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The heat, however, undoubtedly deterred some fans. The game-time temperature of 96 degrees reached 98 by halftime with a heat index of 102. The announced attendance was almost 10,000 fewer than Saturday’s semifinals here.

Many of those who did turn out battled the heat by showing as much skin as possible. Sunburned shoulders were a regular sight by game’s end.

After the final whistle, the outnumbered, orange-clad Virginia supporters roared as players paraded the trophy around the stadium. Touching bottom made reaching the top that much sweeter.

“Had we not won this game, I would have told you that I was as proud of this group as any I’ve been around in some period of time,” Starsia said. “I’m particularly proud right now of everything that these guys have gone through and have been ultimately able to accomplish.”