Championship Weekend is Set

Jake Boynton, Sports Writer

This past weekend four teams qualified for the 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Championship weekend, Lacrosse’s version of the final four, in Baltimore, MarylandDuke, Denver, and Notre Dame, each won their quarterfinal games to advance to the next round.

Duke has now advanced to the national semi-finals for the 8th straight year, and enter Memorial Day weekend as the number one seed and the favorite to win the title. Not only is this their 8th straight trip, but they could also repeat as national champions.

The Blue Devils will take on  5 seeded Denver on Saturday. Denver rolled through the Big East conference this season, as there is only 1 other team from the Big East in the top 25 ranked teams (St. John’s #25). Duke finished the regular season ranked only below one other ACC team, Syracuse, but the ACC featured 6 of the top 10 teams this season. 

Duke‘s Myles Jones has caused teams trouble throughout the tournament with his size (6’4, 240 lbs) and his goal scoring ability (27 goals in last 9 games). ESPN alalyst Quint Kessenich even called him “un-guardable” during the Duke’s quarterfinal game.

The 2nd Saturday match-up is between 6 seed Notre Dame and 7 seed Maryland. Both teams were ranked in the regular season top 10 and both played in the ACC this year.

Both teams also came very close to not getting to Championship weekend as well. Maryland scored in the last 5 seconds of their opening round game against Cornell, before knocking off Bryant this past Saturday.

Notre Dame‘s quarterfinal game against the number 1 scoring offense in the NCAA, Albany, was decided by a single goal in overtime.

Maryland‘s senior Mike Chanechuk will be a player to watch in this game after his 9 point (5 goals, 4 assists) performance against Bryant, and his game winner in round 1.

Video: Duke vs. Johns Hopkins Highlights (via ESPN)