Updated — today's items:
Duke defeats Cornell 12-11 and advances to Div. 1 title game
Duke Hands #1 Cornell First Loss, Heads to Title Game -- Scoring sensation Zack Greer rifled home the game-winning goal with just three seconds left in the game to provide the winning margin in Duke's 12-11 thrilling victory over Cornell in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
Cornell erased a seven-goal deficit and tied the game at 11-11 with just 17 seconds remaining on Brian Clayton's unassisted goal. On the ensuring face-off, Terrence Molinari scooped up the ground ball and found Peter Lamade near midfield. Lamade then drove to the goal and fed Greer, who deposited his fourth goal of the day into the net to push the Blue Devils back into the championship game for a rematch of the 2005 title tilt with Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays advanced to Monday's final with an 8-3 triumph over Delaware...
Men's Lacrosse Blog for the Semifinal Game Against Duke -- Halftime ... Wow, that was probably the worst quarter Cornell played all season. It took bad shots and had trouble getting good looks...
Wow, what a game. Cornell has won close games all season, but today was Duke’s day...
the Red deserve a lot of credit for coming back and tieing the game up after being down 10-3. It has been a great season...
Greer fought off a heavily-draped Danny Nathan to catch and convert a Peter Lamade pass with three seconds left, leading top-seeded Duke to a dramatic 12-11 victory over Cornell and into Monday afternoon’s NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship game...
“It was one of the best lacrosse games I’ve ever been around,” said Duke senior Matt Danowski, who finished with a goal and two assists...
Duke blows 7-goal lead, gets GW with :03 left -- The Duke lacrosse team has taken its season of redemption to the brink of a championship. The top-seeded Blue Devils blew a seven-goal lead, then got the winner from Zack Greer with 3 seconds left to beat previously unbeaten Cornell 12-11 Saturday and advance to the NCAA Division I title game.
Duke will seek its first championship Monday against Johns Hopkins, which defeated Delaware 8-3 in the lowest-scoring Final Four game in NCAA history.
The first game was a plodding affair, but the Duke-Cornell matchup turned out to be a classic. After the Blue Devils (17-2) let a 10-3 lead get away, Greer scored his fourth goal of the game, taking a pass from Peter Lamade and spinning past defenseman Danny Nathan before scoring in front of the net."It was an unbelievable pass, right on my stick. All I had to do was turn and throw it in," Greer said.
The two games drew a Final Four record crowd of 52,004. ...
After long year, Duke one win from lax championship -- As the Cornell bench and the school's "Sea of Red" fans celebrated the tying goal, Duke goalie Dan Loftus admitted he thought about overtime.
So too did coach John Danowski. Zack Greer, the nation's leading goal scorer, thought there was still time.
After Cornell's Brian Clayton capped a frantic fourth-quarter rally with a goal with 17 seconds left, Duke freshman Terrence Molinari (Manhasset) won the ensuing faceoff. Greer, a junior attack, trotted downfield and set up just to the right of the crease.
Taking a perfect feed from Peter Lamade, the lefthanded Greer turned left and fired the ball over the right shoulder of goalie Matt McMonagle with three seconds left to give No. 1 Duke a 12-11 victory over No. 4 Cornell in an NCAA lacrosse semifinal...
Four Blue Devils Earn First Team USILA All-America Honors -- Four Duke players – defenseman Casey Carroll, attackman Matt Danowski, attackman Zack Greer and long stick midfielder Nick O'Hara – have been named First Team All-America by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association as the organization announced its prestigious squads on Saturday.
Quint Kessenich, ESPN:
Night-and-day difference in men's semifinal games [+video] -- Duke and Cornell treated everyone to one of the best semifinal games in recent NCAA Tournament history...
Duke wins thriller; Hopkins next in lax final
Kevin Van Valkenburg, Baltimore-Sun:
Greer's late goal lifts Duke over Cornell -- Junior attackman gets game-winner at :03, spoils Big Red's furious second-half comeback bid...
Blinkx.com: Duke lacrosse video highlights
GoDuke.com: Photo gallery of game
discussion of game:
LS forum: Duke vs. Cornell: LAX Final Four
KC Johnson: Men's Lacrosse Wins
FreeRepublic: DUKE WINS!! ADVANCES TO NCAA LAX CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!
