In one corner: No. 5 Cornell (ever heard of it?) coming off a monumental upset of top-seeded Virginia, leading 9-6 with about four minutes left in the NCAA final Monday. In the other: No. 2 Syracuse, defending national champion and, for once, the late-game underdog.
It was one of those rare games when it was perfectly acceptable for the common spectator — OK, me — to switch allegiances on every score, even though I didn't actually care who won. Also, players on both teams wore those uncomfortably large triangles of eye-black. It was college lacrosse at its finest.
Cornell seemed to have the title wrapped up first when it took a late three-goal lead, and again, when it regained possession leading 9-8 with 20 ticks left. Then came one of the best sports sequences of the year — or, as one video dubbed it, the Greatest 20 seconds in Lacrosse History!!
It's Moyer. Twenty seconds left. Nims all over him. Ball on the ground, still loose. Can Syracuse get it? Keough does. Ten seconds left. Here's Abbott, trying to get loose, in front, Nims has it, he scores! He scores! Kenny Nims scores! With four seconds left! Can you believe it? The Orange ties it up! 9-9!
Soon after, Cody Jamieson scored early in the overtime and, of course, Syracuse won. No way Cornell was going to rally after a failed clear, a missed ground ball, a catch in traffic, an over-the-shoulder pass tipped by a defender right into the stick of the game-winning sniper, who still needed to dodge the goalie and sneak in a bouncer.