Virginia edges Duke for ACC crown, 8-7

Radebaugh's only goal, with 1: 51 left, lifts 5th-ranked Cavaliers

April 26, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Angered by attackman Tucker Radebaugh's uncharacteristic turnovers, Virginia coach Dom Starsia singled out the St. Paul's School graduate in the huddle before the fourth quarter.

"I told him that I hope my son grows up to be just like Tucker Radebaugh," Starsia said, "but you're still killing us out there."

Radebaugh then broke out of one of his worst games this season by bouncing in the game-winner with 1: 51 remaining to lift No. 5 Virginia over No. 2 Duke, 8-7, yesterday in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament final in front of 2,748 at Fetzer Field. It was the only point for Radebaugh, the Cavaliers' leading scorer.

The Cavaliers (8-3), who made a significant move for a top-four seeding and a first-round bye in next month's NCAA tournament with the victory, rallied from a 7-5 deficit with 13: 02 left in a game that featured five ties and four lead changes.

The Blue Devils (11-2) didn't take a shot for a 12-minute span in the fourth quarter, but still had two opportunities in the final minute to force overtime.

Nick Hartofilis, Duke's hardest shooter, hopped a shot from eight yards out that ricocheted off goalkeeper Derek Kenney's face mask with 15 seconds remaining before Virginia was flagged for slashing. On the extra-man situation, Hartofilis tried this time from 10 yards out on the left side, but Kenney smothered the Blue Devils' last attempt.

"I was hoping it wouldn't come down to me," said Kenney, a freshman who has struggled throughout the season. "It's exciting to make the last save. It's kind of what every goalie wants to do, make the winning save and win the ACC championship."

Behind 5-3 with 11 minutes left in the third quarter, Duke scored twice in 29 seconds to tie the game at 5. The Blue Devils went ahead on T.J. Durnan's extra-man goal with 3: 13 left in the third and assumed a 7-5 lead on another Durnan score two minutes into the fourth.

That proved to be Duke's final goal, as the Blue Devils were held to their lowest output in 23 games.

The Blue Devils were outshot 44-25, including 10-4 in the fourth quarter, due to Virginia's sizable edge in faceoffs (12 of 19) and ground balls (41-34). But Starsia provided another reason.

"They play so deliberately on offense that they're not just going to create a lot of shots," Starsia said. "They have so many weapons, but they don't get everybody going all the time it seems like."

Virginia crept to within 7-6 on Drew McKnight's man-up goal with 8: 10 remaining and tied it at 7 nearly five minutes later when Henry Oakey scored his 10th goal of the season.

That set the stage for Radebaugh.

Forcing his way down the right side, Radebaugh released a shot just before a check by Duke defenseman Palin Archer that hit the dirt and slipped inside the post to capture the second ACC tournament title in school history.

"Coach did test me in the huddle, and I didn't want to come up short," Radebaugh said. "Luckily, that last one got it."

Pub Date: 4/26/99

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