Comparing champions | Syracusefan.com

# Comparing champions

#### SWC75

##### Bored Historian
Notre Dame just won the NCAA lacrosse title by winning each game by at least 5 goals. I wondered how that compared to past champions.

These are the teams that have won champions plus the margins of victory in their games, the totals and the average since the NCAA began its tournament in 1971. I’ve added their season record. Then I decided to complete the comparison by subtracting the losses from the average victory margin. That should give us a good ranking of the most powerful teams during this period.

1971 Cornell 2 + 1 + 6 = 9/3 = 3.0 13-1 = 2.0
1972 Virginia 3 + 7 + 1 = 11/3 = 3.67 11-4 = -0.33
1973 Maryland 12 + 11 + 1 = 24/3 = 8.0 10-0 = 8.0
1974 Johns Hopkins 8 + 1 + 5 = 14/3 = 4.67 12-2 = 2.67
1975 Maryland 12 + 10 + 7 = 29/3 = 9.67 8-2 = 7.67
1976 Cornell 14 + 8 + 3 = 25/3 = 8.33 16-0 = 8.33
1977 Cornell 4 + 16 + 8 = 28/3 = 9.33 13-0 = 9.33
1978 Johns Hopkins 12 + 6 + 5 = 23/3 = 7.67 13-1 = 6.67
1979 Johns Hopkins 14 + 9 + 6 = 29/3 = 9.67 13-0 = 9.67
1980 Johns Hopkins 4 + 7 + 1 = 12/3 = 4.0 14-1 = 3.0
1981 North Carolina 7 + 9 + 1 = 17/3 = 5.67 12-0 = 5.67
1982 North Carolina 14 + 7 + 2 = 23/3 = 7.67 14-0 = 7.67
1983 Syracuse 3 + 7 + 1 = 11/3 = 3.67 14-1 = 2.67
1984 Johns Hopkins 7 + 5 + 3 = 15/3 = 5.0 14-0 = 5.0
1985 Johns Hopkins 6 + 3 + 7 = 16/3 = 5.33 13-1 = 4.33
1986 North Carolina 2 + 1 + 1 = 4/3 = 1.33 11-3 = -1.67
1987 Johns Hopkins 1 + 5 + 1 = 7/3 = 2.33 10-3 = -0.67
1988 Syracuse 18 + 1 + 5 = 24/3 = 8.0 15-0 = 8.0
1989 Syracuse 7 + 10 +1 = 18/3 = 6.0 14-1 = 5.0
1990 Syracuse 8 + 11 + 12 = 31/3 = 10.33 13-0 = 10.33
1991 North Carolina 2 + 6 + 5 = 13/3 = 4.33 16-0 = 4.33
1992 Princeton 1 + 2 + 1 = 4/3 = 1.33 13-2 = 0.67
1993 Syracuse 12 + 6 + 1 = 19/3 = 6.33 12-2 = 4.33
1994 Princeton 1 + 3 + 1 = 5/3 = 1.67 14-1 = 0.67
1995 Syracuse 7 + 7 + 4 = 18/3 = 6.0 13-2 = 4.0
1996 Princeton 16 + 2 +1 = 19/3 = 6.33 14-1 = 5.33
1997 Princeton 2 + 1 + 12 = 15/3 = 5.0 15-0 = 5.0
1998 Princeton 2 + 1 + 10 = 13/3 = 4.33 14-1 = 3.33
1999 Virginia 7 + 5 + 2 = 14/3 = 4.67 13-3 = 1.67
2000 Syracuse 4 + 2 + 6 = 12/3 = 4.0 15-1 = 3.0
2001 Princeton 1 + 1 + 1 = 3/3 = 1.0 14-1 = 0.0
2002 Syracuse 1 + 1 + 1 = 3/3 = 1.0 15-2 = -1.0
2003 Virginia 11 + 5 + 10 + 2 = 28/4 = 7.0 15-2 = 5.0
2004 Syracuse 8 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 16/4 = 4.0 15-2 = 2.0
2005 Johns Hopkins 16 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 28/4 = 7.0 16-0 = 7.0
2006 Virginia 4 + 12 + 7 + 8 = 31/4 = 7.75 17-0 = 7.75
2007 Johns Hopkins 1 + 8 + 5 +1 = 15/4 = 3.75 13-4 = 0.25
2008 Syracuse 17 + 2 + 11 + 3 = 23/4 = 5.75 16-2 = 3.75
2009 Syracuse 7 + 5 + 10 + 1 = 23/4 = 5.75 15-2 = 3.75
2010 Duke 13 + 8 + 1 + 1 = 23/4 = 5.75 16-4 = 1.75
2011 Virginia 1 + 4 + 6 + 2 = 13/4 = 3.25 13-5 = -1.75
2012 Loyola 12 + 1 + 2 + 6 = 20/4 = 5.00 18-1 = 4.0
2013 Duke 1 + 1 + 2 + 6 = 10/4 = 2.5 16-5 = -2.5
2014 Duke 11 + 8 + 3 + 2 = 24/4 = 6.0 17-3 = 3.0
2015 Denver 6 + 2 + 1 + 5 = 13/4 = 3.25 17-2 = 1.25
2016 North Carolina 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 11/4 = 2.75 12-6 = -3.25
2017 Maryland 3 + 9 + 1 + 3 = 16/4 = 4.0 16-3 = 1.0
2018 Yale 2 + 3 + 9 + 2 = 16/4 = 4.0 17-3 = 1.0
2019 Virginia 9 + 1 + 1 + 4 = 15/4 = 3.75 17-3 = 0.75
2020 None
2021 Virginia 2 + 11 + 1 + 1 = 15/4 = 3.75 15-1 = 2.75
2022 Maryland 16 + 9 + 5 + 2 = 32/4 = 8.00 18-0 = 8.0
2023 Notre Dame 13 + 3 + 1 + 4 = 21/4 = 5.25 13-2 = 3.25
2024 Notre Dame 5 + 5 + 7 + 10 = 27/4 = 6.75 15-1 = 5.75

