Two of the three BIG EAST teams selected to compete in the 2011 Men's Lacrosse NCAA Championship won first-round games to advance to the quarterfinals on Sunday, May 22. Top-seeded Syracuse defeated Siena to advance to play Maryland on Sunday at 12:00 p.m., while No. 4 seed Notre Dame won in a match-up against Penn to continue on, facing No. 5 seed Duke on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. Villanova was the third BIG EAST team selected to the 2011 NCAA Championship. The Wildcats fell to Denver 13-10 in the first round.
Syracuse (15-1) is on a six-game winning streak, with only one loss this season. This trip to the NCAA Tournament is SU's 31st, the fourth-most NCAA appearances by any Division I program. The Orange hold a 61-19 postseason record. The top-seeding that the Orange earned this postseason marks the eighth time that SU has held the No. 1 spot, and Syracuse is 17-3 when serving as the highest seed, including winning titles in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2000. SU has defeated nine top-20 opponents this season, including two teams ranked first in the nation (Virginia on March 4 and Notre Dame on April 30).
Syracuse will face off against the Terps on Sunday afternoon, with Maryland (11-4) holding an 8-6 edge in the all-time series. The teams last met in the NCAA Championship in 2009. The Orange recorded an 11-6 victory, in which they never trailed, on May 16, 2009 to advance to the Final Four. Maryland knocked off No. 8 seed North Carolina in this year's first round, 13-6.
Syracuse's defense ranks fifth nationally with a 7.20 goals against average, with Maryland right behind the Orange in sixth (7.29). SU is 11th nationally in offense, averaging 11.20 goals scored per game. The Terps are again right behind the Orange, ranking 12th with 11.07 goals per game.
Notre Dame (11-2) will face fifth-seeded Duke next Sunday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship at 2:30 p.m. Duke defeated Delaware 15-14 on Saturday in first-round action. Notre Dame ended the regular season ranked No. 5/5 in the national polls after spending eight weeks of the season ranked in the top three spots. The tilt against fifth-seeded Duke (13-5) is a rematch of the national title game last year, in which the Fighting Irish fell to the Blue Devils 6-5 in overtime. The teams have met once already this season, with Notre Dame recording a 12-7 win on Feb. 20 in Jacksonville, Fla., to open the 2011 season. At the time, the Irish were ranked sixth nationally, while the Blue Devils were ranked No. 5.
The Irish defense ranks second nationally with a 6.58 goals-against average. Notre Dame's only two losses of the season came to then-No. 4/4 Syracuse, an 11-8 setback at the Carrier Dome on April 30, and a 9-8 overtime loss to then-No. 12/12 North Carolina.
In addition to the win against Duke to open the season, the Irish defeated then-No. 14/17 Denver 10-9 on March 12, then-No. 20/20 Ohio State 8-7 on March 23 and then-No. 11/8 Villanova 12-8 on April 2.
The winners will advance to the semifinals at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday, May 28 at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Those games will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The final will be played on Monday, May 30 at 3:30 p.m.