PISCATAWAY, N.J., MAY 26 -- Gary Gait, Tom Marechek and Greg Burns each scored three first-half goals today to lead two-time defending champion Syracuse to a 21-10 victory over North Carolina in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I lacrosse tournament.
The victory was the 26th straight for the top-ranked Orangemen (12-0) who advanced to Monday's championship game against Loyola of Maryland (11-2) at Rutgers Stadium. The Greyhounds got to the title game by defeating Yale, 14-13, on a sudden-death goal by Chris Colbeck at 2:20 of the second overtime.
The game was the first double overtime contest in NCAA Division I semifinal lacrosse action.
Colbeck's final goal, his third of the game, capped a furious comeback as Loyola erased a 12-8 deficit in the final 10:56.
The game winner came from approximately eight yards on the right side after Colbeck took a pass from teammate Sean Smith from behind the goal. He caught the pass and whipped his shot past Yale goalie Tony Guido's right hip into the right corner of the cage.
Kevin Beach started Loyola's fourth-quarter comeback at 4:04 of the fourth period, scoring his second goal on an assist from Colbeck.
Yale (16-2) still had a 13-10 lead after Kim Dunn's fourth goal of the game at 11:37, but Loyola got goals from Ted Nichols, Colbeck and Jim Blanding in the final 2:06 to tie the game. Blanding's tying goal came with 24 seconds left in regulation on an assist by Beach.
The Final Four apparance was the first for both Yale and Loyola.
Syracuse had no trouble in the opener as it moved within a game of becoming the second team to win three straight Division I titles.
Johns Hopkins won three straight between 1978-80.
North Carolina (12-4) was never in the game as Syracuse scored eight of the first nine goals and jumped to a 13-3 halftime lead in beating the Tar Heels for the second time this season.
Burns scored twice in the opening 5:29 against goalie Andy Piazza as Syracuse jumped to a 4-0 lead.
North Carolina's Willie Scroggs, one of five men to coach three Division I lacrosse champions, resigned as head coach after the Tar Heels' loss. Scroggs said he was stepping aside to devote full time to his duties as an assistant athletic director at North Carolina.