"We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to participate in the championship game on Sunday," head coach John Danowski said. "We feel a little a bit of extra pressure since we are hosting, but we are very excited and very honored to be able to play on Sunday."
Duke improves to 11-4 overall and to 18-15 all-time in ACC Tournament contests. The Blue Devils have won 11 of the past 12 meetings with the Cavaliers and now will be going for their seven ACC Tournament crown. Duke has won three of past four conference championships.
Duke freshman attackman Jordan Wolf led all scorers with five points from four goals and an assist, while sophomore midfielder David Lawson posted a career-high four goals in the win. Nine different Blue Devils had a goal and five had multiple-goal efforts. Rookie attackman Christian Walsh finished with a hat trick and both Jake Tripucka and Josh Offit added two goals apiece.
"It was a really good experience," Wolf said. "It was fun playing a team like Virginia with a great lacrosse history. It was just a great experience with everything just clicking at that time."
Virginia (8-5) was led by Colin Briggs with two goals and three assists for five points. Matt White registered three goals for the Cavaliers.
After Virginia went up 4-3 after the first quarter, the Blue Devils erupted for seven goals in the second frame to take a 10-5 advantage into the locker room. Duke got the start at the very end of the first quarter when senior Justin Turri netted a goal with three ticks left on the clock. That sparked a six-goal run that put Duke up 8-4 midway through the second quarter. Duke added two of the final three in that period for the five-goal lead at the break.
The Blue Devil defense was equally impressive in the second quarter, holding the nation's top scoring offense to just one shot, forcing five turnovers and winning the ground ball game 13-2 and faceoff battle 7-2. Senior Tom Montelli anchored the defense with three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
Leading by seven, the Blue Devils continued to roll as they scored four unanswered to start the third quarter and seemingly put the game away. Virginia made one final push in the final minutes of the third quarter, registered four of five goals, but Duke answered by outscoring the Cavaliers 4-1 in the final quarter for the win.
Duke outshot Virginia 41-33 overall and won the ground ball battle 38-27. The Cavaliers won 17-of-31 faceoffs, but Duke forced Virginia into 18 turnovers. The Blue Devils extra-man offense went 2-of-3 overall.
In goal, Duke sophomore goaltender Dan Wigrizer had eight stops, while Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman had six saves.
Duke and Maryland will face off in the ACC title game on April 24 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports South.
Duke's 19 goals ties an ACC record for most goals in an ACC Tournament game ... Duke improves to 7-2 as the No. 1 seed and is now 5-1 all-time in ACC Tournament games played in Durham ... None of Duke's current players have played Maryland in the ACC Tournament as the two squads meet for the first time since Maryland won the 2005 championship ... The Blue Devils are 5-4 in tournament tilts against the Terrapins and 1-1 in title games against Maryland ... Duke is 6-5 overall in title games ... Duke stretched its home win streak to 17 games, the longest current streak in Division I ... The Blue Devils last lost at home on March 20, 2010 against North Carolina ... Head Coach John Danowski is 7-1 in ACC Tournament games and 3-0 in title matches.