1976 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship
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.
|1976 NCAA Division I Men's|
|Finals site||Brown University|
|Champions||Cornell (2nd title)|
|MOP||Mike French, Cornell|
Throughout the 1970s Cornell University was dominant in lacrosse with four national championship appearances to go with 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. The Big Red's 1976 NCAA championship team featured six Hall of Fame players as well as two Hall of Fame coaches.
In the matchup that lacrosse fans 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 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, 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 14-0 in the first round. In a game that featured both snow and pouring rain, the Big Red did the improbable with goalie Dan Mackesey pitching a shutout making 13 saves. 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.
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.
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|
- (i) one overtime
Tournament box scores
Tournament First Round
|Wash. & Lee||0||0||0||0||0|
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.
- Cornell's 14-0 victory over Washington and Lee was the first shutout in the tournament's history.
- "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