CHAPEL HILL — Senior Ned Crotty said after Friday's game against second-seeded Virginia that he wasn't sure No. 3 Duke would win until two minutes remained.
If he wasn't lying, he probably was the only one who waited that long.
The Blue Devils (11-3) stymied the high-octane Cavaliers (13-2) with a stellar defensive effort in a 16-5 victory at Kenan Stadium that made their 15-10 win two weeks ago seem like a fluke win--in that they did not win by more. With the victory, Duke advances to the ACC tournament final Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against No. 4 North Carolina here. It is the Blue Devils' fourth tournament final appearance in five seasons.
The five goals were a season-low for Virginia.
Virginia shot right out of the gate, scoring the game's first goal just 10 seconds in. But less than four minutes, Duke exploded for three goals of its own, and over the next three quarters, the Blue Devils outscored the Cavaliers 11-0. Crotty, the ACC player of the year and a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, paced Duke with a career-high eight points.
Every shot Virginia took seemed to just go wide or just hit the post. Only a goal with no time left in the first quarter against a seemingly lax Duke defense prevented the first three quarters from being a total embarrassment, and late goals after starting goalie Rob Schroeder had been pulled made the final score seem more respectable than it really was.
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