We Schedule Championship Weekend in Baltimore For You


We finally have a 16 team field. We finally have a huge professional venue for the game. WILL YOU FINALLY SHOW UP?

That question is, of course, not for the twenty thousand or so that show their loyalty each year traveling to the big weekend festivities. It is, emphatically directed at those who call themselves lacrosse fans, live within a reasonable drive from the event (some Texans drive 3 hours to practice) but watch it on TV. They could, instead, help the game get much more TV coverage in the future by adding to our collective consumer might at the one time each season when it counts. If 50,000 attend the championship game Monday, the outlook for the game changes, period. It's in your hands. 'Nuff said.





For those of you who are coming, we've taken the liberty of preparing a lax oriented tourist schedule for you that will optimize your lacrosse exposure while in the game's southern hub. We hope to completely overload you with amazing action intermingled with great food and fun! Here goes:


FRIDAY:

You have to arrive on Friday to really get things started right. A trip to Lax World is a must. You've never been in lax stuff nirvana if you haven't stopped by the Lax World store at Kennilworth Mall. This is the first and greatest lacrosse superstore in the nation. Call them ahead of time (1.800.playlax) if you want to bring a team or group and they may even throw you a pizza party at the store for lunch before you head off to see some of the best high school lacrosse in the country.



Baltimore has long been known for the quality of the schoolboy lacrosse played in the prep schools of the MIAA. The MIAA Championship games for all 3 conferences are contended Friday and Friday night at Towson University. The games start in reverse order culminating with the A conference game which is often deciding a contender for the #1 team in the nation. Many of the kids you'll see in the games at Towson will show up again in the NCAA Final Four, next year and for a few years thereafter. It is well worth arriving a day early to catch the A-conference game featuring Calvert Hall and St. Mary's from Annapolis at 7:30. The action starts at 5. Wave to the cameras. You'll be on E-Lacrosse! We'll all eat after the game and even our restaurant suggestions are lacrosse hotbed hangouts.




LAX FOOD:

You're likely to see some former All-Americans or current lacrosse celebrities, wherever you choose to eat. The problem is they look just like everyone in Baltimore and you may not know it if they are sitting at the table next to you.
For a very nice late dinner amongst the lax crowd we direct you to the Mt. Washington Tavern (5700 Newbury St., 410.367.6903) for some prime rib or a nice steak. They serve dinner until 11 Friday night and Saturday night. Entrees run from 12 to 24 bucks. Slap an MWT bumper sticker on your family car and look like a B'more lax mobile.

Or we might suggest The Greene Turtle (722 S. Broadway St., 410.342.4222) which also serves until 11. The Turtle is owned by lax guys and there's always a good mix of men's and women's laxers about. This one's in Fells Point, a historic and renewed waterfront village, pretty close to the stadium with many restaurants, bars and an eclectic assortment of shops and markets. Pick up a Greene Turtle lax t-shirt to take home as a very authentic Baltimore souvenir. Entrees are slightly less than MWT.

A new lacrosse player's destination for the discerning steak and prime rib lover can be found a quick shoot down I-83 from the stadium at Courtney's Café (106 West Padonia Rd., 410.252.0600) in Timonium. This suburban bistro is owned by Baltimore Bayhawks owner and former NFL star Dave Pivec. Don't be surprised to see a star or two from the Bayhawks hanging around in Piv's Pub or an Oriole or Raven at the table next to you. Entrees are 14 to 24 beans and Sunday brunch can be had for $ 13.95 for Adults, $ 6.95 for Children 10 and under from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday if you just need a day of rest and great food.

A favorite of the E-Lacrosse editor is Mo's Fisherman's Warf (219 President St., 410. 837.8600) where you'll enjoy Cajun, Italian and Baltimore seafood specialties or the Filet Christopher, a Filet Mignon topped with a huge portion of imperial crab, lobster meat and béarnaise sauce.

For a more modest hangout and some great wings, pizza and beer with the Johns Hopkins crowd, we'll take you to PJ's Pub (3333 N. Charles St., 410.243.8844). PJ's has great pizza, wings, burgers, tacos and salads. Pizzas are only 7 bucks on Sunday for a cheap meal after the final. You can get food here much later than the others.

