Maryland defender Becky Clipp could not point to one particular thing that gave the No. 1 Duke women's lacrosse team an edge over the No. 5 Terrapins in last night's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinal at M&T; Bank Stadium.
A lot of small mistakes and missed opportunities made all the difference, said Clipp (Catonsville), in the Blue Devils' 19-9 victory that sends the defending champion Blue Devils into tomorrow's 1 p.m. final against No. 4 Virginia.
"When you play a team like Duke that is No. 1 in the country, you have to do all the little things right in order to come out on top," said Clipp, a junior defender. "They would capitalize on any ground balls, any opportunities. After they got a few goals going, they kind of got on a run and we were kind of back on our heels."
The Blue Devils (15-1) used a five-goal run to take a 6-2 lead midway through the first half, but the Terrapins (12-6) stayed within striking distance into the second half. After a Delia Cox goal four minutes after halftime, the Terps were within 9-6.
"We really hung in there to keep it close in the first half," Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said, "and in the second half, it just seemed like a couple little things that didn't go our way multiplied into ... big things and it resulted in goals."
The Blue Devils scored six straight times to run their lead to 15-6 when Carolyn Davis scored on a feed from Kristen Waagbo with 12:37 remaining.
"We made really good adjustments at halftime," said Katie Chrest (Maryvale), last season's Tewaaraton Trophy winner who led Duke with four goals and one assist.
While the Terps dominated possession in their 21-8 first-round victory over Boston College Thursday, they could not keep the ball for long stretches last night.
Maryland turned the ball over 17 times and the Blue Devils had a 25-18 advantage in ground balls. Even though Maryland won 17 of 28 draws - nine of 12 in the first half - the Terps couldn't generate enough offense from those possessions.
Cox, whose 10 goals in the two tournament games tied the record set by Maryland's Jen Adams in 1999, scored six of them last night. Katie Doolittle had two. None of Maryland's goals was assisted.
"They didn't have assisted goals, because we're marking the cutters in the middle very well," said Duke goalie and Maryvale grad Megan Huether (13 saves). "We were very well prepared for that. I think Delia is a great player and it takes a great defensive effort to stop a player of that caliber."
The Blue Devils, who had never beaten Maryland in the ACC Tournament, now face a rematch with the only team to beat them this season as the Cavaliers took a 11-10 victory on April 1.
No. 4 Virginia 12, No. 6 North Carolina 10 -- After giving up the tying goal with five seconds left in regulation, the Cavaliers bounced back to win only the second overtime game in women's ACC tournament history. The Cavaliers (14-3) won all the draws in overtime and Kate Breslin scored the game-winner on a free position 4:35 into overtime. Tyler Leachman added the final goal with one second left - her seventh of the game - tying the ACC Tournament record set by Adams in 1999. In a game that featured five ties, Leachman scored first and had the Tar Heels (12-5) playing mostly catch up until late in the second half when North Carolina dominated possession and strung together four goals. Meg Freshwater's free-position goal with 11:50 to go gave the Tar Heels their first lead and Melissa McCarthy pushed the advantage to 9-7 with 3:37 left. However, the Cavaliers answered with three straight goals, including two from Leachman, to take a 10-9 lead with 2:28 left. The Cavaliers won the next draw, but Tar Heels defender Jamie Hanssen(Notre Dame Prep) forced a Virginia turnover with 16 seconds left that Kate Brooks converted on a feed from Amber Falcone with five seconds to go.