Syracuse and Notre Dame, the two BIG EAST men's lacrosse teams selected to compete in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship and the top two seeds, will compete in the quarterfinals this weekend.
Top-seeded Syracuse (14-3), which earned the league's automatic bid by winning the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship title, will play on Saturday, May 18 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md., against Yale at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Orange defeated Bryant 12-7 last weekend to advance to the quarterfinals.
Yale (12-4) defeated Penn State in the first round after receiving the Ivy League's automatic bid into the field.
The Orange are led by senior JoJo Marasco, who has 55 points on 19 goals and 36 assists, and sophomore Kevin Rice, who has recorded 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points this season. Junior Dominic Lamolinara has made 113 saves in 13 games with an 8.30 goals-against average. SU is ninth nationally in scoring offense (12.00 gpg).
Syracuse went 5-1 in conference play to earn a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title before winning their second-straight BIG EAST Championship title. Heading into the postseason, SU was ranked 10th nationally in scoring offense (12.14 gpg) and eighth nationally in shot percentage (.323). The Orange went 7-0 against ranked opponents and have won eight of their last nine games.
Syracuse is making its 33rd appearance in the NCAA playoffs. This year marks the ninth time in tournament history that Syracuse has received the No. 1 seed. The Orange own a 19-4 record all-time record as the top seed, including winning the 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2000 national championships. Syracuse holds a 63-21 record in NCAA Tournament play. Its .750 tournament winning percentage is the best in NCAA history, and its 62 tournament victories are second all-time behind Johns Hopkins (67).
No. 2 seed Notre Dame (11-4) will play No. 7 seed Duke on Sunday, May 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Duke defeated the defending national champion, Loyola in the first round.
The Fighting Irish defeated Detroit 9-7 last weekend to advance. The Irish ended the final period against Detroit trailing 7-3, yet scored four goals in the first 4:50 of the quarter to knot the contest and finished the quarter with six goals to get the win.
Freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh netted a game-high four goals for the Fighting Irish. Kavanagh's four goals matched a season-high total that he achieved two other times (Duke & North Carolina). They are the most goals for a Notre Dame player in an NCAA Championship contest since Neal Hicks tallied four in a 12-7 win over Cornell in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament. They are the most goals ever for a Notre Dame freshman in an NCAA tournament game.
Kavanagh leads the Irish with 42 points on 29 goals and 13 assists, while senior Sean Rogers has 36 points on 23 goals and 12 assists. Goalie John Kemp has played in all 15 games, making 140 saves and holding a 7.94 goals-against average. The Irish are eighth nationally in scoring defense (8.07 gpg).
The Fighting Irish have won their last four first-round games in the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame will be making its fifth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the last six seasons.
Notre Dame went 4-2 in BIG EAST play and earned the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship, where the Irish lost to eventual-champion Syracuse. ND posted victories against six ranked teams during the regular season and won four of their last five games of the regular season. The Irish entered the postseason ranked 28th nationally in scoring offense (10.46 gpg) and were tied for ninth nationally in scoring defense (8.08).
The Irish are making their program-record eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame owns an 12-17 record in the tournament. Every appearance has occurred under head coach Kevin Corrigan. Last season, the Irish earned the tournament's No. 4 seed and reached the national semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Loyola 7-5.
Notre Dame's best performance in the NCAAs was a runner-up finish in 2010. The Irish have reached Championship Weekend three times (2001, 2010, 2012).
This year's national semifinals and championship games will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on May 25-27.
In the last NCAA Men's Lacrosse RPI rankings, Notre Dame was first, with Syracuse at No. 3.