JinC: Best Duke-Cornell Game Coverage
JinC: Duke 12 - Cornell 11; Devils on All-America team
Blue Devils getting to savor experience lost in '06 -- Rae Evans still remembers the pain her son felt when he couldn't wear his Duke lacrosse jersey anymore.
Shortly after false allegations of rape prematurely ended Dave Evans' senior season, and a prosecutor later charged him and two teammates with the crime, everything in Rae's family life was put on hold. The Blue Devils' run to the national finals two years ago? Only a distant memory.
So when this year's team reached the NCAA semifinals, she sent an e-mail to co-captain Ed Douglas. Her message: savor every moment after missing out on this experience last season - even if on Saturday it meant trying to enjoy a stomach-knot-inducing finish that teetered on the edge of defeat...
KC Johnson: Rae Evans in Baltimore -- Rae Evans--who attended today's game--remembered the pain of the cancellation of last year's season..
Mike Wise, Washington Post:
Continuing Conflicts -- Mike Pressler and his family are planning on moving into their newly purchased home in Rhode Island this weekend. The only event that may tear him away is a trip to Baltimore on Monday to watch the lacrosse team he led for 16 seasons play for a national title.
Remember Pressler? He was the original fall guy in an unseemly American docudrama that pitted the privileged frat-boy culture of a private university against a black single mother, a college student who made a poor career choice to support her children. Stirred by a bungling prosecutor -- and a media contingent overzealously ready to believe him -- a cauldron of race, sex, class and law boiled over and scalded everyone...
At the same time, it's hard to embrace everyone as a victim. With all due respect to those "INNOCENT" bracelets worn around Durham this year, this isn't "To Kill a Mockingbird II."
Pressler presided over a less-than-model program of student-athletes. Fifty-six players were involved in 36 on-campus incidents, many alcohol-related, since 2003. Some of those kids are presumably playing today. Of all the facts that came about the night of March 13, 2006, these aren't disputed: Team members spent $800 to hire a pair of exotic dancers; they requested one white and one Hispanic dancer, but instead were sent two black women; one player thanked one dancer's "grandpa for my fine cotton shirt."
It's still disturbing to look up on the Internet and read a sophomore player's e-mail describing how he would kill and skin a stripper at the next party. He also mentioned he planned to pleasure himself in his "Duke issue spandex."
Irrespective of where you went to school, racial epithets and hate-speech are not part of the curriculum. Somehow, some way, the definition of the "Duke experience" went awry.
Just because these players aren't felons, let's not instantly transform them into martyrs. It's okay to find middle ground in the good-and-evil spectrum, no matter what a certain D.A. tells you...
LS forum: Washington Post continues its smears, Post cannot let go demonizing the players
KC Johnson: A Word to the Wise -- Wise forgot to mention a few other facts that “aren’t disputed” ...
Craig Henry, Lead & Gold blog:
Duke lacrosse: Not so wise guy -- A fundamental problem of the MSM is that pompous mental midgets like Mike Wise really think they are adding something valuable to the national discourse. In reality, the ignorant and uninformed just skip over their embarrassing eructations while those readers who are informed and engaged just marvel at the arrogant prejudice that the MSM happily puts on display.
Michael Gaynor: Duke case: MORE Washington Post malice -- Mike Wise most unwisely celebrated the Memorial Day Weekend by trashing the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team, in a tasteless article... Give Mr. Wise his due for trying to sell this baloney...
comment: Washington Post, sports columnist, Mike Wise knows his cheese. Today's column is a very fine moldy gouda.
Gary Lambrecht, Baltimore-Sun:
Duke-Cornell scouting report --
Key matchups -- Cornell senior defenseman Mitch Belisle (Severna Park) has been the Big Red's top cover guy all season, and he'll have the toughest assignment of his career today. Tracking the speedy, shifty, relentless Matt Danowski can resemble trying to contain Michael Jordan with a lacrosse stick, and he doesn't need to score a goal to hurt you. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Big Red slides to Belisle. On the flip side, Duke defenseman Casey Carroll will have his hands full with senior attackman David Mitchell, the slick creaseman from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan...
