Saturday sports report

It wasn’t meant to be For the second year in a row, Johns Hopkins has, with a one goal victory, ended Duke’s lacrosse season. Last year, Hopkins defeated the Blue Devils in the championship game 11-10. Today they won a semi-final clash 10-9.

This year’s win ranks as a major upset. Duke, with six outstanding five-year players, was clearly the nation’s best team throughout the season, and they defeated Hopkins in early April by 11 goals. Experts were debating whether Duke’s attack was the best of all-time in college lacrosse. Hopkins, by limiting that attack to only two goals in the first half, has put an end to both the debate and Duke’s dream.

Just when it finally seemed to coming together All season, Virginia has been hoping to put together a game commensurate with its talent and athletic ability. In today’s semifinal against Syracuse, it looked like the Cavaliers were finally accomplishing this. As a result, they held a five goal lead well into the third quarter. But Syracuse stormed back to tie the contest, and then won it in double overtime.

So Monday’s final will pit the Orangemen against Johns Hopkins. Syracuse had the better season, but Hopkins is the defending champions, and they are the ones who took out mighty Duke.

Thanks, now get lost Less than three days after coming within a whisker of winning the European Champions League, Chelsea has fired its coach, Avram Grant. Under Grant, who took over earlier in the season when the club was struggling, Chelsea roared back into contention in the Premier League, losing out to Manchester United on the last day of the season. And Grant took Chelsea to the Champions League final for the first time. With any luck, they would have won the European crown. His reward is a sacking.

Whether it’s college lacrosse or European soccer, sports is not for the faint of heart.

UPDATE: I wasn’t following college lacrosse in 2005, but I’m told that Hopkins ended Duke’s season that year as well with a one-goal victory in the championship final. Duke’s 2006 season was cancelled; thus, the Blue Devils’ last three seasons all ended in one-goal defeats by Hopkins in the final four.

And in Chelsea news, the ever-gracious Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant’s predecessor at the helm, has said that Chelsea’s season was “really bad” and could be described as “great” only by someone with “the philosophy of a loser.” Grant had commented that Chelsea’s season was a good one.

As I said, sports is a tough racket.

JOHN adds: The Twins beat the Detroit Tigers today, 6-1.

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