Firstly, as regards my initial question, The 1975 Maryland team, the 1978 and 1979 Johns Hopkins teams and the 1990 Syracuse team won all their games by at least five goals but none of them had to win four games to get the title.

Here are the ten most powerful teams by the measure I came up with, (subtracting the seasonal losses from the average margin of victory in the tournament). I think it’s pretty good ranking, (at least I like the result). It should be noted how much more competitive the sport has become over the years.

1990 Syracuse 10.33
1979 Johns Hopkins 9.67
1977 Cornell 9.33
1976 Cornell 8.33
2022 Maryland 8.00
1988 Syracuse 8.00
1973 Maryland 8.00
2006 Virginia 7.75
1975 Maryland 7.67
1982 North Carolina 7.67
All those teams were undefeated except 1975 Maryland. I think the game had probably advanced over what it was, (and what it took to win the title) in the 1970’s by the time of our 1990 team. Can the same be said of the winners since then?

In a way, I’m more impressed with the teams that had to pull out close games to win the title. By that measure, 2001 Princeton and 2002 Syracuse were the most impressive teams, as they each had to win three one goal games to win the title.

Last edited:
Notre Dame just won the NCAA lacrosse title by winning each game by at least 5 goals. I wondered how that compared to past champions.

These are the teams that have won champions plus the margins of victory in their games, the totals and the average since the NCAA began its tournament in 1971. I’ve added their season record. Then I decided to complete the comparison by subtracting the losses from the average victory margin. That should give us a good ranking of the most powerful teams during this period.

