Sunday, May 17, 2009

Johns Hopkins, Maryland Done in the NCAAs

For the first time in quite a while, the men's lacrosse NCAA Tournament Final Four will not have a representative from the state of Maryland. The two remaining teams from the state, Hopkins and Maryland, were taken down over the weekend in the quarterfinals.

For Hopkins, the defensive issues finally gave in, as Virginia lit them up in the rematch 19-8. The Wahoos were up 12-4 at halftime and always had control. Hopkins had a great season, earning the 8-seed thanks to some closely fought games. Brian Christopher had a couple game winning goals against Loyola and Brown to push them farther into the season, and they had a good run.

Maryland fell at the hands of defending national champion Syracuse 11-6. The Terps were close at halftime 5-3, but could not beat the ride or the defense. Not only that, goalie Brian Phipps tore his ACL protesting a no-call, and became the laughing stock of the sports world for a day. But the year had huge expectations, and even though it was disappointing, they got through the first round and reached the quarterfinals again.

Navy and UMBC fell to Duke and North Carolina respectively in the first round. So every team is out from the state of Maryland. The Final Four will make up Virginia, Syracuse, Duke, and Cornell.

This was a great year for these four teams; all had their strengths. Navy had a shutdown defense, Hopkins always won the close ones, Maryland had a solid attack core, and UMBC had one of the best first midfields. Even though it is over, all four squads should be proud of their season. We won't forget the great Hopkins-Maryland matchup in the Day of Rivals, the defensive battle between UMBC and Princeton, or the thrilling overtime game between Hopkins and Loyola. This year was a great one.

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