Nobody's home, but tournament still draws near-record crowd NCAA LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIPS

May 29, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Even with no home state team, the NCAA lacrosse tournament nearly set another attendance record yesterday.

The top four crowds in the tournament's 24-year history have been established at Byrd Stadium, with yesterday's 23,727 ranking second to the 23,827 for the 1989 final. Last year's semifinals drew 21,129, the 1989 semifinals 20,615.

Final Four attendance in basketball in April in Charlotte, N.C., was 81 less than yesterday's crowd. Attendance was of near-record proportions despite the fact that no Maryland team gained the Final Four, for only the second time in tournament history. Yesterday's walk-up sale was almost 12,000.

"Not bad considering the home team came from Charlottesville [Va.]," said Maryland ticket manager Jack Zane, referring to Virginia.

The Final Four (semifinals and final) attendance record is 44,442 at Byrd in 1989, when Maryland and Johns Hopkins were in the semifinals.

Class of 1994

Princeton's nine seniors, including Baltimore's Scott Bacigalupo (St. Paul's) and Ryan Fanzone (Hereford), have been keys to a 51-8 run and four NCAA tournament trips.

The Tigers have won two Ivy League titles and an NCAA championship during the period.

Goatees coming off

Fifteen Brown players started to grow goatees just before their opening-round victory over Navy on May 14. "We bonded together for the playoffs with facial hair," senior Rob Gutheil said. And now that the joy ride is over? "We'll shave them off."

Sr., Jr., III and IV

Four generations of the Simmons family were on hand, headed by Roy Sr., 93, who coached Syracuse from 1931 to 1970. Roy Jr. is in his 24th season as his father's successor, Roy III is a high school guidance counselor in Syracuse and Roy IV is a toddler.

Roy Sr. yesterday witnessed his 37th consecutive Syracuse playoff

game since his son became coach.

Best of Simmons

Simmons was asked whether, as the invader from the North that has made the tournament 12 straight years, Syracuse felt like the villain in the lacrosse play.

"As Shakespeare said, 'Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown,' " Simmons said. "I always marveled at the New York Yankees syndrome. No one was neutral about the Yankees. People either hated them or loved them."

Another Kavovit at rd

Syracuse freshman attackman Rob Kavovit is the brother of former Maryland goalie Steve Kavovit, who set the NCAA tournament record for saves (30) in the Terps' loss to Brown in the 1991 quarterfinals. Kavovit, of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., has 14 goals and 22 assists this season.

Miscellaneous

The tournament's 23 championship finals have produced 10 one-goal games, including five overtime games. . . . Next year's 25th tournament will also be at Byrd, its third straight year as host. . . . The Virginia-Syracuse semifinal will be shown by HTS on a delayed basis at 7 tonight, Princeton-Brown at 9:30. Tomorrow's final will be televised by CBS at 5 p.m., June 18 . . . . Virginia last reached the final in 1986, losing to North Carolina, and won its only title in 1972, over Hopkins.

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