12-12, until Baker broke free in front of the net and finished a pass from behind the goal from Owen for the game-winning score at the 5:59 mark.

Slater added an insurance goal with 5:01 left in the game off of an assist by Warren.

Duke’s Kim Wenger hit pipe on her shot on the other end of the field and UVa goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) came up with a big save on another Blue Devil shot to preserve the Virginia lead.

A Virginia turnover with just over a minute to play gave Duke another chance, but the Blue Devils committed a turnover of their own on the other end.

Virginia maintained possession and earned the 14-12 victory.

The Cavaliers out-scored Duke 9-4 in the second half and held a 26-25 advantage in shots for the game. UVa also held a 15-13 advantage in draw controls.

Kolarik finished with five saves.

Daniela Eppler (Baltimore, Md.) and Slater held the team lead with three ground balls while Lauren Goerz (Danville, Calif.) had four key second-half draw controls.

Virginia improved to 8-2 all-time at Duke and extended its series lead with the Blue Devils to 19-9.

Up next, Virginia returns home for three-consecutive games – vs. Old Dominion (March 28), Boston College (March 31) and Harvard (April 2).

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