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Syracuse Lacrosse & A Very Special Episode of Hopkins Hate Week

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Syracuse will take on Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. While the two have faced each other in the Tourney five times since 2000, It's been seven years since this postseason matchup has occurred. Read on for some numbers on the rivalry.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

And you thought we were just going to have one Hopkins Hate Week...silly kid. The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays took out the Virginia Cavaliers in spectacular fashion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I mean, really, it was a great performance from a team which was previously a long-shot to make the Tourney. We will get to the Hopkins preview a little later, but first let's do a review of the rivalry.

Johns Hopkins leads the series at 27-25-1. The Syracuse Orange beat the Jays 13-10 in March at the Dome. While the first game between these two occurred in 1921, many consider the rivalry to have truly begun in the 1983 Championship game. SU won that 1983 Championship 17-16 but Hopkins took the 1984 National Championship game versus Syracuse 13-10. For the third straight year, Syracuse took on Hopkins in the National Championship game in 1985 with the Jays winning 11-4. Johns Hopkins lays claims 44 National Titles, a very dubious claim. Since the first NCAA Tournament in 1971, only 13 of the Championship games did not feature one of these two teams. Syracuse has won 11 National Titles since 1971 while Hopkins has taken nine in that era. These two programs have met every year in the regular season since 1985 and have met every year since 1983.

This rivalry has produced some of the greatest games in college lacrosse history, including the 1989 Championship game which is generally regarded as the greatest Championship match of all time. That game featured some of the biggest names in lacrosse history, such as: Roy Simmons Jr. (Coach of Syracuse during 1989 season), Paul Gait, Gary Gait, Tom Marechek, Quint Kessenich, Dave Pietramala (current Hopkins Head Coach). In that year, Syracuse's only loss came in the regular season against Hopkins in a 14-13 decision.

In an article from Inside Lacrosse Magazine on the 50th game between Syracuse and Hopkins, Dave Pietramala said: "The 1989 championship game helped the sport come of age. It brought the Hopkins-Syracuse rivalry to the fans. It was like Duke-North Carolina in basketball. The storylines were endless — North versus South, flashy versus vanilla — it had something for everyone."

"You know, I've had, you know, plenty of people tell me that, that game inspired them to play the game or to play the sport, and when I watch that game myself you can't help but sit there and say wow," said Coach Pietramala during a one-on-one interview with Paul Carcaterra. "That's as big as it got for lacrosse at that point and I think that was a real turning point for our sport, and to think that we all were a part of that is pretty unbelievable."

Earlier this week John Desko said on this weekend's game: "It feels more like a Championship game really, I mean you know when you think of Hopkins and Syracuse, but I think that just speaks for how competitive division I lacrosse is today. They've turned into a very good team and we've got to be ready to play."

In the NCAA Tournament, these two teams have faced off 12 times with Syracuse holding an 8-4 edge. So yes, this will be the unlucky 13th tournament game in this matchup. This will actually be the first time the Orange will play at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the NCAA Tournament. With the increase in participation and talent in division I lacrosse it is no surprise that SU and JHU haven't played in the Tournament since 2008. Here are some of the highlights:

  • As the 2nd Seed, Syracuse is 1-2 versus Hopkins in the Tournament
  • Three of the twelve Tournament games between these two have been one goal games and six of the twelve have been three goal games
  • In the quarterfinals, Syracuse is 2-0 versus Hopkins
  • When beating Hopkins, Syracuse has gone on to win the National Championship five of eight time
  • Starting in 2000, Syracuse is 4-1 against Hopkins in the NCAAT
  • Five times SU and JHU have played each other for the National Championship and SU is 3-2 in those five games