Bottom line -- Cornell is not afraid of Duke, and the Big Red shouldn't be. After losing to the Blue Devils in the quarterfinals of the 2005 tournament, Cornell has beaten Duke in each of the past two regular seasons, including a 7-6 classic on March 20 in Durham, N.C. Cornell is built to win a high-scoring game and a defensive struggle. It is loaded with seniors who know how to win. It has more scoring threats than the Blue Devils. But in the here and now, with a chance to make a statement in front of a huge crowd and an ESPN audience, this very focused Duke team will find a way to outlast the Big Red when it counts. With Danowski, Greer and goalie Dan Loftus leading the charge, the Blue Devils will move on and meet Hopkins on Monday, in a rematch of the 2005 title game won by the Blue Jays...-------
CU men's lacrosse: The wait is over -- Big Red embarks on Final 4 trek today -- [Matt] McMonagle, who was in the cage when Duke ended Cornell's season in the 2005 NCAA quarterfinals, said that both teams are considerably better eight weeks after their first meeting on March 20.“I didn't think we played our best against them and I think they don't believe they gave us their best game,” he said. “So I think we both have a lot to prove-------Lorenzo Perez, News & Observer:
Goalies calm under intense fire -- Duke's Loftus, Cornell's McMonagle ready for today's pressure -- The padded chest protector that Duke lacrosse goalkeeper Dan Loftus wears under his jersey adds little bulk to his slender frame.
For what it's worth, it also doesn't serve as much of a shield while warding off a barrage of bruise-inducing shots, but Loftus has learned not to flinch after 15 years playing in goal.
"I guess adrenaline takes over. When you get hit, you don't feel it," the Blue Devils senior said this week. "I've been hit everywhere. Nothing really fazes me anymore."Steady nerves and unshakable confidence come in handy in a sport where the odds are stacked against the goalkeeper, but Duke and Cornell have two of the nation's best going into their NCAA semifinal matchup today in Baltimore.-------Ken Tysiac, Charlotte-Observer:
Duke seeks title, redemption -- With controversy over, team focuses on lacrosse, winning -- The first duty of this season was evacuating the locker room so police dogs could sniff for bombs before the opener against Dartmouth.
No explosives were found, and the search was just a precaution to protect a Duke men's lacrosse team reinstated after rape allegations against three players led to an abrupt end to the 2006 season. But the ill-fated party March 13, 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. led to a year of disarray.
Coach John Danowski and his players reflected on the chaos as they prepared for today's 2:30 p.m. national semifinal game against Cornell in Baltimore. Matt Danowski, the coach's son, remembers players being labeled "hooligans" on national television.
Zack Greer talked to coaches at other schools about transferring so he would be prepared if Duke's team was disbanded permanently."That's what these kids went through," John Danowski said. "You've got to get out of the locker room because they're sniffing for bombs. How crazy is that?....------Bryan Strickland, Herald-Sun: Lacrosse team on goal
Herald-Sun: Devils' duo plays pitch, catch, score
Sun-Sentinal: Lacrosse final four special for Duke------National Lacrosse League:
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND FOR COLLEGE LAX -- Future NLL stars in NCAA Final Four this weekend -- Duke alumni in the NLL include Colorado Mammoth defenseman Dave Stilley, Calgary Roughnecks defensemen Taylor Wray and Devan Wray, Portland Lumberjax transition player Ryan Marshall and New York Titans forward Matt Zash.-------Gary Lambrecht, Baltimore-Sun:
Sticking out -- Four story lines extending in four distinct directions...-------Donna Ditota, Post-Standard (Syracuse):
Father and son together at Duke -- John Danowski wanted his only son to leave the confines of Long Island and explore the world.
It was a selfless directive from Danowski, whose son Matt had blossomed into one of the most coveted high school lacrosse players in the nation. Matt Danowski played at powerhouse Farmingdale. He was a big, skilled athlete who could trace his unerring ability to his own front door.
John Danowski spent 21 years coaching lacrosse at Hofstra, turning the Pride into a respected name in Division I college lacrosse. When Matt was in first grade, his father parked him on a plane bound for a game with Notre Dame. By eighth grade, Matt was warming up the Hofstra goalies. By 2003, the nation's best high school lacrosse prospect resided under John Danowski's own roof.
