It’s been said over and over again, but this game is what the word rivalry is all about. It’s not a game when records matter or rankings (if it did I would point out that for the third time in the last four years Hopkins enters as the lower ranked team), but none of that matters, because this game is about two of the most stories programs in lacrosse history. The players on both sidelines play not only for themselves, but also for every former player that put on their respective uniform. The current coaches and players will say this game is only about the two teams playing on the field this year, but deep down they know it means much more than that. This is a game that will be remembered, for good or bad, for a lifetime.
It’s also a game that players can have moments or performances that will live on in perpetuity.
• I was not here to see Frank Urso score three goals, including the game-winner in overtime, vs. Hopkins in the 1973 NCAA Championships, but I’ve read about it and heard stories about it.
• I wasn’t there when Brian Dougherty made 23 saves vs. the Blue Jays in the 1995 national semifinals, but the story is repeated often.
• I was there to witness Joe Walters’ dominating six-goal, two-assist performance in 2006 at Homewood Field when the Terps snapped a four-game losing streak vs. Hopkins.
• I was also there in 2007 when Paul Rabil ripped a shot from the left alley in overtime to give the Blue Jays an 8-7 win at Byrd Stadium, starting the Blue Jays’ run to the national championship.
• I was there in 2008 when Brian Farrell thundered down the field and buried a one-handed shot with three Hopkins defenders draped on him
If you don’t have your tickets yet (what are you waiting for?), you can click here to order them on-line. This will be Maryland’s fourth game at M&T Bank Stadium in the past two years. Hopefully, the Terps will have two more there later this season.
There are some people (I don’t want to call them fans) that take offense to calling Maryland-Hopkins “Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry.” Their argument is that a rivalry can’t be one-sided and the Blue Jays have won eight of the last 10. But of those last 10 games five have been one-goal contests with three going to overtime. A rivalry is more than just the results of the last 10 years, or even the last 20 years. A rivalry that is worthy of the term “greatest” is one that has to have had two great teams (check), classic games (check), all-time great players (check) and been nationally relevant (check) for a long time. Some have claimed that Virginia-Syracuse is now the sport’s best rivalry, and it is a great rivalry, but the two teams have only played 26 times. They only have 80 more to go to catch up to Maryland-Hopkins.