| Postgame Notes
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| Johns Hopkins QuotesFOXBORO, Mass. �
The Syracuse men's lacrosse team (16-2) claimed its record 10th NCAA title with a 13-10 victory against Johns Hopkins (11-6) on Monday, May 26 in front of 48,970 fans at Gillette Stadium, the largest crowd to ever witness an NCAA outdoor championship. Junior midfielder Dan Hardy (Tully, N.Y.)
powered the Orange offense with a team-high three goals en route to all-tournament team recognition.
Head coach John Desko, in his 10th season at the helm of the Orange program, hoists the hardware for the fourth time in his career. He lists third all-time with four NCAA titles. Only Bill Tierney (Princeton) and Roy Simmons Jr. (Syracuse) have more. They each have six. Desko improved his record to 4-2 in national title tilts and 23-5 in the NCAA Tournament. He ranks first all-time with an .821 postseason winning percentage.
The victory was SU's 16th of the 2008 season, matching the program's all-time record for victories in a single campaign. The Orange fashioned a perfect 16-0 resume in 1922. Syracuse becomes just the second team in NCAA history to win the national championship after missing the playoffs the previous season. The 1983 edition of the Orange claimed the crown after finishing 6-4 in 1982 and failing to advance to the postseason. Fittingly, the NCAA honored the members of the 1983 team at halftime to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Orange's first championship.
Senior attackman Mike Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honor after posting three points on one goal and two assists against the Blue Jays. He tallied 11 goals and eight assists in this year's tournament. The Tewaaraton Trophy finalist finished his career with a 57-game point streak, which is the fourth-longest in the Orange record books. He completed his Orange tenure having etched his name on several career scoring lists. He ranks ninth at SU in career goals (132), 12th in assists (83) and 12th in points (215). His 49 goals in 2008 is tied with Matt Riter for seventh on the school's single-season list.
Senior faceoff specialist Danny Brennan (Farmingdale, N.Y.) joined Hardy and Leveille on the all-tournament team. He posted a 13-for-26 performance at the X against the Blue Jays, collected six ground balls, and scored his first career goal in the opening period.
Senior midfielder Brendan Loftus (Watertown, N.Y.), junior attackman Kenny Nims (Watertown, N.Y.) and rookie man-up specialist Stephen Keogh (Toronto, Ontario) added two goals apiece in the victory. Senior midfielder Steven Brooks (Libertyville, Ill.) recorded three points on one score and two helpers.
Junior close defenseman Sid Smith (Ohsweken, Ontario) was SU's fourth member of the all-tournament team. He registered three ground balls and helped hold the Hopkins' attack to just three goals. Junior midfielder Matt Abbott (Syracuse, N.Y.) matched Brennan with a club-leading six ground balls in the contest.
The Blue Jays claimed a 4-2 lead at the conclusion of the first period, keyed by two goals from midfielder Paul Rabil. Syracuse got on the board, and evened the scoring at 1-1, following a nifty behind-the-head rebound goal from Keogh on the doorstep at the 7:51 mark.
The quarter came to a close in a frenzy, with three goals scored in a 26-second span during the final minute. Sandwiched between two Johns Hopkins' markers, Brennan deposited his first career score off a fastbreak following a faceoff win. Falling to the ground, the senior beat JHU netminder Michael Gvozden with a bounce shot.
The Orange scored six of the game's next seven goals, sparked by Keogh's tally from just outside the crease off a feed from rookie longstick midfielder Joel White (Syracuse, N.Y.). and carried a 6-5 lead into the intermission.
SU jumped to an 8-5 cushion behind scores from Hardy and Brooks to open the third frame.
The Blue Jays responded, scoring three of the game's next four goals and twice trimming the Orange lead to one goal. With JHU trying for the game's equalizer, senior midfielder Brendan Loftus (Watertown, N.Y.) scored, and Hardy's third goal of the game, handed Syracuse a two-goal advantage, 10-8, heading into the fourth stanza.
The Orange secured a comfortable five-goal advantage, 13-8, after three unanswered scores. Nims tickled the twine again before Loftus and Leveille beat Gvozden with two goals separated by just 10 seconds.
Syracuse controlled possession in the fourth quarter, forcing back-to-back turnovers on Hopkins' clears in the opening minutes. The Blue Jays committed 23 turnovers for the game and failed to convert on 4-of-5 man-up chances.
Freshman goalkeeper John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) became just the fifth true freshman netminder to win an NCAA title, collecting seven saves in the win. He joins Quint Kessenich and Kevin Mahon of Johns Hopkins and Rodney Rullman and Derek Kenney of Virginia as the only true freshman netminders to win championships.
Gvozden tallied 20 saves in the loss for Hopkins, including eight in the first period. He tallied the most saves in a final since Maryland's Brian Dougherty posted 23 in a 13-9 loss to the Orange in 1995.
Rabil led the Blue Jays with seven points on a career-high six goals and one assist. Senior attackman Kevin Huntley added three points on one goal and two helpers. Senior longstick midfielder Matt Bocklet tallied nine ground balls.
Syracuse's 16-2 campaign after going 5-8 in 2007 is tied with Duke and Towson for the best one-year turnaround in NCAA history (+8.5).
The Orange began its climb to the top of the college lacrosse scene with a 17-16 win against Hopkins in 1983. The Orange claimed three consecutive crowns from 1988-90 with victories versus Cornell (13-8), JHU (13-12) and Loyola (21-9). SU won the game's top honor in 1993 and 1995 against North Carolina (13-12) and Maryland (13-9), respectively. Desko captured his first title in 2000 (Princeton, 13-7), followed by his second and third in 2002 (Princeton, 13-12) and 2004 (Navy, 14-13).
2008 NCAA Division I All-Tournament Team
Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins
Dan Hardy, Syracuse
Dan Glading, Virginia
Kevin Huntley, Johns Hopkins
Mike Leveille, Syracuse (MOP)
Michael Evans, Johns Hopkins
Michael Gvozden, Johns Hopkins
Danny Brennan, Syracuse
Zack Greer, Duke
Sid Smith, Syracuse