Virginia had a quarter to remember and Georgetown a quarter to forget in their respective NCAA men's lacrosse tournament semifinals yesterday. As a result, the Cavaliers advanced to Monday's title game with a 16-11 victory over Johns Hopkins and the Hoyas' season ended with a 13-9 loss to Syracuse before 27,586 at Byrd Stadium.
Third-seeded Virginia (12-3) will play eighth-seeded Syracuse (12-4) in its bid for its first NCAA title since 1972. Syracuse -- which has won six titles, most recently in 1995 -- and Princeton have combined to win every title since 1991 and all but one since 1988.
The Cavaliers, who will be playing in their third final since 1994, took an 8-1 lead with 7 minutes 21 seconds left in the first quarter after freshman Conor Gill scored the last of his five goals. Gill was mobbed by teammates and removed for a rest after his final score.
"After that fifth goal, I was not sure what was going on," said Gill, whose team held an 11-6 halftime lead. "I still am not sure what happened."
Virginia's nine first-quarter goals were one shy of the NCAA record for most goals in an opening quarter in a semifinal, a mark set by Maryland in 1976 against Navy.
Johns Hopkins (11-3) last won an NCAA title in 1987 and has not won a semifinal since 1989. The team's frustrations culminated when senior all-American defenseman Rob Doerr received a one-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after shoving attackman Jamie Leachman in the face after his goal with 3:01 to play gave Virginia a 16-10 lead.
As the final minute elapsed, Leachman gave high-fives to his teammates and several Virginia fans began chanting "We want Syracuse." Johns Hopkins senior attackman Sol Kumin sat motionless on the bench while senior starting midfielder Matt O'Kelly (one goal, two assists) gave his lacrosse stick to a child who was standing near the team's locker room.
"I cannot tell you how disappointing this is," O'Kelly said. "I have no idea what I will do now."
The Hoyas (13-3) are facing similar questions. In the final seconds of their loss, Hoyas senior tri-captain Brian Hole, a Syracuse native, shook hands with several Orangemen, then hugged Hoyas senior defenseman Anderson Bell for several seconds before both walked slowly to the sideline.
"We did not say anything" during the hug, Hole said. "There is not much to say. . . . But we did have a pretty good run in our four years."
Georgetown took a 4-1 lead on a goal by Scott Urick with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter. To that point, the Hoyas had scored on four of their first 10 shots. But they only scored one more goal until freshman Mike Kanach's goal with 10:40 remaining. In that span, they missed 24 shots.
Georgetown missed its 11 third-quarter shots, marking the first time in 75 quarters that it had been scoreless since the first quarter of a 14-11 loss to Syracuse last season.
As the Hoyas struggled in the third quarter, the Orangemen made six of their first 10 shots, the last of which, by defensive midfielder Matt Alexander, made the score 11-5 with 4:04 remaining in the quarter.
As Alexander's shot rolled past Hole, Hoya attackmen Scott Urick and Andy Flick simultaneously slumped to the ground in frustration at the other end of the field. A few minutes later, Urick knocked the ball away from Syracuse goalie Robby Mulligan 30 yards from the goal and shot at an open net. The shot bounced once, hit the post and bounded away.
Urick finished with a team-high three goals, giving him 47 this season to break the record of 44 set by Mark Murphy in 1990. Georgetown finished its season with a school-record 13 victories and its first trip to the final four.
But its season did not end for them until soon after the second semifinal began, when Coach Dave Urick called a final team meeting under the shade of a group of trees behind Byrd Stadium. The Hoyas players huddled around Urick for several minutes before leaving as a group.
"Coach Urick told us he was proud of what we had done and wanted the seniors to know we had begun a great tradition here," said Greg McCavera, who had one goal -- on his final shot -- and one assist to extend his school-record for career points to 236.
"Then he wanted us to make sure we said our good-byes to everybody. Today's outcome is disappointing, but I am very proud of what we accomplished here."
NCAA Men's Lacrosse Finals
Salisbury State vs. Middlebury
1 p.m., Byrd Stadium
Adelphi vs. C.W. Post
4 p.m., Ludwig Field
Virginia vs. Syracuse
$10 for Division III final.
$10 for Division II final.
$15 for Division I final.
CAPTION: Virginia's David Bruce jumps into arms of teammate Henry Oakley behind Johns Hopkins's John Paleologos (44) after scoring third-quarter goal.
CAPTION: Georgetown's Tyler Gamble (3) and Syracuse's Ryan Powell collide during NCAA semifinal game. The Orangemen earned final berth with 13-9 win.