Editorial: Winning weekend for lacrosse
No doubt about it – the Triangle is basketball country, and nothing else really comes close in the intensity of fan interest. And Duke and UNC regularly can be expected to compete for national titles in the sport, with both men’s and women’s teams.
But our schools also compete in the top echelons of many spring sports, and this past weekend brought national titles in two of them.
Duke’s men’s lacrosse team captured its second NCAA national championship on Monday, rallying from an early five-goal deficit to overwhelm No.-1-ranked Syracuse 16-10 in Philadelphia.
The day before, UNC’s women’s lacrosse team scored 12 minutes into overtime to defeat previously unbeaten Maryland 13-12. It was the longest NCAA women’s lacrosse final ever played.
It was an especially sweet win for the Tar Heels, who had lost twice before to Maryland, in the regular season and in the ACC tournament final.
It was a weekend for long games for Tar Heel teams. The UNC baseball team took 14 innings Friday night to beat Clemson, then 18 innings Saturday night to beat N. C. State to reach Sunday’s ACC tournament finals. They won that game against Virginia Tech 4-1 and are headed into the NCAA tournament beginning Friday.
The N. C. State game was a double superlative – it was the longest game in program history, and the crowd at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park – 11,392 – was the largest ever to see a college baseball game in this state.
Lacrosse players from both Duke and UNC spoke of dreams fulfilled after their victories.
“It’s a dream come true,” Duke junior Josh Dionne said after Monday’s game. “People say you can’t describe it, and it’s true. You can’t.”
Sammy Jo Tracy scored the game-winning goal, 31 seconds into the third overtime, in the UNC women’s victory late Sunday night.
“A dream,” Tracy said afterward. “It literally feels all like a dream. To see that ball go into the back of the net is something I’ve dreamed about since my dad first put a stick in my hand.”
For fulfilling their dreams over this Memorial Day weekend, we congratulate the UNC women’s and Duke men’s lacrosse teams.