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Field Hockey Set for ACC Championship First Round
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/02/2011
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Game 18
Duke (11-6) vs. Virginia (8-11)
Nov. 3, 2011 l 3:30 p.m.
ACC Championship First Round l College Park, Md.

Thursday's Game
No. 8 Duke (11-6, 2-3 ACC) takes on Virginia (8-11, 1-4 ACC) in the first round of the 2011 ACC Championship at Maryland's Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex Thursday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m. .... The two teams met less than a ago with Virginia edging Duke 3-2 in Charlottesville.

Virginia Series
Duke and Virginia have a long history dating back to the 1981 season ... The two teams have met 44 times with UVa leading Duke 29-15 in the all-time series ... The Cavaliers have won seven straight against the Blue Devils ... Duke last defeated Virginia on Oct. 28, 2006, a 3-1 victory in Durham ... Duke and Virginia met less than a week ago on Oct. 29, 2011 with Virginia edging Duke 3-2 following penalty strokes after two scoreless overtime periods ... Thursday's contest marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers have met in the opening round of the ACC Championship ... Virginia has defeated Duke in the first round of the ACC Tournament in each of the past three seasons ... In their last ACC Tournament matchup, Virginia defeated Duke 2-1 on Nov. 4, 2010 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Scouting the Blue Devils
Duke, ranked eighth in the latest NFHCA National Coaches Poll and No. 8 in the latest RPI rankings, enters the ACC Championship with an 11-6 overall record and a 2-3 mark in conference play ... The Blue Devils earned the No. 3 seed in the ACC Championship ... The Duke offense is led by sophomore Emmie Le Marchand with 14 goals and six assists ... Freshman Jessica Buttinger leads all Duke rookies with five goals and two assists, while senior Tara Jennings (6g, 4a) and juniors Devon Gagliardi (8g, 3a) and Mary Nielsen (5g, 3a) have all reached double figure point totals for the season ... Redshirt senior Samantha Nelson has started every game in goal and sports a 1.16 goals against average and a .720 save percentage.

Scouting the Cavaliers   
Virginia, the No. 6 seed in the 2011 ACC Field Hockey Championship, holds an 8-11 overall record and 1-4 mark in ACC play this season ... The Cavaliers have lost five of their last eight games heading into Thursday ... The Cavalier offense is headlined by sophomore Elly Buckley with 15 goals and nine assists ... Junior Britt Knouse is UVa's next leading goal scorer with eight on the season ... Freshman Jenny Johnstone has played the majority of minutes in goal this season, posting a 3.73 goals against average and a .620 save percentage.

Duke in the ACC Tournament    
Duke is in search of its first conference tournament win since the 2005 season and first ACC Championship in program history ... The Blue Devils are 13-28 (.317) all-time in ACC Championship play ... Duke has lost six straight games in the ACC Tournament ... Duke's last win in the ACC Tournament came against Virginia on Nov. 3, 2005 in College Park, Md. ... The Blue Devils hold a 3-5 record when playing conference championship games in College Park ... Duke is also 11-10 in first round games of the tournament.

Blue Devils in the ACC   
Duke finished the 2011 ACC regular season with a 2-3 conference record ... The Blue Devils topped ACC foes Wake Forest and Boston College, but fell to North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia ... Prior to this season, Duke had not won an ACC game since 2008 ... The Blue Devils are 36-91-2 all-time in ACC regular season games ... This season marked the 10th time Duke has finished third in the ACC standings.

Sophomore Emmie Le Marchand, senior Stefanie Fee, senior Rhian Jones and redshirt senior Samantha Nelson were name to the 2011 All-ACC team as announced by the conference Nov. 1 ... Duke's four selections marks the most for the Blue Devils since Duke placed four players on the all-league squad in 2005 ... The honor is the third  for Jones, while Le Marchand, Fee and Nelson are making their first appearances on the All-ACC team.

Bustin Named ACC Coach of the Year
Duke head coach Pam Bustin was named the 2011 ACC Coach of the Year after leading the Blue Devils to their first ACC win since 2008 and a third-place finish in the league standings. Under Bustin's direction, Duke has nearly doubled its offensive production from a season ago, while ranking second in the conference in goals against average.

Devilish Defense             
Duke boasts one of the best defenses in the country, allowing opponents just 21 goals in 17 games this season ... The Blue Devils own a team goals against average of 1.13, which ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally ... Additionally, the Blue Devils have shut out six opponents this season, marking Duke's highest shutout total since the 2008 season.

In Goal 
Redshirt senior Samantha Nelson has started every game in goal for the Blue Devils this season ... Nelson ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally in goals against average (1.16) ... She has also posted the second-best save percentage in the league (.720) ... Nelson has five shutouts this season, bringing her career total to 17 shutouts ... In the Duke record books, Nelson ranks second in career goals against average (1.58), fifth in career saves (248) and 14th in career save percentage (.683) ... Should Nelson maintain her current goals against average, she would rank second in the Duke single season record books for that category.

vs. Ranked Opponents  
Ten of the Blue Devils' 17 games this season have been against opponents ranked in the top-20 of the NFHCA Coaches Poll ... Duke is 6-4 this season when facing ranked opposition ... The Blue Devils are 1-3 when facing top-5 teams ... Duke upset No. 1 and then-undefeated Old Dominion 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 16 to record the Blue Devils' first victory over a top-ranked team since downing Maryland 3-2 on Oct. 11, 2008.

Offensive Production    
Duke has scored 44 goals in 17 games this season, nearly doubling the total from 2010 (25 goals, 19 games) ... In addition, four Blue Devils have posted career-best years lead by sophomore All-ACC performer Emmie Le Marchand with 14 goals, six assists and 34 points ... Juniors Devon Gagliardi and Mary Nielsen as well as senior Tara Jennings are also enjoying career numbers this season ... Gagliardi ranks second on the team with eight goals and three assists, while Jennings is third with six goals and four assists ... Nielsen sits at fourth on the team with 13 points on five goals and three assists, including three gamewinners.

The Blue Devils have had a school single-season record seven games go to overtime this season ... The previous single-season record was six overtime contests during the 2006 season ... Duke is 3-4 this season in overtime games ... The Blue Devils have had two games determined in double overtime and one contest that ended after penalty strokes ... Duke is 0-3 in games that feature more that one overtime period.

Welcome to Duke           
Four freshmen -- Abby Beltrani, Lauren Blazing, Jessica Buttinger and Martine Chichizola -- joined the Duke field hockey program for the 2011 season ... Buttinger, a forward from Waterloo, Ontario , leads all Duke rookies with five goals and two assists this season.