I don’t know if I need to tell you all, but I’m a huge sports fan. Usually when talking about sports, we talk about basketball, baseball, or football. In the past week though, I watched a great event that had nothing to do with those three sports.
I watched the 2005 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final Four.
In the first match of the day, Duke University ran all over the University of Maryland. However, the second semifinal match of the day was the greatest lacrosse game I’ve ever seen. Johns Hopkins University took on the University of Virginia in the nightcap. With the match tied at seven, Virginia’s captain Matt Ward scored the potential game winning goal with 12.9 seconds left. The game is over, right? WRONG! Johns Hopkins’s sophomore Jake Byrne won the face off and sprinted down the field, whipping the ball past Virginia goalkeeper Kip Turner to tie the game with 1.4 seconds left.
I couldn’t believe what I just saw. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. With sticks flying and smacking him in the arms, Byrne shot and scored. The sophomore kept his composure and saved the season for his senior teammates. In the overtime period, Johns Hopkins senior Benson Erwin scored with less than a minute left, to lead the Blue Jays to victory.
The championship game pitted the number one ranked Johns Hopkins Blue Jays against the number two ranked Duke Blue Devils. Johns Hopkins is considered by many to have the greatest lacrosse program ever, yet they haven’t won the championship since 1987. Duke only suffered one loss this season, 11-10 in double overtime to Johns Hopkins last month. Duke wanted to avenge that loss and take home that national championship. This is the match everyone wanted to see.
The game was very physical, and Duke led at the half 7-6. With the game tied 8-8, Jake Byrne scored the game winning goal in the fourth period. Johns Hopkins held on with stringent defense and won the match. Their 18 year drought without a national championship has ended. The Blue Jays became the first team since 1997 to go undefeated and win a national championship in a season.
I’m going to be attending East Carolina University in the fall, and I now wish that they had a lacrosse team. The sport is absolutely amazing, and I recommend all of you to watch it.