We also like Bo Brooks (2701 Boston St., 410.588.0202) for crabs, the Bay Café (2809 Boston St., 410.522.3377) for shrimp salad and the Corner Stable (9942 York Rd., 410.666.8814) in Cockeysville for ribs. Stop into a Royal Farms Store or a 7-11 and buy some Berger Cookies with the ½ inch layer of chocolate fudge icing. It's one of Baltimore's original greats!
Wherever you choose to eat, tell them E-lacrosse sent you. It may not get you anything, but it might get us free food later. We'll hook you up with some free food at the STX Tailgate tomorrow! For a much more in depth restaurant review as well as a Baltimore Landmarks guide, pick up a copy of the latest Inside Lacrosse at the E-Lacrosse Tailgate. It's the one with Hopkins guys on the front. You'll see the IL guys all around the event giving them away. Grab one and you'll have a pretty good grip on the food and drink scene in Baltimore City.


SATURDAY:

You've got a busy day ahead. The first game faces off at 11:30. Get started early and be at the stadium by 10. Once you are parked, locate a stadium intersection to get a bearing on the map provided. Right across from the stadium, on the Russell and Ostend Streets side, is the STX BBQ with FREE FOOD for everyone while it lasts. That's why we are going there first! They'll have music spun by a DJ and the games can be seen on the broadcast there if you want to hang out. STX will be giving out some free stuff too. T-Shirts, stickers and even a free raffle for STX equipment and sticks EVERY HOUR! The fastest shot contest could win you a free stick too! Meet Gary Gait and shoot against him in the Shooting Challenge if you're game. There will be beer for adults with ID and plenty of beverages for kids too. Bring the whole family!



You're also invited to the E-Lacrosse / Rock-it Pocket BBQ benefiting the Arlington Lacrosse Club. The cost is 10 bucks and it's located in lot K near the Russell and Hamburg Streets corner of the stadium. It runs from 9 o'clock and continues between games. An armband will get you in over and over if you want to check everything else out too. E-Lacrosse's Darla "Sparky" Burns will be hanging out there and at the Six Tribes tailgate. You may even get into her next article if you are entertaining enough.

The Brine Fan Zone is a favorite for all the kids! Go north from Lots B and C and you are there. The event opens at 9 and closes an hour AFTER the games are over! We'll be there after the games to get pictures of some of you competing in the events at the Fan Zone!



The first game starts at 11:30. It's easy to find your seat, but security should be very tight so allow a few minutes to get in. Don't bring your own beverages, coolers, backpacks, huge purses, noisemakers, laser pointers, video cameras, flag poles, air horns, weapons, umbrellas and dangerous stuff to the gate. They won't let you bring them in. Here's the cool part. Lacrosse sticks are allowed as usual, but don't bring a ball into the stadium. Bring one for a toss in the parking lot but leave it in the car for the games. Don't be bummed about the extra security. Since 9-11 we should all be used to it. The national terror alert level was raised to high again this week in light of recent attacks in other countries and intelligence reports. We published a story earlier this year which has new pertinence this week and can be read here. But, the important thing to remember is to be cautious and generally aware in crowd scenes but enjoy the games with confidence because of the presence of the very same security measures that often annoy us.


Hopkins' Conor Ford (front) and Peter LaSeuer


OK, Ravens' Stadium is now called M&T stadium officially but they're not our advertiser so we like calling it Ravens' Stadium while there's still that window of opportunity. The stadium is beautiful. You will notice the low rider Harley-Davidsonesque look and feel inside, the bright colors and the open but still intimate configuration. The replay screen is the best, biggest and clearest we've ever seen. It's a great place for lacrosse. We've seen the Bayhawks play there to a far lesser crowd and it was very exciting. This event is a sure goose bump producer. Don't miss it.


