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Field hockey falls to UVa in ACCs

Four days after Duke ended its ACC regular season with a 2-1 loss to eighth-ranked Virginia (13-6) in Charlottesville, the Blue Devils fell to the same fate in the first round of the ACC tournament Thursday afternoon, 3-1.

After two consecutive contests decided by controversial calls against No. 3 Wake Forest and then Virginia, both of which recalled Duke goals and eventually forced overtime losses, at the very least, the Blue Devils can say that the game rested with their sticks Thursday.

"When [we lost due to a controversial call] the second time," sophomore Stacey Tsougas said, "we had to brush that off and get ready for the game. We tried to put everything aside and not worry about the referees' calls. The game was really in our hands."

Duke's loss typified the Blue Devils' fate in the second half of their season, as all nine of their losses came from teams ranked in the top 15 nationally. The Blue Devils (9-9) also had to contend with their 0-3 first-round record against the Cavaliers in their past three tournament meetings.

"This game was more frustrating than last year," sophomore Kim Gogola said. "Last year, it was more expected for us to lose, but this year, we have such a good team that even though we didn't go into overtime, it's more frustrating to lose because we know we could have beat them."

In a rematch that was all Virginia, the Cavaliers opened scoring with 14:22 remaining in the first half as sophomore Katie Nicholson pushed one past Duke goalie Hallie Smith.

Senior Carrie Goodloe followed with her second goal against the Blue Devils in four days as she scored three minutes into the second half. Cavalier Cara Unterkofler finished the trio with a goal of her own at the 2:00 mark.

Virginia's defense did not allow Duke more than nine shots on goal. In fact, the Blue Devils' only chance for payback came with just 39 seconds left in the game when junior Chrissy Ashley scored on the Blue Devils' 11th penalty corner of the match.

Duke was further hampered by the absence of their leading scorer, freshman Johanna Bischof, who missed the past three games. Bischof contracted mononucleosis in October, missing both Cavalier matchups and Duke's almost-upset over Wake Forest Oct. 24.

Duke's quick exit from the tournament had one bright spot in senior back Angie North's selection to the All-ACC team with her two goals and two assists on the season.

Now all North and the Blue Devils can do to try to extend their season is hope that the NCAA selection committee opts to allot five tournament berths to the ACC this year.


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