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NCAA Quarterfinals: Notes from College Park

As was mentioned in yesterday’s Saturday Day Live, I took a quick trip to College Park, MD to catch the NCAA D1 Quarterfinal games. In case you missed them, Cornell dominated Ohio State to the tune of 16-6, whereas Syracuse staged a late comeback to beat Yale 7-6. Great day to be from Upstate. Now that that’s out of the way, here are a few additional notes on the games.

And check out the post from Saturday for some amazing photos.


Yes, attendance was down in Baltimore, and the crowd paled in comparison to even the presale numbers for the quarterfinals in Indianapolis. A big crowd in Indy is great news, as we always love to see the sport spreading and thriving throughout non-traditional hotbeds. However, comparing the two, and slighting Maryland as a result, is apples & oranges.

No Maryland or Virginia representation means Yale is the closest team to the venue. Are there a lot of diehard Yale and Ohio State lacrosse fans in the DC metro area? If you’re a Hopkins fan, are you going to drive over to College Park and sit in the rain to watch these games?

Yale Vs Syracuse

Maybe you’ll just watch from home, especially since you already went to a sold-out Homewood field a few weeks back, sat in M & T Bank Stadium earlier this season for the Face-Off Classic in March, and get to watch NCAA tournament games on one level or another pretty much every season.

The Indy quarterfinals are the first ones to come to the region. These games have EVENT status. Add a weather-proof environment and an in-state team in the mix, and the two settings couldn’t be any more different. I’m not saying Maryland residents should take any NCAA tourney games for granted, but I have to assume many of them did.

When you look at the Boston Cannons’ attendance on Saturday night, which was just over 11,000 people, you see how strong that home team attendance pull can be. Also, that the MLL seems to be gaining some serious traction. Ok, back to college.

The Atmosphere:

If you chose to stay home, you missed out on a great scene created by these fanbases. I’m sure your couch is lovely, but there’s nothing like being there in person.

While Cornell dominated every aspect of their matchup, most elements of the game will soon be forgotten. Here’s what I’ll remember: the Cornell bench getting big-game playing time, and the starters pumping them up and cheering them on like it was a one-goal game. The legendary Richie Moran appearing out of nowhere, walking down to the sideline and hugging Matt Donovan late in the game.  A swarm of young fans running to the rails to yell to Cornell’s starters once they’d been pulled from the game, and the players responding in kind by tossing some lacrosse balls their way.

NCAA Men's Lacrosse Division 1 Quaterfinals_ Ohio State vs Cornell

The Yale Faithful:

I don’t care if you have a dog in the fight or not; there is nothing like being in the building for a potential upset. Yale fans were constantly on their feet, and with every goal it seemed like more and more blue shirts appeared on their half of the stands. The bulldogs brought a tremendous crowd down to Maryland with them, and their go-ahead goal was the loudest pop I’d heard all day by far.

150518_NCAA Lacrosse_Syracuse vs Yale


And no matter how many times you see it, there’s nothing quite like that moment when the fans stand and applaud their sons in defeat. If you’re in the crowd, you can geniunely feel the pride and support.

The Venue:

For such a big event, the game was noticeably non-corporate. No gaudy product placement, no “Show your flow on the jumBROtron (not sure that’s an actual term, but if not, I bet it will be soon)” contest… this was old school. There’s plenty of time for the glitz and glamour next weekend; this was a plain old college stadium, with no bells or whistles, and a refreshing departure from what we’ve come to expect.

Steve Mock:

Cornell Tops Ohio State

This year’s nominee for the Eric Lusby “Maybe we should name the Tewaaraton finalists after the tournament, considering we factor in the tournament and all” award put on an absolute clinic in putting yourself in the right spot to score. Did you know Mock moved up to eighth all-time in Ivy League goals during this game? Well, he did for about ten minutes, then he fell to ninth, since he was tied with…

Rob Pannell:

Oh my goodness. Mr. Pannell. The man was downright surgical with his play on Saturday. Forget about the two “I’m running to the goal and you’re just going to have to get over it” goals in the second half; as a feeder, the Buckeye zone was easier to crack than the “RAIL PABUL” name scramble they put on the jumbotron between quarters. Marasco still has the ability to pad his resume, but as of now the Tewaaraton presentation’s going to consist of a guy walking to the stage, saying “Welp, here ya go” and handing it straight to Rob.

NCAA Men's Lacrosse Division 1 Quaterfinals_ Ohio State vs Cornell

Two tickets already punched, two spots decided Sunday, and now it’s Final Four time. Thanks to Tommy Gilligan for the incredible shots of Saturday’s action and we’ll see you next weekend in Philly.