Syracuse's Liam Banks and his cousins at the quarterfinal


The first match-up is Johns Hopkins v. Syracuse in what should be a shootout. Hopkins is the best team in the land with a 13-1 record but that one loss came to 10-5 Syracuse. Hopkins handled Towson en route to this contest but Syracuse simply stepped all over Princeton showcasing a dominating Michael Powell nobody's seen since the last final four. When the Syracuse-Princeton game ended MLL star sibling Ryan Powell told E-Lacrosse that his brother was the best player in college. He was right, but the best Johns Hopkins team in over a decade stands between Mike Powell and a shot at a second Tournament MVP award in Monday's championship game. This game is E-Lacrosse guaranteed to be extremely entertaining and pretty close.


Maryland's Michael Howley


Between games, sneak out for some more BBQ and beverages at the tailgate of your choosing or buy the very cool championship hat at one of the stadium vendors, but be back in 45 minutes because Maryland v. Virginia is always an intense game and this year the contest boasts the country's most talented offense against the best defense. It's easy to fall in love with Maryland's defense but their offense is just plain hard to watch. They exploded on UMass but played with their feet pegged into the ground against Ohio State. Virginia on the other hand, boasts the versatile attack unit of Ward, Christmas and Yevoli, the nation's best keeper and a longstick D-middie that creates offense and unsettle situations all day long. The question for Virginia is can they score effectively and often against the Maryland D. They'll need to score 10 or more to win. John Christmas is explosive and may be the difference in this game if he steps his game up a notch like lacrosse hero's do in May. Matt Ward's specialty in High School was taking the ball to win a championship in the last second. Can he repeat Conor Gill's freshman performance in the Final Four. He may need to play that well for the Cavs to get past Maryland and then either Hopkins or Syracuse. Maryland won the regular season match-up in Charlottesville.


Virginia's John Christmas


The Brine Fan Zone is still open for an hour AFTER the games are over so head north from the stadium right away! We'll be there taking pictures and shooting some video of the contestants.



Any of the restaurants we talked about Friday night are also great Saturday night spots or maybe a trip to Lax World is in order if you arrived too late to visit yesterday.


SUNDAY:

Wake up! We've got lots of lacrosse to see today! More Powells! And two championships! Let's roll over to Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins and catch the scrimmage between the MLL's Baltimore Bayhawks and Rochester Rattlers. The Bayhawks are the defending champion with league MVP Greg Cattrano in cage and Offensive MVP Mark Millon and player/coach Gary Gait stuffing in the goals along with Tom Marechek and a cast of big shooters. Rochester's off season trades brought Casey Powell in to join 2001's League MVP Ryan Powell. They also traded for Brian Carcaterra so you can see them all Sunday morning. The game starts at 10 but get there early if you want some autographs.


The Baltimore Bayhawks Won the MLL Championship in 2002


The Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame (113 West University Parkway) is located only yards from Homewood field. They will have special extended hours surrounding the 2003 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore, including Sunday from 9 in the morning until 8 pm. Saturday and Monday they are closed but on Friday they are also open from 10 am until 8 pm.


The Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum


You'll also have to leave the MLL gig a bit early to make the 12 o'clock start for the NCAA Division III championship at Ravens' Stadium. Salisbury (18-1) will take on Middlebury (17-1) in a game of the true titans of DIII. Following this game at 3 is the DII Championship featuring Jack Kaley's 13-0 NYIT team against the 13-2 Limestone challengers from the south. This is always a great game and, for the first time, it's on center stage! Don't miss it!


NYIT will take on Limestone for the D2 Title


Let's hit the Brine Fanzone again to check out the stuff we didn't catch yesterday. The Fanzone is open from 9-11:30 in the morning too so if you'd rather play than watch, skip the morning MLL session and come early to the participatory event between Ravens' Stadium and Camden Yard's Oriole Park.

Sunday is Pizza day at PJ's Pub (7 dollar pizzas) and remember that the Lacrosse Museum is open 'til 8. They are about three blocks apart!




The DI Men's Championship Hat

MONDAY:

This is Championship day! Roll on over to the stadium early for a tailgate or a last chance at the Brine Fanzone from 8 to 11. The big game is at 11. We'll see you there and at all the great events surrounding the tournament.

Have a safe trip home and we'll see you back in Baltimore next year!


May 21, 2003



What are you doing this Summer?

June 26-July 5 at Towson University

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