NCAA Men's Lacrosse Final Four
What: Men's semifinals When: Saturday, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Where: M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. TV: ESPN2.
What: Men's semifinals
When: Saturday, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Where: M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Game 1: Cornell (12-5) vs Notre Dame (9-6)
Cornell, Jeff Tambroni (10th season, 109-39); Notre Dame, Kevin Corrigan (22nd season, 205-92).
The skinny: Unseeded Notre Dame, which knocked off Duke, 11-7 to open the regular season, advanced in the tournament with upset victories over No.6 Princeton and No.3 Maryland. The fighting Irish, who haven't made it this far since 2001, are chasing their first national championship. Notre Dame is second in the country defensively with 7.67 goals allowed per game. On the Fighting Irish roster are midfielders Tim Bemer (Malvern Prep), Adam Felicetti (Central Bucks East) and Bobby Smith (The Lawrenceville School), and defenders Mike Creighton (Malvern Prep) and Tyler Anderson (Radnor). Seventh-seeded Cornell, which reached the title game last year, is 5-0 all-time against Notre Dame, with the most recent meeting coming in 2007. The Big Red, a three-time champion, made the NCAA's as an at-large team. Cornell has not reached the final since 1988, and hasn't won it since 1977. Defenders Chris Livadas (The Lawrenceville School) and Mike Bronzio (Conestoga High), and goalie Brian O'Donnell (Germantown Academy are with the Big Red. Cornell has an outstanding scorer in all-American Rob Pannell, a sophomore who leads the nation with 4.59 points per game.
Game 2: Virginia (16-1) vs Duke (14-4)
Dom Starsia (18th season, 199-65); Duke, John Danowski (fourth season, 64-13).
The Skinny: Starsia has won more games than any coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Including the 101 victories he collected at Brown, he is second all-time among Division I coaches. Starsia is seeking his fourth national title, having last won it in 2006. During the regular season, No. 5 seed Duke took a 13-9 victory at No. 1 seed Virginia. Six days later, the Cavaliers came out on top, 16-12, in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Maryland. That outcome snapped Virginia's eight-game losing streak to the Blue Devils. Virginia was eliminated in the semifinals in each of the past two seasons. Duke is in the semifinals for the fourth straight year. The Blue Devils reached the title game in '07. All-American defender Ken Clausen (The Hill School) heads a list of Philadelphia-area products on the Cavaliers that also includes Haverford grads John Haldy (Haverford) and Peter Borror ( Haverford) on defense, and freshman midfielder Chris LaPierre (Shawnee). Duke has midfielder Jonathan Livadas (The Lawrenceville School), goalie Dan Wigrizer (Haverford) and defender Bill Conners (Malvern Prep). - Kevin Tatum