I hope that the sports fans among our readers got to see the Duke-Cornell lacrosse semi-final yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t because I was on a train at the time.
Here’s what happened. Duke went up 10-3 late in the third quarter, seemingly an insurmountable lead for a team of Duke’s quality. However, with Duke goaltender Dan Loftus battling leg cramps in the 90 degree heat, Cornell roared back to tie the match at 11-11 with only 17 seconds remaining.
Duke won the ensuing face-off, and Peter Lamade came up with the ball. He lofted a perfect pass onto the stick of Duke’s top scorer, Zack Greer. Greer spun past his defender and fired in the winning goal from close range with three seconds remaining. Could anyone have written a more dramatic finish?
Duke will face Johns Hopkins in the final tomorrow. Two years ago, Hopkins beat Duke in the title game so, again, we get perhaps the most dramatic scenario possible.
Duke defeated Hopkins 11-9 when they met in early April in Baltimore. I wrote about that match here.
Hopkins has not lost since that day, but its string of victories (including overtime wins against Maryland and Notre Dame) has not been quite as impressive as Duke’s. Hopkins is only 1-3 against ACC opponents this year. However, it won its quaterfinal and semifinal matches (against Georgetown and Delaware respectively) by a combined margin of 22-9.
The Blue Devils seem to have a faster, more athletic team, and they should be considered the favorites in tomorrow’s championship contest.
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