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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Middies face Orange for National Title in Men's Lacrosse

SportsProf was otherwise occupied with Memorial Day weekend activities on Saturday and therefore was unable to watch the NCAA semifinals in men's lacrosse. Over 46,000 people watched the Navy-Princeton, Johns Hopkins-Syracuse doubleheader at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore, setting an NCAA record in so doing. In the first game, Navy never trailed, although the game was tied 3 times, and the #2 Middies beat the young Princeton Tiger squad to advance to the title game (Navy has never won the national title in men's lacrosse; Hopkins and Syracuse have 7 titles apiece, Princeton 6, and, with respect to the Tigers, their 6 have occurred in the past 12 years).

In the second game, Syracuse was facing a Hopkins team that beat it a combined 36-13 in their past 2 meetings, dating back to the NCAA tournament last year. The Blue Jays' lax team is Hopkins only Division I men's team, and they were hoping that they could show that their #1 ranking was justified. It wasn't, as the Orange, as Navy did in the first game, controlled the faceoffs and the ground balls and thrashed Hopkins, 15-9, to force a confrontation with Navy in the NCAA title game on Memorial Day.

The game should be a great one, featuring an absolute stalwart in Syracuse against a very solid, if surprising #2 team in Navy. Syracuse has been there before, but Navy hasn't, and SportsProf wouldn't be surprised if the crowd is a Navy crowd, given all that the Middies will face after they graduate. Syracuse travels well and brings many fans, but it will be hard for the neutral observer (not to mention alums of most schools who play the Orange) not to root for Navy.

Watch lacrosse if you haven't before. You won't be disappointed.


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