1991 National Championship: Towson-North Carolina

I'm not sure why this exists, but it does.

The Carrier Dome hosted one of the most memorable -- for all kinds of reasons -- Championship Weekends that I can remember.

  • The national semifinals featured the tournament's top seed -- undefeated North Carolina -- facing fifth-seeded Syracuse and seventh-seeded Maryland playing unseeded Towson. Upsets ruled the early part of the NCAA Tournament, including the two-seed (Brown) getting taken out by Maryland, Towson dropping the six- and three-seed (Virginia and Princeton, respectively) through consecutive 14-13 results, and Syracuse sneaking past Hopkins before 10,000 fans at Homewood Field in the national quarterfinals.
  • The national semifinals -- which included the hometown Orange -- drew only 14,544 through the gate. That remains the third-lowest Division I semifinals attendance figure since 1986 (only the 1988 (Syracuse, 11,843) and 1986 (Delaware, 8,549) iterations had worse turnout at the turnstiles). Considering the Dome's dimensions, the small numbers that went through the facility's doors provided a decidedly weird atmosphere.
  • Local lacrosse fans felt no need to trek to the university for the national final after the Tar Heels dropped the Orange in the national semifinals. Only 8,293 people showed up the national title game between North Carolina and Towson. That's the lowest Division I championship attendance figure since 1980 and the seventh lowest attendance figure for a Division I lacrosse national title game ever.
  • 1991 marked the second season in a row that the national champion finished its season with an unblemished record (Syracuse ran the table in 1990). 1991 was one of only two instances in which this happened in non-dynasty fashion (in 2005 Johns Hopkins finished undefeated and were proceeded by a perfect Virginia team in 2006; Cornell won back-to-back championships in 1976 and 1977 with perfect records; and North Carolina in 1981 and 1982 was unbeaten while winning back-to-back titles).
  • North Carolina's seven goals in the second quarter against Syracuse -- in the Orange's home building -- in the national semifinals ranks as the most ever in a national semifinal game. Interestingly, the seven goals that Syracuse -- in the Orange's home building -- scored against North Carolina in the second quarter of the national semifinals ranks as the most ever in a national semifinal game. That's right: Syracuse and North Carolina each scored seven times against each other, a 14-goal quarter that accounted for 43.75 percent of the game's total scoring.
  • The 19 goals North Carolina scored against Syracuse in the national semifinals ranks seventh all-time in goals scored in a national semifinal game.
  • The Tar Heels were into streaky scoring when they got to the Dome. In the national title game, North Carolina put eight on the board in the first quarter against Towson, tied for the most ever in the first quarter of a national title game. That was 44.44 percent of the Heels' scoring on the day.
  • Not to be tossed aside, the Tigers rallied against North Carolina in the championship game, putting six on the board against the Tar Heels in the third quarter, tied for the most all-time in the third period of a title game.
  • And because Carolina wasn't to be outdone, the Heels rammed home six tallies in the fourth quarter in the title game against the Tigers, tied for the third-highest mark ever in a final period of a championship game. North Carolina ended up getting 77.77 percent of their scoring in the first and fourth quarters.
  • The 18 goals North Carolina scored against Towson in the national finals ranks fourth all-time in goals scored in a national championship game.
  • The 13 goals Towson scored against North Carolina in the national finals ranks 16th all-time in goals scored in a national championship game.

Strange times in Central New York.

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