With so many stories lacrosse programs advancing to the second weekend, it’s no surprise there’s plenty of history stitched into the quarterfinal matchups.
Heck, two are conference matchups, and another is one of the best rivalries in the sport (Virginia-Hopkins).
Maybe Maryland and Syracuse are relative strangers – but they’ve still met plenty of times in the NCAA tournament.
A look ahead at the series history of the four quarterfinal pairings:
No. 1 VIRGINIA vs. No. 8 JOHNS HOPKINS
Series: Hopkins leads 52-26-1
NCAA series: Hopkins leads 8-5 (Hopkins won in 1973, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1993 and 2005; Virginia won in 1972, 1988, 1996, 1999 and 2003)
Last meeting: Virginia won 16-15 on March 21
The postseason history between the teams? Only one of the best title games ever (a Hopkins 9-8 overtime win in 1980) and arguably the best semifinal ever (another 9-8 Hop victory in 2005). The Cavaliers beat Hopkins in the ‘99 semifinals on their way to a title, then toppled the Blue Jays four years later in the first final in a pro stadium.
One non-postseason morsel: Hopkins has a losing record against only one opponent under Dave Pietramala. That’s Virginia, which is 8-3 against Petro and has won 10 of 13 against the Blue Jays.
No. 2 SYRACUSE vs. MARYLAND
Series: Maryland leads 8-5
NCAA series: Syracuse leads 3-2 (Syracuse won in 1983, 1989 and 1995; Maryland won in 1979 and 1997)
Last meeting: Maryland won 18-17 in 1997 NCAA semifinals
It’s pretty amazing these schools have only one regular-season meeting in the last 49 years. But that should make this showdown on Long Island a bit of a treat. Maryland has a few crucial pieces from upstate New York (Grant Catalino and Dan Groot), so this should be a fun game for those guys. While Syracuse doesn’t play the Terps frequently, it fondly remembers its last trip to College Park. That was the 2000 national title game, a victory over Princeton.
No. 3 DUKE vs. No. 6 NORTH CAROLINA
Series: North Carolina leads 37-24
NCAA series: Duke leads 2-0 (1998 first round, 2007 quarterfinals)
Last meeting: Duke won 15-13 on April 26 in the ACC tournament
These two obviously don’t need much of an introduction, but don’t let the Tar Heels’ lead in the series fool you. Duke has won 19 of 24 going back to the 1995 ACC tournament, and is looking to match the regular season/ACC tournament/NCAA tournament sweep of 2007. The Blue Devils won the first meeting of the season 12-8 back on March 14. Both of this year’s games were played in Chapel Hill.
No. 4 PRINCETON vs. No. 5 CORNELL
Series: Princeton leads 36-31-2
NCAA series: First meeting
Last meeting: Cornell won 10-7 on April 18
Yes, the Big Red won a month ago – and as a result, the Ivy League. Both teams would much rather advance to the final four. Cornell’s had the better of the matchups of late, winning five of the last six seasons as Princeton’s star dimmed a little.
That said, one of these schools has at least shared the Ivy title for 15 straight seasons (and 43 of 53 overall). The fact there’s a rematch on Long Island – a fairly neutral setting but still in the Ivy’s geographic center – is promising for what should be a stellar game.