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Johns Hopkins, Duke advance to Championsip Game

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Blue Devils reach first national title game



PHILADELPHIA -- Johns Hopkins advanced to the NCAA men's lacrosse national title game for the second time in three years Saturday, rallying to beat Virginia 9-8.


Hopkins' Jake Byrne scored with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 8-all, and Benson Erwin scored the winner with 50.7 seconds left in overtime.


Top-seeded Johns Hopkins will face second-seeded Duke, an 18-9 winner over No. 3 Maryland, in Monday's title game.


Byrne and Joe Malo each scored twice for Hopkins (15-0). Matt Ward led Virginia (11-4) with four goals.


Virginia rallied from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter and took an 8-7 lead on Ward's goal with 12.9 seconds.


Hopkins countered seconds later with Byrne's second goal of the game.


In overtime, Erwin scored his fourth goal of the season with 50.7 seconds remaining in overtime to send Hopkins to the national title game.


"I wasn't aiming. I just threw the ball," Erwin said.


Hopkins led 6-3 after three quarters, but Virginia scored four straight at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 7-6 lead. After a 45-minute lightning delay, Hopkins' Kyle Harrison tied the game at 7-all with 4:25 left.


Virginia's Drew Thompson then held the ball behind the goal for more than two minutes before passing to Ward who scored with 12.9 seconds left.


Greg Peyser won the ensuing face-off for Hopkins and ran the ball up the field before passing to an open Byrne.


Virginia missed on three shots in the overtime, including a body save by Hopkins' goalie Jesse Schwartzman.


Neither team scored in the first period, the first scoreless opening quarter in NCAA tournament history.


Malo opened the scoring with 4:49 left in the second period.


In the other semifinal, Duke advanced to the title game for the first time behind four goals from Zack Greer.


Matt Zash and Dan Flannery each had three goals for Duke (17-2). Joe Walters led Maryland (11-6) with three goals.


Greer, a 19-year-old freshman, now has 57 goals this season, breaking the previous school record of 53 set in 1997 by John Fay. He also set a new ACC mark, passing Doug Knight's 56-goal season in 1996.


After the teams traded a goal apiece in the first two minutes of the game, Duke took control, scoring eight straight goals to take a 9-1 lead.


Zash had all three of his goals in the first half and Flannery added two of his own, as Duke scored on 10 of its 19 first-half shots. Maryland's Andrew Schwartzman scored two goals in the last two minutes of the half before Zash scored with 29 seconds left to give the Blue Devils a 10-3 halftime lead.


Walters scored all three of his goals in the third quarter, each time cradling the ball behind the goal before scoring unassisted, as Maryland got within six.


The Terps, however, scored just two goals in the fourth quarter, and Duke held on for the win.


Nick O'Hara and Kyle Dowd had two goals each for Duke and Matt Danowski, Ryan Marshall, Bret Thompson and Bo Carrington had each added one. Xander Ritz and Thomas Alford each scored one goal for Maryland, which had defeated Duke, 10-8, to win the ACC championship May 1.


The Blue Devils were last in the final four in 1997, losing to Princeton 10-9 in the semifinals.


I'm not sure if anyone that posts here even likes lacrosse, but that 2nd semi-final game today that went into sudden death overtime was one of the best I've ever seen. Anyway, I'd just like to say :cheers to Johns Hopkins for advancing to the championship game, and good luck to them on Monday. Go Blue Jays! :headbang

Edited by dasox24

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Thats awesome to beat UVA anytime in the tourney, congrats to JH and good luck against the Devils. I'm honestly suprised the Devils are that good in lacrosse. I guess its the Duke New Jersey connection for alot of the students huh.

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