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May 26, 2007 — A snoozer becomes an epic

You could blame fans at the 2007 Final Four if they had left the Franklin Field bleachers by 10 p.m. last night.

After watching Northwestern dismantle host Penn 12-2 in the opener, the Duke Blue Devils seemed to be on their way to preventing Virginia from making its fourth championship game appearance in five years. Duke held a 13-4 lead in the game’s 41st minute, having scored five straight second-half goals to make Julie Myers spend a timeout.

Whatever Myers said in that huddle might become the stuff of legend. Virginia responded with a comeback which is probably greater than Trenton State College’s comeback in the final nine minutes against William Smith in then 1995 Division III final, and Georgetown’s second-half comeback against Maryland in the 2001 Division I final.

The Cavaliers poured in 10 straight goals in the final 20 minutes, the last off the stick of Jess Wasilewski with nine seconds remaining, as they beat Duke 14-13. Duke, however, had a chance to tie the match in the final two seconds of play, but Caroline Cryer’s shot was stopped by Virginia goalie Kendall McBrearty.

Virginia had fired 16 shots on the Blue Devils’ goal cage in the first half, and only found rope three times. That’s because of inspired goaltending by Duke’s Kim Imbesi, who had nine first-half saves.

But as has been the case so many times in 2007, the Blue Devils’ defense had a hard time against an opponent capable of manufacturing a large volume of shots; Virginia had 44 shots on the cage, 28 in the second half.

Blair Weymouth, the sensational sophomore, had four goals, all in the second half, to lead the Cavs’ charge.

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