CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The fourth-seeded Blue Devils generated 25 shots and held fifth-seeded Virginia scoreless for nearly 23 minutes in the first half but struggled at the draw in a 7-5 setback to the Cavaliers in the ACC quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium.
Duke, ranked seventh in this week’s national poll, fell to 9-7 for the season with the loss.
“For us, what’s disappointing is that the two things that stand out have really been strengths for most of the season – the draw and our shooting percentage,” said head coach Kerstin Kimel. “We outshot Virginia, which is a great stat, but we didn’t finish on enough shots."
The Cavaliers took the early advantage as Casey Bocklet tallied an unassisted marker two minutes into the contest. The Blue Devils had several looks at the net, and despite a strong first-half performance by Virginia goalkeeper Liz Colgan, were able to work their way inside for three goals. Sophomore Maddy Acton scored first for Duke with 13:51 to go in the period and juniors Taylor Trimble and Kerrin Maurer connected twice, with each posting one goal and one assist.
The Blue Devil defense was able to keep Virginia off the board for over 22 minutes during that span, with senior defender Taylor Virden earning two caused turnovers and freshman Maura Schwitter and senior Sydney Peterson adding one each.
Bocklet netted back-to-back goals for the Cavaliers inside the final six minutes to bring the score to a 3-3 tie at the break. The Blue Devils led 16-9 in shots during the first half and went 6-of-6 on clearing attempts, but Virginia’s Colgan recorded eight saves.
Duke’s attack continued to fire at the net in the second half, but it was Virginia who capitalized offensively. Liza Blue bounced in a goal at the 18:40 mark to put the Cavaliers back on top by one. Maddy Keeshan and Kelly Boyd also added markers to extend the Virginia lead to 6-3 with 10:41 remaining.
Senior Maddy Morrissey successfully converted on a free position opportunity at 7:15, bringing Duke back within two. Daniela Eppler of Virginia countered to push the margin back to three at 7-4. Senior Sydney Peterson found junior Katie Trees for a score with 2:30 to play, but the Cavaliers won the ensuing draw and ran out the clock to advance to a tournament semifinal meeting with top-seeded Maryland.
Virginia won all seven draws in the second half and held an 11-3 advantage in the category for the game. The Blue Devils totaled 25 shots to 18 by the Cavaliers while ground balls were even at 13 apiece.
“Virginia did a great job on the draw,” Kimel said. “They were quick off the line and we were kind of on our heels there. Nonetheless I thought our defense held strong for a good part of the game, and I’m really proud of how we limited them as much as we did. Unfortunately we didn’t reciprocate on our offensive end.”
Virden, one of Duke's four All-ACC selections, led the defensive effort with three caused turnovers and two ground balls on the day. Duryea finished with seven saves and one ground ball, and Colgan had 10 saves at the other end for Virginia.Duke will now await the selections for the 2014 NCAA Championship, which will be announced Sunday, May 4 at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com.