1971 Cornell 2 + 1 + 6 = 9/3 = 3.0 13-1 = 2.0
1972 Virginia 3 + 7 + 1 = 11/3 = 3.67 11-4 = -0.33
1973 Maryland 12 + 11 + 1 = 24/3 = 8.0 10-0 = 8.0
1974 Johns Hopkins 8 + 1 + 5 = 14/3 = 4.67 12-2 = 2.67
1975 Maryland 12 + 10 + 7 = 29/3 = 9.67 8-2 = 7.67
1976 Cornell 14 + 8 + 3 = 25/3 = 8.33 16-0 = 8.33
1977 Cornell 4 + 16 + 8 = 28/3 = 9.33 13-0 = 9.33
1978 Johns Hopkins 12 + 6 + 5 = 23/3 = 7.67 13-1 = 6.67
1979 Johns Hopkins 14 + 9 + 6 = 29/3 = 9.67 13-0 = 9.67
1980 Johns Hopkins 4 + 7 + 1 = 12/3 = 4.0 14-1 = 3.0
1981 North Carolina 7 + 9 + 1 = 17/3 = 5.67 12-0 = 5.67
1982 North Carolina 14 + 7 + 2 = 23/3 = 7.67 14-0 = 7.67
1983 Syracuse 3 + 7 + 1 = 11/3 = 3.67 14-1 = 2.67
1984 Johns Hopkins 7 + 5 + 3 = 15/3 = 5.0 14-0 = 5.0
1985 Johns Hopkins 6 + 3 + 7 = 16/3 = 5.33 13-1 = 4.33
1986 North Carolina 2 + 1 + 1 = 4/3 = 1.33 11-3 = -1.67
1987 Johns Hopkins 1 + 5 + 1 = 7/3 = 2.33 10-3 = -0.67
1988 Syracuse 18 + 1 + 5 = 24/3 = 8.0 15-0 = 8.0
1989 Syracuse 7 + 10 +1 = 18/3 = 6.0 14-1 = 5.0
1990 Syracuse 8 + 11 + 12 = 31/3 = 10.33 13-0 = 10.33
1991 North Carolina 2 + 6 + 5 = 13/3 = 4.33 16-0 = 4.33
1992 Princeton 1 + 2 + 1 = 4/3 = 1.33 13-2 = 0.67
1993 Syracuse 12 + 6 + 1 = 19/3 = 6.33 12-2 = 4.33
1994 Princeton 1 + 3 + 1 = 5/3 = 1.67 14-1 = 0.67
1995 Syracuse 7 + 7 + 4 = 18/3 = 6.0 13-2 = 4.0
1996 Princeton 16 + 2 +1 = 19/3 = 6.33 14-1 = 5.33
1997 Princeton 2 + 1 + 12 = 15/3 = 5.0 15-0 = 5.0
1998 Princeton 2 + 1 + 10 = 13/3 = 4.33 14-1 = 3.33
1999 Virginia 7 + 5 + 2 = 14/3 = 4.67 13-3 = 1.67
2000 Syracuse 4 + 2 + 6 = 12/3 = 4.0 15-1 = 3.0
2001 Princeton 1 + 1 + 1 = 3/3 = 1.0 14-1 = 0.0
2002 Syracuse 1 + 1 + 1 = 3/3 = 1.0 15-2 = -1.0
2003 Virginia 11 + 5 + 10 + 2 = 28/4 = 7.0 15-2 = 5.0
2004 Syracuse 8 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 16/4 = 4.0 15-2 = 2.0
2005 Johns Hopkins 16 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 28/4 = 7.0 16-0 = 7.0
2006 Virginia 4 + 12 + 7 + 8 = 31/4 = 7.75 17-0 = 7.75
2007 Johns Hopkins 1 + 8 + 5 +1 = 15/4 = 3.75 13-4 = 0.25
2008 Syracuse 17 + 2 + 11 + 3 = 23/4 = 5.75 16-2 = 3.75
2009 Syracuse 7 + 5 + 10 + 1 = 23/4 = 5.75 15-2 = 3.75
2010 Duke 13 + 8 + 1 + 1 = 23/4 = 5.75 16-4 = 1.75
2011 Virginia 1 + 4 + 6 + 2 = 13/4 = 3.25 13-5 = -1.75
2012 Loyola 12 + 1 + 2 + 6 = 20/4 = 5.00 18-1 = 4.0
2013 Duke 1 + 1 + 2 + 6 = 10/4 = 2.5 16-5 = -2.5
2014 Duke 11 + 8 + 3 + 2 = 24/4 = 6.0 17-3 = 3.0
2015 Denver 6 + 2 + 1 + 5 = 13/4 = 3.25 17-2 = 1.25
2016 North Carolina 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 11/4 = 2.75 12-6 = -3.25
2017 Maryland 3 + 9 + 1 + 3 = 16/4 = 4.0 16-3 = 1.0
2018 Yale 2 + 3 + 9 + 2 = 16/4 = 4.0 17-3 = 1.0
2019 Virginia 9 + 1 + 1 + 4 = 15/4 = 3.75 17-3 = 0.75
2020 None
2021 Virginia 2 + 11 + 1 + 1 = 15/4 = 3.75 15-1 = 2.75
2022 Maryland 16 + 9 + 5 + 2 = 32/4 = 8.00 18-0 = 8.0
2023 Notre Dame 13 + 3 + 1 + 4 = 21/4 = 5.25 13-2 = 3.25
2024 Notre Dame 5 + 5 + 7 + 10 = 27/4 = 6.75 15-1 = 5.75

Firstly, as regards my initial question, The 1975 Maryland team, the 1978 and 1979 Johns Hopkins teams and the 1990 Syracuse team won all their games by at least five goals but none of them had to win four games to get the title.

