The last time the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team played in the NCAA men’s lacrosse Final Four, Dylan Maltz sat with his older brother Derek at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and breathlessly watched an historic comeback.
On May 25, 2009, Syracuse trailed Cornell for most of the national championship game only to force overtime with 4.5 seconds left in regulation. The Orange claimed their 11th national title when Cody Jamieson scored in the extra period.
“We were ready to throw in the towel, pretty much,” Maltz remembered. “Then they started to come back, and we were like ‘Can they really do this?’ When they finally won it, we just went nuts. It was pretty sweet.”
On Saturday night, Maltz, now a Stone Bridge senior, will be in the crowd at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field for Syracuse’s national semifinal against Denver.
This time, Maltz will be cheering on Derek, who is tied for the Orange lead with 30 goals in his junior season. Next year, the attackman will join the team, continuing a family legacy that began with father, Derek, Sr. (He helped Syracuse win its first national title in 1983.)
Through the years, Maltz has attended countless Syracuse lacrosse games, including a handful this spring, and spent several memorable Memorial Day weekends watching the Orange chase the national title.
Maltz, who broke his brother’s school records for career goals, assists and points, said the stakes for the latest Final Four trip feel higher than ever before. A win against the Pioneers punches Syracuse’s ticket to Monday’s final.
“I guess we’ll just be even more nervous,” said Maltz, who watched the team’s 7-6 semifinal victory over Yale last Sunday from a suite at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium. “We want Derek to bring home the championship and win a ring. We’ll be really focused on the game. No drink breaks. No bathroom breaks.”
Maltz isn’t the only local player with a strong rooting interest this weekend.
After helping Gonzaga win its fourth straight WCAC title, midfielder Max Planning is headed to Denver next year. The other semifinal matches Cornell against Duke, which has signed Paul VI long stick midfielder Ethan Powley in its 2013 recruiting class.
On the women’s side, Maryland, Syracuse, Northwestern and North Carolina still have title hopes alive, heading into Friday’s semifinals.
The Terrapins will add to a roster stocked with local talent after announcing the signings of Zoe Stukenberg (Marriotts Ridge), Alex McKay (Marriotts Ridge), Caroline Wannen (Blake) and Morgan Torggler (Severna Park) in January.
After scoring 475 career high school goals, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes attacker Carly Reed is slated to join the Tar Heels next year, and Broadneck goalie Natalee Easthom will add some local flavor to a Northwestern roster that currently features no Washington area players.
Here’s a list of the Washington area college players hoping to celebrate a national title in Philadelphia:
M Chris Daddio, Jr. (Loudoun Valley), G Dominic Lamolinara, Jr. (St. Mary’s-Annapolis), A Derek Maltz, Jr. (Stone Bridge).
A Harrison Archer, Jr. (Landon), M Chris Hampton, Fr. (Georgetown Prep), M Nick Perfido, Jr. (Georgetown Prep), M Michael Pirone, So. (Georgetown Prep).
M Josh Offit, Sr. (Landon), M Jack Rowe, So. (Madison), G Luke Aaron, Fr. (Great Falls native via Deerfield Academy (Mass.)).
M John Hogan, So. (St. Mary’s-Annapolis), G Will Joyce, So. (Landon), M Joe Paoletta, Jr. (Landon).
A Maddie Ziegler, Fr. (Bishop Ireton), D Paige Patterson, Fr. (St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes), D Cassie Ballard, Jr. (Severna Park), G Megan Ward, Fr. (St. Mary’s-Annapolis), M Taylor George, Jr. (Broadneck), D Caleigh Sindall, So. (Good Counsel).
A Alex Aust, Sr. (Bullis), D Nicole Aust, So. (Bullis), D/M Sam Barber, Jr. (Robinson), G Abbey Clipp, So. (Marriotts Ridge), M Caitlin Crouse, Fr. (St. Mary’s-Annapolis), M Molly Fleming, Fr. (Marriotts Ridge), M Beth Glaros, Jr. (Wilde Lake), M Brooke Griffin, So. (South River), D Amanda Harrington, Fr. (Sherwood), A Kelsey Horton, So. (St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes), G Kasey Howard, Sr. (Broadneck), A Kristen Lamon, So. (St. Mary’s-Annapolis), D Taylor Salandra, So. (Glenelg).
D Natalie Glanell, Jr. (South River), D Liz Harbeson, Jr. (Severn).