Duke Erases 9-Goal Deficit by Falls to No. 1 UNC in ACC Semis

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Marcus Holman scored the game-winning goal with 1:28 to play and Kieran Burke saved David Lawson's shot with six seconds remaining as third-ranked North Carolina defeated sixth-ranked Duke 18-17 Friday night in the ACC Tournament semifinals at Kenan Stadium.

A crowd of 4,567 fans witnessed the highest-scoring game in ACC Tournament history as the teams combined for 35 goals, exceeding the previous record of 33 goals set in a double overtime semifinal game in the 2000 tournament when Virginia beat the Tar Heels 17-16.

Second-seeded Carolina (11-3), which last won the ACC Tournament title in 1996, will play fourth-seeded Virginia (7-7), in the championship game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Kenan Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU. UNC advances to the ACC Tournament championship game for the third time in Coach Joe Breschi's five years after the Tar Heels failed to win an ACC Tournament game for 12 successive years from 1997-2008.

Holman's late heroics overcame a monumental comeback effort by the Blue Devils (11-5) who had won nine straight games coming into Friday's contest. UNC led Duke by as many nine goals early in the third quarter before the Blue Devils scored 11 of the next 12 goals to take the lead with less than seven minutes to play. North Carolina (11-3) scored the last two goals of the game to pull out the victory and win its eighth successive game. Carolina achieved its nine-goal margin at 15-6 with 11:31 left in the third quarter before Duke ran off eight straight goals and 11 of the next 12 tallies to take its first lead of the game with 6:12 to play. But Jimmy Bitter tied the match with 5:01 to play and Holman, who was named Friday as a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, scored the game-winner off Chad Tutton's assist with 1:28 to play.

Duke had an extra-man opportunity at the end of the game and a chance to tie but Kieran Burke made a save on a point-blank shot by David Lawson with six seconds remaining and the ball bounced out of bounds before either team could gain possession as the clock expired.

Holman led the Tar Heels with four goals and two assists while Chad Tutton had a career-high four goals. Jimmy Bitter had three goals and an assist for the Tar Heels while Joey Sankey had two goals and two assists. Jordan Wolf led the Blue Devils with five goals and two assists while Josh Offit had three goals and two helpers. Josh Dionne also had a hat trick for the Blue Devils.

Duke outshot the Tar Heels 47-44, including an edge of 29-13 in the second half when it outscored the Heels 11-5 after UNC had raced to a 13-6 halftime lead. The Blue Devils also won the ground ball battle 38-29, including 15 pickups by face-off man Brendan Fowler who was 25 of 38 at the X. It was a night for the offenses as goalies on both sides struggled to make saves.

Kyle Turri started for the Blue Devils and made six saves while allowing 14 goals in 52:54. Turri was replaced by Luke Aaron for the last 7:06 of the first half. Aaron allowed four goals and did not make a save. Freshman Kieran Burke went all 60 minutes for the Tar Heels and made nine saves while allowing 17 goals. But after Duke went up 17-16 with 6:12 to play, Burke stopped the last three Duke shots on goal, giving his team a chance to rally.

Duke finished the game with 13 turnovers while the Tar Heels played nearly perfect on offense, committing only six. Duke went 14 of 15 in the clearing game while Carolina was 12 of 12. UNC converted on three of its four extra-man opportunities and Duke was two of three on man up.

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