Tomorrow, the Duke lacrosse team will take on Cornell in a semi-final match of the NCAA tournament. The game would actually make a worthy final — Duke is the number one seed in the tournament and Cornell had an undefeated season that included a victory over Duke in Durham. (Duke played that match on short rest, having just defeated North Carolina, while Cornell hadn’t played in ten days). On paper, Saturday’s rematch looks like a toss-up.
Cornell is an exceptionally disciplined team, but does not play a slow-down style. This will suit a Duke team that loves to run the field.
Cornell benefits from a diversified attack in which its midfielders contribute a decent share of the goals. Duke relies heavily for goals on its attack players, especially Matt Danowski and Zack Greer two of the nation’s very best. Cornell counters with arguably the nation’s best goalie, Matt McGonagle.
I hestitate to make a prediction in a match this finely balanced (it’s hard enough for me to predict what’s going to happen in sports I know a lot about). However, Duke’s attack suddenly seems to be firing on all cylinders, and the team may be peaking at just the right time (normally I hate this sports cliche). I like Duke’s chances.
UPDATE: Apologies for getting Zack Greer’s name wrong in the original post.
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