Year

Winner

Score

Round

SU Seed

Final SU Result

2008

Syracuse

13-10

Finals

3rd Seed

National Champions

2006

Syracuse

13-12

Quarterfinals

5th Seed

Runners Up

2004

Syracuse

15-9

Semifinals

4th Seed

National Champions

2003

Hopkins

8-19

Semifinals

Not Seeded

Lost in Semis

2000

Syracuse

14-12

Semifinals

1st Seed

National Champions

1992

Syracuse

21-16

Semifinals

1st Seed

Runners Up

1991

Syracuse

11-8

Quarterfinals

5th Seed

Lost in Semis

1989

Syracuse

13-12

Finals

1st Seed

National Champions

1985

Hopkins

4-11

Finals

2nd Seed

Runners Up

1984

Hopkins

10-13

Finals

2nd Seed

Runners Up

1983

Syracuse

17-16

Finals

2nd Seed

National Champions

1980

Hopkins

11-18

Semifinals

3rd Seed

Lost in Semifinals

Below are some notes on the overall rivalry:

  • The first game between the two took place on April 30, 1921 in Syracuse, NY, ending in a 4-4 tie (put those two together and its 44!)
  • Between 1930 and 1980 Hopkins went 9-0 against the Orange
  • Recently the tide has turned heavily in favor of the Orange with Syracuse going 8-1 versus Hopkins since 2008
  • The last time Hopkins beat SU was back in 2012, taking down the #6 Orange 11-7
  • There have been nine occasions in the rivalry's history where the two teams have met twice in a season (this will be the tenth) and in six of those nine seasons the teams split the season series
  • Syracuse received its first USILA #1 ranking on the week of April 9, 1983; on 19 occasions Johns Hopkins and Syracuse played against each other with at least one of them being ranked #1; thirteen times Syracuse has had the #1 ranking, five times Hopkins has had it and once they held a tie for the top spot; as the number one team in the country the Orange are 7-6 against the Blue Jays.
    • 2015 #1SU #17JHU; W 13-10
    • 2011 #1SU #9JHU; W 5-4 2OT
    • 2005 #1JHU #7SU; L 11-12 OT
    • 2004 #1JHU #4SU; W 15-9; NCAA Semis
    • 2004 #1JHU #3SU; L 5-17
    • 2003 #1JHU #6SU; L 8-19 NCAA Semis
    • 2002 #1SU #2JHU; L 8-9
    • 2001 #1SU #9JHU; L 10-11
    • 2000 #1SU #4JHU; W 14-12 NCAA semis
    • 2000 #1SU #7JHU; W 13-12
    • 1998 #1SU #6JHU; W 14-13
    • 1995 #1SU #2JHU; L 13-14 OT
    • 1994 #1SU #4JHU; L 14-19
    • 1992 #1SU #7JHU; W 21-16 NCAA Semis
    • 1990 #1SU #5JHU; W 18-10
    • 1989 #1SU #2JHU; W 13-12 NCAA Finals
    • 1985 #1SU/JHU; L 4-11 NCAA Finals
    • 1984 #1SU #2JHU; L 10-13 NCAA Finals
    • 1983 #1JHU #3SU; W 17-16 NCAA Finals
  • Since 1995 these two teams have played to three overtime games and one double overtime game; in OT games between the two, the series is tied at 2-2
  • Since 1983 there have been 17 one-goal games between Syracuse and Hopkins; two of those came in National Championship games and one in an NCAA Quarterfinals game; Nine times the two teams played to a one-goal game while one team was ranked #1
  • In 1996 Jason Gebhardt made 28 saves against Hopkins, which is tied for the sixth most in a game by a Syracuse player
  • In 2011 Brian McGill grabbed five groundballs against Hopkins, which is tied for third most in a game by a Syracuse player
  • In 1988 and again in 1989 John Zulberti had seven assists against Hopkins, which are tied for the seventh most in a game by a Syracuse player
  • The last time a team blanked Syracuse was way back in 1931 against Hopkins
  • The record for the highest save percentage of any opponent in a game in the Carrier Dome is owned by Pierce Bassett who saved .762 percent of the Syracuse shots in 2011
  • Bassett also holds the record for fewest goals allowed in a game at the Carrier Dome by an opponent by allowing just five back in 2011

The Orange will take on rival Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in Annapolis, MD, on Sunday at 12 pm. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and heard on WTKW 99.5 FM. Of course you can also follow me @Orangelax for updates throughout the game.