Lax Wrap-up

August 1, 2007
So close: senior Danowski as final game ends

So close: senior Danowski as final game ends
Pete Kiehart/The Chronicle

Despite a second-half comeback to tie the game, the top-seeded Duke men's lacrosse team lost 12-11 to Johns Hopkins in the finals of the NCAA tournament in May. The nail-biter finish evoked memories of the 2005 championship game, when Johns Hopkins defeated the Devils by scoring a last-second goal to win 9 to 8. It marked the ninth time the Blue Jays have won the tournament. A record 48,443 people attended the final game, held at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.

Duke finished its season with a 17-3 record. Captain Matt Danowski '07 was named the recipient of the 2007 Tewaaraton Trophy, an honor presented annually to the top men's lacrosse player in the nation.

Two days after the championship game, the NCAA granted Duke's request for an extra year of eligibility for its men's lacrosse players. Most of last season was canceled after a woman accused some members of the team of rape. (All charges against the players were subsequently dropped.) The decision affects the thirty-three players who were not seniors during the 2006 season, granting them a fifth year of eligibility to play at Duke or another school.

"These individuals were involved in an unusual circumstance that we believe warrants providing them the opportunity to complete their four years of competition," said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of student-athlete reinstatement and membership services.

The women's lacrosse team didn't advance quite as far as the men's. The Devils finished the 2007 season with a 16-4 record. They finished sixth in the final standings and were awarded the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they advanced to the Final Four for the third consecutive year but lost to Virginia 14-13 in the semifinal round. The team will return seven of twelve starters in 2008.

Three Duke women's lacrosse players were named to Inside Lacrosse's All-America teams: Caroline Cryer '08 was selected to the first team; Kristen Waagbo '07 was named to the second team; and Leigh Jester '07 took home third-team honors.