Va. women cut down upstart Duke, 9-8

Cavaliers will meet Terps in championship rematch

May 15, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Thanks to a superb defensive play by junior defender Stephy Samaras with 1: 19 left in the game, No. 2 Virginia will get another shot at No. 1 Maryland in tomorrow's National Collegiate women's lacrosse championship game at Homewood Field.

The Cavaliers defeated No. 3 Duke, 9-8, last night at Homewood to set the stage for a rematch of last season's title game, which the Terps won by six goals to claim their fourth straight national crown.

Samaras boldly decided to go for Tricia Martin and the ball as the Blue Devils were working for what they hoped would be the tying goal.

Martin was about 12 yards from the goal when Samaras stripped the ball from her with the clock ticking down to 1: 19.

Samaras came up with the ball and Virginia (15-5) was able to run out the rest of the clock with precision passing against the stunned Blue Devils (13-5), who were appearing in their first final four.

This is just Duke's fourth season of women's lacrosse, but the Blue Devils showed flashes of brilliance last night and came close to pulling off an upset.

Martin, a junior attacker, was outstanding for Duke down the stretch, scoring once and assisting on another goal to reduce the Virginia lead to 9-8 with 3: 41 on the clock.

But that's as close as Duke would get.

The first half featured the poise and experience of Virginia against the against the youth and brashness of Duke.

The result was a 5-3 lead at half-time for the more-patient Cavaliers.

Virginia had all it could handle for more than 15 minutes before it broke up a 2-2 tie with three unanswered goals for a 5-2 lead with a little more than nine minutes left in the half.

The Cavaliers used some nifty passing and catching to penetrate the Duke defense for the three quick goals against Shannon Chaney, who had an outstanding first half in the net for Duke.

Chaney made three superb saves in the first 15 minutes of the game but couldn't stave off the attacking Virginia team any longer.

Jessica Hull and Gina Sambus each scored two goals in the first half for Virginia and Samm Taylor had one for the Cavaliers.

Duke didn't fold under the Virginia pressure and came back with an unassisted goal by Kate Kaiser to reduce the margin to 5-3 with 8: 10 left in the first half.

Duke controlled the ball most of the rest of the opening 30 minutes but couldn't score.

Chaney wound up with six saves in the first half, compared to 10 for Virginia's Francis Segarra in the net. But Segarra was not severely tested too often because the Duke shots were mostly from long range and right at her.

Martin and Claire Finn joined Kaiser with goals in the first half for Duke which was outshot by just 16-15 in the half.

Pub Date: 5/15/99

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