Here are the ten most powerful teams by the measure I came up with, (subtracting the seasonal losses from the average margin of victory in the tournament). I think it’s pretty good ranking, (at least I like the result). It should be noted how much more competitive the sport has become over the years.

1990 Syracuse 10.33
1979 Johns Hopkins 9.67
1977 Cornell 9.33
1976 Cornell 8.33
2022 Maryland 8.00
1988 Syracuse 8.00
1973 Maryland 8.00
2006 Virginia 7.75
1975 Maryland 7.67
1982 North Carolina 7.67
All those teams were undefeated except 1975 Maryland. I think the game had probably advanced over what it was, (and what it took to win the title) in the 1970’s.

In a way, I’m more impressed with the teams that had to pull out close games to win the title. My that measure, 2001 Princeton and 2002 Syracuse were the most impressive teams, as they each had to win three one goal games to win the title.
Great job! Thanks for doing this and sharing it. As soon as I read your opening paragraphs I went right to 1990 to see how that SU team came out, and then I looked at the rest. Let's face it, every team that wins the title is a great team. But if you want to talk about a team that had to pull out a close game, the tops for me is the 2009 SU come from behind in the last 20 or so seconds win for the title. A game I was thrilled to be at (though I did start to leave when we threw the ball out of bounds behind Cornell's goal). I can't watch the replay of the tying and winning goals enough.

It's incredibly tough to compare across decades, especially to current teams with the transfer rules, the covid year, and the gaming of the system with PG and redshirt years. I wonder how many 24 year olds were playing DI lacrosse even in 2005? Or 1995? Now most of the best players are 2-3 years older than they used to be, which is a massive problem, in my opinion. (I know it likely won't change, but I'm here to be a conscientious objector.) Four years of high school, four of college unless a major injury...and get lost! And no holding kids back in kindergarten! I couldn't get over how much bigger Shellenberger was this year. Guy always had a big frame, but was thin. Now he's huge! O'Neill was huge when he arrived, but Connor is now built like a middle aged man, since he's nearly there.

That said, Notre Dame was significantly better than every other team this year. I saw them play a few months back and was astounded. Not only are they good in every facet, but even if they took a bad shot/made a bad decision on offense, they simply just took the ball back. I've never seen a team come up with so many 50/50 balls. Their ride, their group GBs, their face offs were just staggering. It's like the entire team had the Matt Abbott 50/50 ball skill.

And then you add in Entenmann.

I'm not an ND fan, but they deserved it and were by far the best team this year.

It's incredibly tough to compare across decades, especially to current teams with the transfer rules, the covid year, and the gaming of the system with PG and redshirt years. I wonder how many 24 year olds were playing DI lacrosse even in 2005? Or 1995? Now most of the best players are 2-3 years older than they used to be, which is a massive problem, in my opinion. (I know it likely won't change, but I'm here to be a conscientious objector.) Four years of high school, four of college unless a major injury...and get lost! And no holding kids back in kindergarten! I couldn't get over how much bigger Shellenberger was this year. Guy always had a big frame, but was thin. Now he's huge! O'Neill was huge when he arrived, but Connor is now built like a middle aged man, since he's nearly there.

That said, Notre Dame was significantly better than every other team this year. I saw them play a few months back and was astounded. Not only are they good in every facet, but even if they took a bad shot/made a bad decision on offense, they simply just took the ball back. I've never seen a team come up with so many 50/50 balls. Their ride, their group GBs, their face offs were just staggering. It's like the entire team had the Matt Abbott 50/50 ball skill.

And then you add in Entenmann.

I'm not an ND fan, but they deserved it and were by far the best team this year.

We did pretty well to lose to them by 2 goals in South Bend.

In a way, I’m more impressed with the teams that had to pull out close games to win the title. By that measure, 2001 Princeton and 2002 Syracuse were the most impressive teams, as they each had to win three one goal games to win the title.
2001 Princeton beat a very tough Syracuse team to win it. In 2002 SU had to beat Navy on Memorial Day.

Those games and years were tough on my liver!

Maybe their strength of schedule was not strong and my memory hazy but I am also impressed with 2012 Loyola. I didn't remember that they had such a great record.

Thank you for putting the list together!

2004 was navy Mikeys last game in a down pour

A couple of observations--

The 1990 SU team's dominance is even greater when you note that they beat UNC by 11 goals in the semifinals. The core of that Tar Heels team returned the next season and went 16-0.

The JHU teams of the late 70's were very powerful, breaking Cornell's 42-game winning streak in the '78 championship game (although both French and McEneaney had graduated), and going undefeated in '79.

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