Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. is the site for the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse championships.
The final four is set with the top-seeded Syracuse Orange highlighting the field. The Orange Lacrosse program has long been a force having won nine NCAA championships.
Syracuse isn't the only storied program vying for the title, though. The Duke Blue Devils are making their seventh consecutive appearance in the national semifinals.
Is this the year they add a second national championship?
Neither of these colossal programs will have easy paths to the title game.
Cornell awaits Duke and they have defeated the Blue Devils six of the last nine times the teams have met. The Orange will tangle with fourth-seeded Denver.
Denver's sophomore attackman Wesley Berg racked up 56 goals this season. He'll be a handful for the Orange to contain.
Both semifinal matchups should be exciting. Here is a look at the brackets, schedule and a deeper look at both semifinal matchups.
|Time||Semifinal Matchup||Finals - May 27 - 1 p.m ET|
|May 25 - 2:30 p.m. ET||Cornell vs. (7) Duke|
|May 25 - 5:00 p.m. ET||(1) Syracuse vs. (4) Denver|
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
TV: ESPN, ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Breaking Down the Semifinal Matchups
Duke Blue Devils vs. Cornell Big Red
The squad from Durham comes to the semifinals playing a different role than they did in 2012. Last year many viewed them as the favorites coming in; they had knocked off Syracuse and Colgate en route to this same position.
This season has been different.
The Blue Devils started the year 2-4 and have had to rally to gain championship form.
Jordan Wolf is Duke's best offensive player, but to be victorious this weekend, the Blue Devils will lean heavily on their goalkeeper Kyle Turri. The sophomore will be charged with slowing the powerful scoring attack from Cornell.
Turri may look relaxed in this image from Duke Athletics' Instagram account, but that could change on Saturday.
His play could very well dictate who advances to the national championship game.
After compiling a 14-3 record this season and a 2-0 mark in neutral sites, the Big Red should be confident heading into this game.
Having scored 32 goals in their previous two games combined doesn't hurt either. Rob Pannell has been brilliant all season and he'll be a major concern for the opposition.
Just as Turri will be the man in the spotlight for Duke, senior goalkeeper A.J. Fiore will have to be big for Cornell to win as well. The team that can establish itself on defense will have the clear advantage.
Get ready for a high-scoring, exciting affair.
Syracuse Orange vs. Denver Pioneers
Defense is the name of the game for the Orange this season. The team has only surrendered 13 goals in the entire tournament.
Syracuse Lacrosse @CuseMLAX
JoJo Marasco, Brian Megill, Derek Maltz and Dominic Lamolinara participated in ESPN interviews this morning #HHH http://t.co/tbhVz6EKJp2013-5-24 15:55:28
They will be looking to smother the Denver Pioneers on Saturday to reach the national championship game. It won't be easy as the Pioneers have two very explosive players on offense.
Eric Law and Berg combined for 96 goals this year. It will take a major effort from Brian Megill and the other Orange defensemen to slow this duo.
While Denver is the more balanced team, the Orange's defense has been so stifling, that their advantage in that area may be enough to reach the championship.
The Pioneers have scored 12.67 goals per season while Syracuse has only allowed an average of 8.61. It is clear something has to give on Saturday.
If you're looking for a rough, physical and passionate game, this is the one to watch.
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