CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia field hockey team (8-11, 1-4 ACC) upset sixth-ranked Duke (11-6, 2-3 ACC) 3-2 in penalty strokes Saturday in the regular season finale at the University Hall Turf Field.
"This team has never given up," Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. "All year, it's been hard. They just keep believing they are going to pull one out and we were able to do it today in a very tough match against a very good team."
Both teams scored once in the first half and once in the second half for a 2-2 tie. But neither scored in 30 minutes of overtime as Virginia went to a stroke-off for the first time this season.
The first three players from each team converted their strokes. After Duke's Tara Jennings shot wide left, Virginia's Elly Buckley converted, putting the Cavaliers up 4-3. Next up for the Blue Devils was Rhian Jones, and when she missed, the Cavaliers secured the victory.
In addition to Buckley's converted stroke, teammates Carissa Vittese, Jess Orrett and Chloe Pendlebury also made their strokes.
For the game, Duke outshot Virginia 28-7 and finished with 14 penalty corners to just three for the Cavaliers.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone was sensational in the cage, posting with a career-high 14 saves.
Junior Britt Knouse put Virginia on the board just 1:21 into the contest on UVa's first penalty corner. Knouse deflected in a Buckley shot past Duke goalkeeper Samantha Nelson to make it 1-0 in favor of the Cavaliers.
Duke responded and was able to tie the game before halftime. On a broken Virginia penalty corner, the Blue Devils led a fast break down the field and Jessica Buttinger crossed the ball into the middle to teammate Devon Gagliardi, who scored to make it 1-1.
In the 41st minute, the Cavaliers regained the lead. Buckley handled the ball down the end line before dishing it off to Rachel Sumfest on the far post; she tipped it in for the goal.
Five minutes later, Duke struck back to tie the game once again. Emmie Le Marchand converted off Abby Beltrani's shot on a broken penalty corner.
Nelson finished with three saves for Duke.
The Cavaliers honored its three members of the fourth year class - Alexandra Jahnle, Rachel Jennings and Adrienne Ostroff - in a postgame ceremony.
"The seniors have played their hearts out since the minute they arrived on Grounds," Madison said. "They have given everything they have every day, on and off the field. That's what makes us one of the best programs in the country."
The Cavaliers play next in the ACC Championship, which begins Thursday in College Park, Md.