COLLEGE PARK -- Alex Martin, North Carolina's ace defenseman, held Syracuse's leading scorer, Matt Riter, to two goals yesterday. But one was the game-winner.
"The seniors on this team are such a tight-knit group, and that's what hurts the most, that we're going out this way," said Martin, a Gilman grad. "In retrospect, though, there are harder ways to go out than to lose in the final."
Martin drew a 30-second penalty for pushing in the fourth quarter, and Roy Colsey promptly scored Syracuse's 12th goal in the extra-man situation.
"I can't blame the refs," Martin said. "But it's a bummer."
Said Carolina coach Dave Klarmann: "A foul is a foul. That was a very good shot by Colsey, in the corner, knee high. It's a goal against anybody."
New York, New York
New York made it a clean sweep in college lacrosse this season.
Herkimer County Community College won the national junior college championship, Hobart captured the Division III title, Adelphi took Division II and yesterday Syracuse beat North Carolina for the Division I crown.
Orange goalie saluted
Syracuse goalie Chris Surran was voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after making 20 saves in yesterday's final. The rest of the all-tournament team: Ryan Wade, North Carolina; John Webster, North Carolina; Steve Speers, North Carolina; David Morrow, Princeton; Charlie Lockwood, Syracuse; Martin, North Carolina; Milford Marchant, Johns Hopkins; John Barr, Syracuse; and Jamie Archer, Syracuse.
Captive on sideline
North Carolina's top scorer, attackman Webster, was trapped on the sideline for about four important minutes in the fourth quarter of yesterday's game. He wasn't hurt or tired.
"It was just because the ball was at our end, and it's hard to change people in a situation like that," said Webster, a senior out of Boys' Latin.
Near miss for Orange
The Tar Heels' Wade, who had two goals and an assist but was shut out in the second half, almost wound up at Syracuse instead of North Carolina. He attracted Syracuse coach Roy Simmons' attention at a summer camp in New York between his junior and senior years at Severn.
"It was very close," Wade said, referring to his choice of colleges. "I had to figure what would happen if I blew a knee out, what life would be without lacrosse. Better weather and academics made me decide it should be North Carolina."
Riter's two goals marked the 41st straight game that he has scored at least once. . . . North Carolina came into the game with a 4-0 record in championship games. . . . The win was No. 231 of Simmons' 23-year career, No. 2 on the all-time list and one ahead of Towson State's Carl Runk (26 years). Cornell's Richie Moran is No. 1 with 241 in 25 years.
DRAWING A CROWD
Yesterday's crowd of 20,117 raised the Final Four attendance to 41,646, second-largest in NCAA lacrosse tournament history to 1989's 44,156, also at Byrd Stadium. Byrd will be the site of the next two Final Fours.
Syracuse has played before the five largest crowds in college lacrosse history, all except one at Byrd (all games in Final Four):
Crowd.. .. .. .. Yr. . .. .. Site.. .. .. .. Opp.
23,893 .. .. .. '89 .. .. .. Byrd.. .. .. .. JHU
21,529 .. .. .. '93.. .. .. Byrd.. .. .. .. Princeton
20,263 ... .. .. 89.. .. .. Byrd.. .. .. .. Maryland
20,117 .. .. .. '93 .. .. .. Byrd.. .. .. .. .. N.C.
20,009 .. .. .. '88 .. .. .. Carrier.. .. .. .Cornell