Lacrosse dreams on line for UNC women, Duke men

May. 23, 2013 @ 07:00 PM

Hopes and dreams are on the line today and Saturday as first UNC and then Duke open play in the NCAA women’s and men’s lacrosse Final Four.

The No. 3-ranked Tar Heel women (16-3), who have never won a national title in the sport, face the daunting challenge of No. 2 Northwestern (19-2), the two-time reigning national champions. The teams meet at 5 p.m. today at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia.

The game will be available to viewers at ESPN3.com.

Northwestern has won seven of the last eight NCAA crowns and eliminated the Tar Heels in the Final Four in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The winner will meet the winner of tonight’s No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 4 Syracuse showdown at 8 p.m. Sunday for the national title.

The No. 4 Duke men’s team does have a national title in its portfolio, in 2010 for Coach John Danowski’s Blue Devils.

Duke is playing in its seventh straight Final Four, ninth overall, and advanced with a 12-11 comeback win over Notre Dame last weekend in the quarterfinals.

The 14-5 Blue Devils, winners of 12 of their last 13 games, meet No. 8 Cornell (14-3) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in a nationally televised showdown (ESPN2). The field is the home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.