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Lacrosse Weekly - The National Championship Edition

The hardware is what it's all about.
Ten. That is now the number of National Championships that the Syracuse Lacrosse team has earned. After a dismal season that could only be described as a total failure in every way, with only a 5-8 record, #3 Syracuse returns to its glory with a National Championship by beating #5 Johns Hopkins 13 to ten.

Syracuse played one hell of a game. On the back of their attack unit, Syracuse’s offense managed to score against some of the best defensive performances I have ever seen in a lacrosse game. From Virginia’s Bud Petit, to Hopkins’ Michael Gvozden, and the defensive players of Hopkins, Syracuse had to face the game’s best defenders. Yet, Syracuse fought through the defensive barrages and managed to score some pretty spectacular goals. Not to be outdone, Syracuse’s own defense did not allow easy scoring lanes or shots in front of the crease uncontested. The Syracuse defense would collapse on the offensive players in front of Galloway and Syracuse would usually come up with the ball. Syracuse had a tough first quarter, being outscored four to two, but Syracuse came back and led six to five at half time. Syracuse then came out with two quick scores in the second half, and started the forth quarter with three goals. While Paul Rabil was an absolute stud with six goals in the game, it was not enough to overcome Syracuse’s scoring and midfield defense.

Dan Hardy was easily the best player of the day for Syracuse, earning three goals. Kenny Nims, Brendan Loftus and Stephen Keogh each had two goals. Mike Leveille and Steven Brooks each added a goal. Leveille and Brooks each added two assists. Danny Brennan and Matt Abbott each picked up six ground balls. Danny Brennan, who has had a spectacular NCAA Tournament, only won 13 of 26 face offs in the Championship, but that was enough for the Orange. DBren also had a spectacular goal, his first of the year, in the winding seconds of the first quarter after winning the face off and going straight to the goal. Freshman Goalie John Galloway only earned seven saves and let in ten goals, but he did earn the win and again made big saves when it matters. As one member of the crowd yelled, “Galloway doesn’t need to care about the first three quarters.” While Galloway made it a little too close for comfort during this Final Four on occasion, he made big saves when it mattered and he should be a great goalie for the next few years for Syracuse.

Syracuse took 46 shots in the game, while Hopkins not far behind took 38. The Orange very appropriately picked up 44 ground balls, while the Blue Jays snagged 33. Brennan split the face offs in the game, only getting 13 of the 26 in the game with Peyser and Dolente of Hopkins. Hopkins had 20 of 22 clears in the game, while Syracuse cleared 21 of 24. Syracuse’s extra man defense clearly contributed to the win, as Hopkins only scored on one of five Syracuse penalties. Syracuse converted on one of two. Hopkins Goalie Michael Gvozden had a fantastic game and earned 20 saves, while Galloway had seven in the Championship.

Hopkins deserves a lot of credit for getting to the Championship. They had a rough stretch in which Hopkins had five losses in a row for the 2007 National Champions, which included the overtime loss to Syracuse. But Syracuse would not be denied on the 2008 Revenge Tour. Syracuse had all facets of their game clicking in Foxborough, which included offense, defense, face offs, and a solid goalie. So Syracuse will hoist some more hardware and become the best franchise in NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse history. The complete box score can be found here. The complete bracket can be found here.

Coming later this week I will have my NCAA Semifinal and Final photo galleries. I will also have some thoughts on the season as well as what this means for the program and the state of lacrosse overall. Thanks to Jayme for joining me in the Championship viewing, Section 123 for being a lot of fun and full of ruckus, and Kevin for randomly coming in from CT to watch the game. For now, celebrate and enjoy that Syracuse winning ways have returned and Syracuse is once again the best in the lacrosse world.

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1 Responses to “Lacrosse Weekly - The National Championship Edition”

  1. # Anonymous Sportzbelle

    Sweet! Although I couldn't watch the game, I was very happy to see we are finally back in our rightful place as Lax Champs. The guys did an awesome job all year and to come back on win in the finals after a tough 2OT semifinal game shows the drive this team had. Nicely done guys! Hopefully this performance will rub off on some of our other teams! (I'm talking to you basketball team.)  

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