Duke 3, Virginia 0

Â

Â

DURHAM, N.C. -- The 15th-ranked Duke womens soccer team registered one of the biggest victories in school history on Sunday, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, as the Blue Devils defeated second-ranked and third-seeded Virginia, 3-0, at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.

The Blue Devils (15-7-0) collected three second half goals to post the biggest victory in school history since Duke knocked off undefeated North Carolina, 3-2, back in 1994. The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance is the first for Duke since 1996 and it also marks only the fourth time in school history the Blue Devils have advanced to the Sweet 16. Duke will next take on 10th-ranked UCLA, who notched a 3-0 win over San Diego on Sunday. No date and time has been set yet.

Wow! Right now everyone is enjoying this win and we want them to enjoy this win, said Duke Head Coach Robbie Church. By the time we get together this week they will be back down to earth and will be ready to go. Now our next goal is to advance to the Elite Eight. For us to do that, we have to have the same commitment from all of our players, like we had tonight.

The two teams played a scoreless first half, but the Cavaliers (17-3-2) had the better of the chances. Late in

the first half, Lindsay Gusick nearly put Virginia ahead, but her 20-yard blast went off the crossbar. In the first 45 minutes, the Cavaliers outshot the Blue Devils 5-1.

We came out and played well early in the match, even though we only had one shot to show for it, said Church. We were in their end a lot and we were able to make it through a Virginia rally late in the first half, which included a shot going off the crossbar. Once we got into halftime, we realized that we were 45 minutes away from a victory. We played pretty good, but we knew we had to take it up to another level in the second half.

In the second half, the Blue Devils took advantage of their scoring chances. In the 52nd minute, a loose ball off a corner kick found junior Kate Seibert, who shot it off the far post and into the net. Five minutes later, Seibert threaded a through ball to junior Carolyn Riggs, who scored on the breakaway for a 2-0 Duke advantage. The goal for Riggs was her ninth of the season, which ties a career high and is her fifth over the last five matches.

After we scored the first goal, we didnt sit back in a shell and just defend, said Church. We kept attacking and then we got the second goal about five minutes later. That gave us a nice cushion at that point.

The Blue Devils added a third goal in the 71st minute when senior Casey McCluskey sent a through ball into the corner that Sarah McCabe tracked down and fired just inside the far post from a sharp angle. McCabe, a sophomore from Sarasota, Fla., posted her ninth goal of the season and the second in as many games.

With the assist on the third goal, McCluskey now owns 40 points this season, which ties the Duke single-season record for most points in a season (Kelly Walbert in 1994).

We really played well, both offensively and defensively in the second half, said Church. Of course, we did an unbelievable job of finishing when we had the opportunity.

Overall, Virginia outshot Duke 12-6 in the game. Christina de Vries made one save for Virginia while Allison Lipsher made three for Duke. The shutout for Lipsher is her eighth of the season, which ranks fourth on the Duke single-season record books. The Honolulu, Hawaii product now owns 10 victories this season.

I thought Allison played exceptional in goal behind our very strong back four, said Church. Her presence was great. She was in the zone and we knew that it would take a great effort for Virginia to score and that relaxed us a lot more to.

Dukes win is the 15th this season, which is the most victories in a season for the Blue Devils since the 1994 season (17). The Blue Devils also registered its 12th shutout of the season, which is one shy of the Duke single-season record.

-- Courtesy Duke