And Danowski wanted no part of him. "I didn't want to coach him out of high school," he said. "As talented an athlete as he was, I wanted him to go off and have his own experience. There is a fine line between being a parent and allowing him to have his own experience." ...-------AP/CSTV.com:
Duke Seeks Appropriate Finish to Comeback Season -- Blue Devils seek the national championship trophy -- This weekend is about winning the school's first national championship; it has nothing to do with making a statement, the team said...discussion:
LS forum: Duke vs. Cornell: LAX Final Four, Saturday 2:30 PM EDT on ESPN2
Women Bomb In Lax Final Four -- There’s no way to get around it: women’s lacrosse blew it big-time against Virginia in the Final Four. After being up 13-4 with 20 minutes to go, Duke lost 14-13. It’s a tough lesson, but as Coach K is wont to say, there is opportunity in failure. It won’t come this season, but a lot can be learned.
Playing stupid -- In multiple interviews following Thursday’s Durham City Council meeting, which included a 6-1 vote in favor of a resolution to commission an external review of the city’s police department’s role in the Hoax, Chief of Police Steve Chalmers went out of his way to insist that Durham Police had no exculpatory evidence prior to presenting the frame that resulted in the indictment of factually innocent men for a crime that never occurred. To further his point in one interview, the suddenly visible Chief Chalmers blamed the defense attorneys for his investigators failure to uncover the Hoax. ...
The list of exculpatory evidence at the disposal of Durham Police prior to the Grand jury and the compilation of inconsistencies in Mangum's stories also available to the investigators who duped the Grand Jury could go on almost indefinitely. The pages of this blog, our forum, Johnson’s blog, The Johnsville News, Talk Left, and several other blogs are littered with additional examples.
Note to Chalmers: When your best defense is pretending to have been outsmarted by Crystal Mangum, you're in trouble.
comment: It would be very helpful if the defense attorneys could now release a full copy of Crystal Mangum's April 6th, 2006, written statement. It will probably yield even more Mangum contradictions and show there was additional exculpatory evidence. Maybe now we can finally see the entire document instead of snippets. It would also be a very useful training aid for law enforcement professionals, who must perform statement analysis. Please, can someone publish it.
The Astonishing Mr. Chalmers -- Until his impromptu press conference Thursday night, it was possible to buy into one of the case’s urban myths: that perpetually absent police chief Steve Chalmers actually absented himself because he recognized early on that the investigation was—to borrow Kim Roberts’ phrase—a “crock.” Instead, Chalmers appears to be among the truest of true believers in the case...
Brad Bannon correctly termed Chalmers’ statement “the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life, and I can't believe anyone who has read the case file would say those things. Crystal Mangum never told the same story twice. Her accounts were all over the place between March 14 and when these cases were submitted to the grand jury. That statement by the police chief lets me know he knows nothing about the investigation he's commenting about.”But in the Wonderland that is Durham, wholly inconsistent stories are the paragon of consistency—just as defense attorneys are to blame when the police and prosecutor seek indictments against demonstrably innocent people without probable cause.
LS forum: The Astonishing Mr. Chalmers
Three seek chief's post in Durham -- Veteran Bull City cop among finalists -- On paper, each of the three finalists announced Friday for retiring Police Chief Steve Chalmers' job fits certain roles that might be desirable in a city that struggles with crime and its own image.
- There's Don Green, the Peacemaker.
"He has been very sensitive to the frustrations and concerns of citizens," said Carol Scott, executive director of the Knoxville Police Advisory Review Committee, formed in the wake of the shootings.
- Then there's Ron Hodge, the Insider.
But he also has the burden of helping lead a department that has come under fire for a rising violent crime rate and its handling of the Duke lacrosse case.
- And there's Jose Lopez Sr., the Street-Smart Schmoozer.
"Just recently he went out there and visited known gang leaders," said Calixto Torres, a Hartford city council member who has known Lopez for 20 years.
"He told them, 'We know who you are. I'm here to tell you we're going to hold you responsible for the things your minions do in the street.' " ...