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2014 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse National Championship Tournament Final Four Features #1 Maryland Vs #5 Northwestern And #2 Syracuse Vs #6 Virginia At Towson University On May 23
Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Towson’s campus will host the women’s lacrosse national semifinals and championship game for the fourth time since 2008. The national championship will take place on Sunday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m. Both NCAA semifinal games will be broadcast on ESPN3, while ESPNU will carry the national championship game.
The Terrapins will make their sixth straight appearance in the national semifinals after a 15-6 win over Duke in the quarterfinals. Maryland captured the 2010 NCAA® national championship, the last played in Unitas® Stadium.
Northwestern earned its 10th consecutive trip to the semifinals with a 12-11 overtime win over No. 4 Florida. The Wildcats captured the national championship in Towson in 2008 and 2009.
No. 6 Virginia will be making its first appearance in the national semifinals since 2007 after upsetting the defending national champion North Carolina, 10-9, in the quarterfinals.
Syracuse will be making its third straight appearance in the national semifinals after an 11-9 win over Boston College in the quarterfinals.
NCAA Lacrosse: Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Releases 2014 Schedule Featuring Hofstra, Towson, Albany, Siena, Maryland, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Notre Dame, Cornell And North Carolina
NCAA Lacrosse: Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Releases 2014 Schedule Featuring Virginia, Towson, Maryland, Florida, Harvard, Northwestern, Duke, North Carolina, Cornell And Notre Dame
NCAA Lacrosse: Stanford Women’s Lacrosse Travels To 2013 Navy Fall Invitational To Face North Carolina, Delaware, Syracuse & Boston College On Oct 12; Cardinal Then Play Team USA On Oct 13
The Navy tournament is a 15-team affair, and includes eight NCAA tournament teams from 2012. Stanford is among them.
The Cardinal opens against North Carolina (10:30 a.m. ET, 7:30 a.m. PT), and follows with games against Delaware (11:30 a.m. ET, 8:30 a.m. PT), Syracuse (2:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. PT), and Boston College (4:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. PT). Only Delaware did not reach the NCAA tournament last year. Also, games will be 45 minutes long.
“It’s a great opportunity for our freshmen to get in right away and start to understand the speed at which the game at our level is played at,” Bokker said. “Syracuse and UNC are known as two of the fastest teams in the country.
“Playing those four high-caliber games in one day gives us an opportunity to get better throughout the day and work on different things that we’ve been working on at practice.
“Definitely, we won’t be results focused. We’ll be working on things that we’ve been working on in practice and put them into place, and try them against opponents who are going hard and fast and compete at a high level.”
On Sunday, Stanford heads to Towson University. Stanford will be one of four 2013 NCAA tournament teams that will play the U.S. national team that weekend. The others are Navy, Georgetown, and Towson.
Stanford opens against Towson (9:30 a.m. ET, 6:30 a.m. PT) and concludes with the U.S. (11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT). It will mark the second consecutive fall that Stanford has met the U.S. Last year, the U.S. team played at Stanford.
“It’s awesome for our players to put themselves against the best,” Bokker said. “Quite a few have aspirations of playing at that level. It’s good for them to see what it takes to get there. They’ll get a really good sense of the high level of play, and it can build a lot of confidence if you can make a play or score a goal a goal against the best players in the world. “
The connection between Stanford and the U.S. team is Bokker, who recently extended her duties as a U.S. assistant coach through the team’s 2017 World Cup run. She helped the U.S. to the 2013 World Cup title.
Bokker will be scrambling to some extent. Her priority for the weekend will be her duties for the U.S. team, which means she will be on the U.S. sideline when the national team plays Stanford.
The weekend will serve many purposes, including this one: “It’s important for our program to show that we’re willing to put ourselves up against the best,” Bokker said.
Plus, the exposure from ESPN certainly will help get the word out, particularly to the East Coast, that Stanford, winner of eight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles in nine years, is a rising power in the sport.
Stanford will return home for its alumnae game (Oct. 19), and the Stanford Play Day, involving six schools in a series of short games on Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The fall season concludes Nov. 1 with an intrasquad matchup (4 p.m.).
Stanford is coming off a 14-6 season that featured the program’s first NCAA tournament victory – an 8-7 triumph over Notre Dame. Stanford’s Rachel Ozer and Anna Kim are returning IWLCA All-Region players and were among six Cardinal named to the All-MPSF team.
So far, Bokker has been impressed with how the team’s five seniors –Kim, Ozer, Megan Lerner, Lyndsey Munoz, and Nina Swanson – have taken on leadership roles. Among the freshmen, Kelsey Murray and Elizabeth Cusick have been especially impressive.
“This will be a test to see how everyone fares, how they do against this high level,” Bokker said. “It will be really fun for us.”