Two ACC Championships for the Terps!

Posted: April 26, 2011 in College Sports, Fandom, Lacrosse
Tags: , , , , , ,

Terrapin-Logo

And now for something completely different.

Last Sunday, my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Maryland, played for the ACC championship in lacrosse. The top-ranked women’s team played #4 North Carolina, and the men’s team played a fellow top ten Duke team. I was able to watch both games in their entirety. Some of you might wonder how it’s humanly possible to watch four straight hours of lacrosse, but I can do it, especially when my teams are playing.

Lacrosse is a great sport. Strange, but great. I still don’t know how to determine who gets possession when the ball goes out of bounds. The rules on this aren’t always as intuitive as you might think. I really should read them. There were some penalties called that confused me as well, although only one had me upset. Why do they call it “pushing”? “Interference” or “obstruction” would be much less wimpy.

The most frustrating part of the day was from the women’s match. In the first half, North Carolina was completely out-playing the Terps, but the roles were reversed in the second half, and the Lady Terps poured it on. Based on NC’s play in the second half, it would be wrong to say they got tired. The Terps just “figured out” the Tar Heels.

This is unusual in lacrosse. I don’t recall a single come-from-behind victory of that magnitude in any game I’ve seen. Usually, one team is far superior and comfortably beats the other, or the game is a back-and-forth with no more than a two-goal lead for either team throughout. I love this about the game because it’s so damn exciting.

In fact, let’s do the same analysis for lacrosse that I did in my second post to this blog. As I pointed out, there are three characteristics that work against a sport gaining mainstream support: 1) Low scoring, 2) continuous play, and 3) too many ties. Lacrosse has continuous play, but it’s hardly low scoring, with 20 total goals hardly uncommon, and only 10 total goals relatively rare. There’s also enough stop and start to give people a “safe” chance to socialize. There are no ties in lacrosse, so that cuts in its favor.

NLL-logo

Lacrosse should be much more popular than it is, but there’s only so much money to go around, and we’re spending most of it on football, basketball, etc. As I discussed in that article, perhaps as our society continues to have more disposable income, lacrosse will gain more fans. The National Lacrosse League provides a professional league for a career player, and they (apparently) have a TV deal with Versus. They even have their own website! Neat!

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy college lacrosse for another year. The post season is underway. I suggest you give it a watch.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Maryland Athletics on Twitter @UMTerps
Follow the National Lacrosse League on Twitter @NLLNetwork

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