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Syracuse And Final Four, They Just Sound Good Together

First off, I'd just to say congratulations to all four Men's Lacrosse Final Four teams, Duke (runner-up two of last three seasons), Johns Hopkins (winner of two of the last thee national titles), Syracuse (23 of the last 25 Final Fours) and Virginia (three National Titles in the last eight seasons). It truly is a golden age of parity in college lacrosse.

That's right, the Syracuse Orange are back where they belong after a hard-fought 11-9 win over Notre Dame. After heading into halftime up 6-2, the Orange lost their momentum and Notre Dame eventually took a 9-8 lead late in the game. Then with 10 minutes left, freshman goalie John Galloway began shutting down the Irish offense. It was the work on the other side of field by midfielders Pat Perritt and Dan Hardy, whose goals tied the game and eventually took back the lead for good. Peep all the highlights here.

Ask many a longtime SU lacrosse fan and they'll tell you the Orange are back where they belong. Axeman speaks for all of them when he says:
Syracuse making the Final Four every year was something you could set your watch to. There is always some risk in vacation plans, but Syracuse fans could always book Memorial Day Weekend wherever the Final Four was and know the only thing they would have to worry about was the weather, not if their team would be there.
Maybe last season was good for us after all. We learned we're not automatic. We're not guaranteed anything anymore. We regained a little perspective. And this year's Final Four run will be much sweeter for it.

And so the Orange will take the field against the Virginia Cavaliers at 12 p.m. on Saturday. The same Cavaliers that defeated the Orange 14-13 earlier this season. A win would not only avenge that loss but also complete the Vengeance Tour that's been going on all season against teams the Orange lost to in 2007. Following that game, Duke and Johns Hopkins will get reacquainted with each other. The winners will play Monday for the National Title.

Oh but we're not done combining the words Syracuse and Final Four. The women are Final Four-bound as well after defeating North Carolina 13-11 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Katie Rowan (who else?) led the Orange with six points on two goals and four assists. With 69 assists on the season, she ties the NCAA single-season record.

The ladies also had a tough match-up, with the score tied 9-9 late. After the TarHeels took the lead, Rowan scored a goal and assisted on another to the put them on top for good.

Their prize for winning? Northwestern, they of three-straight National Titles. The game is scheduled for Friday at 6 pm ET in Towson, Md. Syracuse and Northwestern will also be joined by Pennsylvania and Duke. The winners will play Sunday for the title.

(Photo Credit: Inside Lacrosse)