1976 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship
|1976 NCAA Division I Men's
|Finals site||Brown University|
|MOP||Mike French, Cornell|
The 1976 NCAA Division I tournament championship game was played at Brown University in front of 7,504 fans. The undefeated Cornell Big Red, led by Richie Moran, Mike French and Eamon McEneaney, defeated Maryland and Frank Urso, 16 to 13, in overtime.
Throughout the 1970s, Cornell University was dominant in lacrosse with four final appearances and three titles. The 1976 and 1977 versions of the Big Red are generally considered to be among the best college lacrosse teams of all time.
In the matchup that lacrosse fans everywhere wanted to see, for the first time in NCAA tournament history, two undefeated teams, No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Cornell, would meet in the championship game. The game did not disappoint as Cornell down 7-2 at halftime, outscored Maryland 6-2 in the third period to pull within one goal entering the final period. The Terps opened the fourth period with a goal to go up 10-8, but the next four tallies belonged to the Cornell who led 12-10 with three minutes to play. Maryland, however, would get back-to-back goals, including a buzzer-beater, to knot the game and send the contest into overtime. After an initial tally by the Terps’ Terry Kimball, the Cornell would score four unanswered goals to claim the crown with a 16-13 victory.
Cornell earlier in the tournament recorded the only shutout in NCAA tournament history when they blanked Washington and Lee 14 to 0 during the first round. In a 22-11 semifinal win against Navy, Maryland's Ed Mullen had 7 goals and 5 assists to set the tournament record of 12 total points in one game. In a 35-degree driving rainstorm, the Big Red did the improbable with goalie Dan Mackesey pitching a shut. With the help of defensive stalwarts Bob Katz and Ted Marchell, Mackesey made 13 saves in the 14-0 opening round game. The No. 7 Generals, who had been national semifinalists the previous year, had an impressive offensive unit coming into the contest, having outscored its regular season opponents, 147-89.
Mike French tied the then-NCAA tournament single-game scoring record, finishing the day with seven goals and four assists, while Dan Mackesey matched the then-tournament record for saves in a single-game with 28 stops.
|7||Wash. & Lee||0|
- * = Overtime
Tournament Outstanding Players
Mike French, Cornell, 20 points, Leading Tournament Scorer
- The NCAA did not designate a Most Outstanding Player until the 1977 national tournament. The Tournament outstanding player is listed here as the tournament leading scorer.
- "NCAA Lacrosse Division I Results / Records" (pdf). NCAA. p. 3 (51). Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Cornell University Men's Lacrosse Media Guide". CSTV.com.
- "Sports Illustrated archive of 1976 title game". SportsIllustrated.com. June 7, 1976.
- Rick Wheeler. Big Red Makes History. THE POST-STANDARD. May 20, 1976. pg. 17