The Virginia Cavaliers came back from down four midway though the third quarter, forced overtime and secured the win in the double overtime. After a sloppy first half both sides picked up the pace in the second half the Cavaliers prevailed, securing a spot in the national championship game.
Virginia was led by Ian Laviano who had 4 goals, including the game tying goal and the game-winner. Dox Aitken also had 4 points (3G,1A) while Matt Moore tallied 4 points (2G,2A). Alex Rode stood on his head, making 19 saves in cage for the Cavaliers.
Brad Smith led the way for Duke with 4 points (3G,1A). CJ Carpenter and Joe Robertson each had 3 points (2G,1A) as well. Brian Smyth also tallied 2 goals for the Blue Devils. In cage Turner Uppgren made 10 saves for the Blue Devils.
It was a slower defensive heavy first quarter on both end of the field. Duke’s Turner Uppgren and Virginia’s Kyle Rode were stellar in cage, making some big saves early on in the game.
The scoring got started with Ryan Conrad putting Virginia up 1-0 early on. Duke finally answered a few minuted later as Brad Smith got the Blue Devils on the board. Near the end of the first Ryan Conrad found himself in space and ripped one to put the Cavaliers up 2-1.
Duke got things going right off the bat in the second as the Nakeie Montgomery to CJ Carpenter connection worked it’s magic, tying things up at 2. After some more slow and defensive heavy possessions, Brad Smith tallied his second on a man-up possession to give Duke their first lead of the game.
The Blue Devils kept rolling as they extended their run to four goals, taking a 5-2 lead heading into the half. The Blue Devils defense was setting the tone and their offense was following suit at the other end of the field.
Starting in the third quarter the game changed from a slow half field battle to a battle in the middle of the field with a ton of transition and hustle plays. Both offense finally got going as the sticks started to get hot on both ends.
Dox Aitken ended the Cavaliers scoring drought as he got the Virginia offense going again early in the third. Duke answered quickly with a CJ Carpenter goal to push the Blue Devils lead back out to 6-3.
The back-and-forth play ensued through the later part of the third quarter as each side just kept taking shots at each other. Virginia went on a three-goal run to end the third. Ian Laviano ended the quarter with a wrap around goal to cut the Duke lead to 8-7 and make it a one goal game heading into the fourth.
Duke scored two quick goals to start the fourth quarter, including one right off the opening faceoff. Virginia stopped the bleeding with an Ian Laviano goal in transition to cut the Duke lead to 10-8 with 10:50 in the fourth.
After a Brad Smith goal to push the Duke lead out to 11-8, Virginia scored on a man-up possession with Dox Aitken skipping it in the back of the net. Aitken found the back of the net on the Cavaliers very next possession to make it a one-goal game once again.
Duke would be able to get up by two, but the Cavaliers would come back once again. Ian Laviano tied it up with under a minute to play to send it to tie it up at 12 and send it to overtime.
While each side was able to get a few good shots off they all hit pipe or missed wide. The defenses eventually prevailed, forcing a second overtime. After winning the opening faceoff of the second overtime period Ian Laviano stung the back of the net off a Matt Moore assist to send the Cavaliers to the championship game on Monday.