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Top 10: NCAA Lacrosse Final Four Moments

May 30, 2016

This afternoon the University of North Carolina will battle the University of Maryland in the men’s lacrosse National Championship. Former Bears have had their fair share of moments while playing for the title on Memorial Day weekend. In honor of the occasion, here are the top 10 Final Four moments in Bears’ alumni history.


Honorable Mention

Syracuse vs. Virginia | 5/27/2006

Syracuse fell to top-ranked and eventual National Champion Virginia in the national semifinals, but Nathan Kenney ’01 provided the highlight of the day for the Orange. With 4:21 left in the third quarter, the senior midfielder unleashed a rocket that tore a hole in the right corner of the Virginia net, causing a delay while officials mended the opening.

Salisbury vs. Gettysburg | 5/19/2007

Top-ranked Salisbury downed Gettysburg, 9-6, in the Division III semifinals, thanks in part to two goals from Greg Titus ’03 who upped his team-high goal total to 73.


Top 10 Final Four Moments

#10 | Virginia vs. Georgetown | 5/21/2004

Caitlin Banks ’00 scored the first goal of the game just 1:37 into the NCAA semifinals. Her second goal gave the University of Virginia a 5-2 edge on the way to a 12-9 victory over Georgetown. Banks added an assist to finish the game with 3 points.

#9 | Gettysburg vs. Denison | 5/19/01

Charlie Hanchett ’97 helped bring Gettysburg within a game of its first National Title with 2 goals in a 13-7 victory over Denison. The victory extended the Bullets’ school record 14-game winning streak. Hanchett netted a goal in a Championship game loss to Middlebury on May 27th to close his NCAA tournament run with 4 goals and an assist.

#8 | Virginia vs. Johns Hopkins | 5/26/2003

With Virginia holding a two-goal lead midway through the fourth quarter, Nathan Kenney ’01 leveled a hit on a Hopkins midfielder, dislodging the ball and securing it for the Cavaliers. On the ensuing possession Virginia would score its 9th and final goal of the game en route to a 9-7 win.

#7 | Virginia vs. Johns Hopkins | 5/29/1999

Derek Kenney ’98 recorded a career-high 15 saves to lead Virginia past Johns Hopkins, 16-11, in the NCAA semifinals. The stellar netminding by the former Bear allowed the 3rd-seeded Cavaliers to upset the 2nd-seeded Blue Jays.

#6 | Syracuse vs. Johns Hopkins | 5/27/2000

In the national semifinals, Liam Banks scored a hat trick and added 3 assists to lead the Orange past Hopkins, 14-12.

#5 | Salisbury vs. Cortland State | 5/25/2008

Greg Titus ’03 scored two goals and notched 3 assists to help Salisbury win the National Championship and finish the season undefeated (22-0). In a 19-13 effort the Sea Gulls dispatched Cortland State for the second straight year. Additionally, Titus finished his career 85-0, having never lost a college game.

#4 | Virginia vs. Princeton | 5/23/2004

Caitlin Banks ’00 earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after scoring 4 points in a 10-4 National Championship victory over Princeton. The former Bear scored a hat trick and added an assist, including consecutive goals to put the Cavaliers up 9-3 late in the second half.

#3 | Salisbury vs. Cortland State | 5/27/2007

Greg Titus ’03 scored a hat trick to help lead Salisbury to its seventh men’s lacrosse National Championship in a 15-9 victory over Cortland. The Sea Gulls were eager to avenge the previous season’s overtime loss to Cortland in the National Title game, but the Red Dragons seized control early on, taking a 4-1 edge in the first quarter. Salisbury showed their mettle with a six-goal run, one of which coming from Titus who pushed the lead to 6-4 with 8:30 left in the second quarter. The Dragons finally ended the scoring run with two goals of their own to close within 7-6 heading into halftime.

Cortland knotted the game at 7 on their first possession of the second half, but Titus’ second score of the game gave the Gulls the lead back on the ensuing possession. The junior attackman made it a hat trick when he caught a feed, despite being heavily guarded, and buried a shot with 9:57 left in the third quarter to give Salisbury an 11-7 advantage. The Gulls would outscore Cortland 6-2 in a third quarter that put the game out of reach for the Dragons. With the win Salisbury finished the year undefeated at 23-0 and Titus earned his third National Championship to go along with wins in 2004 and 2005.

#2 | Virginia vs. Syracuse | 5/31/1999

Virginia won its first Championship since 1972 thanks to 12 saves from Derek Kenney ’98 in a 12-10 victory over the Orange. Kenney’s performance earned him a place on the All-Tournament Team as he became just the 6th freshman and first since 1987 to start for a National Champion.

#1 | Syracuse vs. Princeton | 5/29/2000

Liam Banks ’98 had a game for the ages to lead Syracuse University to its 6th National Championship. After ‘Cuse drew first blood at the 8:15 mark of the first quarter, Banks scored the next two goals to give the Orange an early 3-0 advantage. Syracuse’s lead would mushroom to 7-1 in the second quarter when Ryan Powell found an open Banks who buried his third goal of the game. Princeton closed the half with two unassisted goals to crawl within 7-3 at the break.

Whatever momentum the Tigers accrued going into the half was quickly snuffed out when Mike Springer drew a double-team and found an open Banks on the crease who scored his fourth goal to give ‘Cuse an 8-3 edge. On the ensuing possession Banks again found himself uncovered on the crease, took a pass from Tom Hardy, and after seven fakes buried the ball in the top right corner. Banks would score his 6th goal of the day when he dodged from the behind the cage and tucked the ball past the goalie before his defender could recover, giving the Orange an insurmountable 11-5 lead. Banks would add an assist in the fourth quarter to finish with 7 points as ‘Cuse would go on to take the title, 13-7. Banks, whose six goals was the most in a Championship game since 1981, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.



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