Two of the most storied programs in NCAA Lacrosse history.
There have been 36 NCAA Lacrosse Championships, and these two schools have combined to win half of them (9 each). Johns Hopkins got here after an upset of Duke. Syracuse needed a monumental comeback and 2 overtimes to make it. Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins) and John Desko (Syracuse) are two of the best coaches in the business. Syracuse failed to make the NCAA Tournament last season with a 5-8 record. The only team in NCAA Lacrosse history to win the national championship after missing the tournament the previous year: Syracuse in 1983. And who did they beat? Johns Hopkins. Funny how these things work out.
Players to watch:
Michael Gvozden (G, JHU)
He was removed from the starting job in the middle of the season when Hopkins lost 5 straight, but he has regained the starting job. He is now trying to give Johns Hopkins their third championship in 4 years. He is going to have to make key saves i the Blue Jays want to win.
Kevin Huntley (A, JHU)
Huntley is a very good goal scorer, and provides senior leadership to the team. He scored 4 goals against Duke, including a spectacular behind the shoulder goal. If he has a good game, it could be a long game for the Orange.
Paul Rabil (M, JHU)
Rabil has one of the best shots in the nation. He constantly fires laserbeams at the net with tremendous accuracy.
Steven Boyle (A, JHU)
Boyle is underrated in the sense that Huntley and Rabil are also on this team. He can also score goals in bunches.
John Galloway (G, Syracuse)
Galloway has been put in a very high pressure situation, but he has handled it well. The freshman goalie showed signs of his youth against Virginia, but he made saves in clutch situations that helped the Orange stay in the game. He has to maintain his composure in this pressure-filled game.
Mike Leveille (A, Syracuse)
There isn't much more you can say about him. He is one of the best players in the nation, and single-handedly carried Syracuse into the championship game. He anchored the comback and capped it off with an off-balance shot that beat Virginia's Bud Petit. He is the Tewaaraton Trophy winner in my opinion (nation's best player), and needs to have a big game for Syracuse to win.
Danny Brennan (M, Syracuse)
The Syracuse attack starts with him. Although he is a midfielder, his ability to win face-offs sets up the attack. He leads the nation in face-off percentage, and needs to win a lot to give Syracuse extra possessions. The fifth-year senior is playing with a hamstring injury. He missed their game against Colgate, and Syracuse lost that game.
Matt Abbott (M, Syracuse)
He is known as the human clear. His tremendous speed allows him to make a successful clear by himself. He hustles after every ball, and can even score some goals. He is one of the best all-around players in the nation.
Johns Hopkins 13, Syracuse 11
I think the Blue Jays' experience will play a major part in this game.
Sorry Hopkins fans. I just know more about Syracuse than Hopkins.