ACC lacrosse semifinals

After six years and eight consecutive losses, No. 2 Virginia finally beats Duke, in ACC semifinals

By Christian Swezey
Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seven starters scored a goal for Virginia in its 16-12 victory over Duke in an ACC men's lacrosse tournament semifinal Friday night at Byrd Stadium. The scorers were all six offensive starters and junior goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman.

Virginia (12-1) will meet Maryland in the championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Terrapins (9-2) advanced with a 13-5 victory over North Carolina in the second semifinal. Junior Grant Catalino scored six goals and classmate Brett Schmidt shut out Billy Bitter, North Carolina's all-American attackman.

"The kids played with an edge tonight," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said. "It wasn't beautiful, but we do fight."

The Cavaliers ended an eight-game, six-year losing streak to Duke (11-4). They did so thanks to an offense that scored on 16 of 30 shots and was given repeated possessions by senior faceoff specialist Brian McDermott.

McDermott won 17 of 19 faceoffs (89 percent). In a 13-9 loss to Duke last Saturday, he won 8 of 20 (40 percent).

McDermott's prowess meant the Blue Devils had the ball for 5 minutes 27 seconds in the third quarter and 4:49 in the fourth.

"He is a senior whose been around the block and wanted to make the difference in a big game," Virginia Coach Dom Starsia said of McDermott. "He was determined to do so."

The most surprising goal came from Ghitelman. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Duke goalie strayed from his goal enough that Ghitelman, with the ball 60 yards away, launched a shot that went into the net for a 16-9 lead.

Junior Shamel Bratton had three goals and two assists and Bocklet added three goals. Both of Bratton's assists came on laser-like 15-yard passes that found open players for a score.

Initially, Friday's game looked like many of the eight previous meetings. Duke scored on four of its first five possessions and led 4-0 following a goal by Jon Livadas early in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers outscored Duke 14-4 from that point until early in the fourth. Junior Zach Howell had three goals and fifth-year senior Ned Crotty added four assists for Duke.

"Their kids were hungry and played hard," Duke Coach John Danowski said. "We all know it was a much bigger butt-whipping than what the scoreboard showed."

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