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Syracuse Men's Lacrosse: A Johns Hopkins Rivalry Primer

The Syracuse Orange travel to Baltimore on Saturday to face Johns Hopkins. This is a rivalry game were records don't matter and history runs deep.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It's Friday morning, but not just any Friday morning. You're sitting at your desk, hung over from St. Paddy's day, trying to figure out if it was the fourth or fifth Irish car bomb that was the mistake. You're hoping that the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from Dunks you scarfed down on the way to work will soak up the alcohol as quickly as possible as you surf the internet idly waiting for the 12:15 tip off.

I get it. I spent some time living in Ireland, so yeah, I really get it. So why don't we put that time to good use and get you ready for the biggest game of the week with a brief overview of Syracuse and Johns Hopkins.

When the Syracuse Orange take on the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays on Saturday, it will be the first time this season that SU has faced a top 10 opponent. Although the Jays are 3-2 overall, the squad has won its last two games over Princeton and Towson. It is just the 55th matchup between these two programs but it is a dual that dates back to 1921 when the SU tied JHU 4-4.

Heading into the 1986 season, Syracuse and Johns Hopkins had faced off in the previous three National Championship games with the Jays compiling a 12-2-1 all-time record against the ‘Cuse. The Orange won that 1986 game and the following two. But it was in the 1989 season that the rivalry was truly born. Syracuse fell to Hopkins 13-14 in the 1989 regular season game, setting up an epic National Championship rematch. That Championship game was special for numerous reasons. In a way, it marked the beginning of the modern era of lacrosse. Not only was it broadcasted on national television, that year's attendance was the largest ever at the time with 23,893 in attendance. The rosters that year were littered with program record holders on both sides. Gary and Paul Gait led the Orange. Throughout the contest, Gary lined up against Dave Pietramala (the current JHU Head Coach) and the battle that ensued is still a must watch. The full game is available on youtube in eight segments, and I highly recommend it.

Since the inaugural NCAA Tournament, the two programs have combined to win 20 National Championships and have made a total of 35 appearances in the National Title game. In recent years, SU has owned the rivalry, compiling an 8-2 record since 2008, including a double overtime 5-4 win 2011. The veterans on this Syracuse team may have a little extra motivation on Saturday as I am sure they have not forgotten last season's 15-16 loss to the Jays in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals. While each has its own storied history, when these programs collide it makes for intense, nail-biting lacrosse.

I've put together a side-by-side comparison for the 2016 season, and below that are a few tweets with some good links. Enjoy, and I hope that headache goes away sooner rather than later.

Johns Hopkins

Syracuse

Record

3-2

5-0

Media Poll

#8

#3

Coaches' Poll

#8

#3

RPI

#9

#4

SOS

#11

#17

Best Win

Towson

Albany

Top Goal Scorer

Ryan Brown (15)

Nick Mariano (11)

Top Assist Scorer

Shack Stanwick (17)

Dylan Donahue (15)

Top Point Scorer

Shack Stanwick (26)

Dylan Donahue (25)

Faceoff Win %

.571

.718

Groundballs

147

178

Caused Turnovers

16

45

Clearing %

.833

.947

Turnovers

66

67

Shots

62

215

Shots on Goal

201

72

SOG %

.308

.586

Extra-Man Opportunities

9-15

12-19

Goals Allowed Per Game

10

7.40

Goals Per Game

12.40

14.40

Save %

.525

.515

Goals Against Average

9.58

7.33