Final four coaches harp on 3 remaining ACC teams, conference’s dominance

first_imgCurrent Atlantic Coast Conference schools have won the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse championship a combined 14 times since the tournament debuted in 1982.There’s a good chance No. 15 is on tap in Towson, Md., this weekend.The ACC will be represented by three schools in the national semifinals this Friday, including top-seeded Maryland (21-1, 6-1 ACC), sixth-seeded Virginia (12-8, 3-4) and second-seeded Syracuse (20-2, 6-1). The latter two will square off at 5 p.m., which means at least one conference school will play for the national title on Sunday.The Orange, which is pursuing the first national championship in program history as well as the first of any women’s team in school history, was successful in its first ACC season.SU head coach Gary Gait isn’t surprised to see three ACC teams in the semifinals, and said it’s just further proof that SU plays in the premier conference in the country.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s a lot of fun to play in, and it gives you a lot of experience for the final four,” Gait said in an NCAA tournament teleconference Monday afternoon. “We played everybody that was in the elite eight during the regular season.“It’s just a great conference for that.”Maryland head coach Cathy Reese agreed and said the conference’s depth has created a number of enjoyable games for teams and fans. That depth, though, will become thinner next season when the Terrapins move to the newly-formed Big Ten Conference.Virginia head coach Julie Myers said the addition of Syracuse has only made the ACC’s level of play better, but she will also miss Maryland’s presence after this season.“I wish we could keep (Maryland) in this mix forever,” said Myers on the teleconference, ”because they’ve just added so much quality to the ACC on the lacrosse side of things.”As for remaining semifinalist Northwestern, it’s not intimidated as the geographical outcast.After road games at Syracuse, Florida, Duke and other schools along the East coast this season, Wildcats head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said her team is used to traveling great distances.With Northwestern also departing for the Big Ten after this season, Amonte Hiller looks at this championship run as one final opportunity to win a title for the American Lacrosse Conference.“To be representing the ALC in its last year, we obviously want to bring pride to that,” she said. “To have someone new to play and to have it be the No. 1 team is really great for our players.” Comments Published on May 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm Contact Tyler: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more