May 25, 2009

Division I Final - Syracuse vs. Cornell Notes

  • Syracuse has won five NCAA titles this decade (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009). Princeton had five team titles in the 1990's.

  • Syracuse played in its 15th championship game. The Orange is 10-5 in NCAA title games, having won championships in 1983, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009.

  • Syracuse has the most NCAA titles with 10.

  • Today marked the ninth overtime affair in the NCAA Championship game. Syracuse is 0-1 (Princeton 10-9 in 2001), Cornell is 1-0 (over Maryland, 16-13, in 1976) in those games.

  • The winning team in NCAA championship overtime games had led after the third quarter in the last four games. Prior to that, the team which trailed after three quarters of play won in overtime.

  • Monday's game marked the first overtime game this season for each team.

  • The last team to win a championship after trailing through three quarters was Syracuse in 1989. SU trailed Johns Hopkins 11-9 after three that year before winning, 13-12.

  • Monday marked the 18th time that a championship game has been decided by one goal. It is the sixth time since 2001.

  • Prior to Monday's game, Cornell was 12-0 when leading after three quarters this season and won 39 consecutive games when doing so.

  • Today marked the fifth time that a No. 5 seed has appeared in the championship game. The last time was 2008 when Johns Hopkins played Syracuse as the No. 5 seed with 'Cuse winning, 13-10.

  • The last No. 5 seed to win the NCAA title was North Carolina in 1986 (over No. 3 Virginia, 10-9).

  • Teams leading at halftime are 29-8 all-time in Division I championship games. Prior to today's game, the last team to win the national championship when trailing at the half was Johns Hopkins in 2005. JHU trailed Duke 7-6 at halftime.

  • Syracuse was 0-5 when trailing at halftime in championship games prior to Monday's victory over Cornell.

  • Syracuse won back-to-back NCAA titles at the same location, becoming the first team since Princeton in 1996-97 when the Tigers won consecutive titles in games played in Maryland.

  • Syracuse improves to 4-0 all-time at Gillette Stadium and 3-1 at neutral sites this season.

  • Syracuse is the first team to defend a national title since Princeton in 1997-98.

  • Syracuse tied a school record for wins (16). It accomplished the feat in 2009 and 1922.

  • Syracuse is 2-1 against Cornell in the NCAA tournament. The teams met in the 1988 final, a 13-8 Syracuse win, and in the 1987 semifinals, an 18-15 Cornell win.

  • Monday marked the first meeting of intrastate rivals in the title game since the same teams met in 1988, a 13-8 SU win. According to Google Maps, the teams' home fields are separated by a 54.1-mile drive.

  • 1979 marked the last time that the championship game was played between two teams located so closely to each other. Johns Hopkins played Maryland that season. Those campuses are located 34.9 miles from each other.

  • Syracuse had not trailed in the NCAA this season prior to Monday's game.

  • The No. 2 overall seed is 12-10 in NCAA championship games while the No. 5 is 1-4 in title games.

  • Syracuse improves to 15-3 as the tournament's No. 2 seed. The Orange won championships in 1983, 2002 and 2009 as the No. 2 seed.

  • Cornell is 11-3 when leading at the half following Monday's game.

  • Syracuse was 0-1 when trailing at the half (Princeton).

  • Syracuse leads the all-time series against Cornell, 60-33-1.

  • The Big Red is 3-4 in NCAA finals, having won titles in 1971, 1976 and 1977. Cornell last reached the championship game in 1988, defeating Virginia for the chance to play Syracuse.

  • Syracuse made its seventh final appearance since 1999 and its second straight.

  • Syracuse improves its nation's-best NCAA Championship winning percentage to .763 (58-18). Its 58 wins are second all-time in tournament play to Johns Hopkins' 63.

  • John Desko improves to 27-5 all-time in NCAA tournament play. His .844 tournament win percentage is the highest among coaches who have coached at least 10 tournament games.

  • Cornell's six first half goals on Monday marked a season-high allowed by Syracuse this season.

  • Syracuse scored in double figures for the 16th time in 18 games this season and improved to 15-1 when scoring 10 or more goals. The Orange improved to 12-0 when allowing fewer than 10 goals.

  • Syracuse won its ninth straight game and ended Cornell's four-game win streak.

  • Syracuse's Stephen Keogh's two goals gave him 49 on the season, tying him for seventh on the team's single-season list.

  • Syracuse's Cody Jamieson scored eight of his nine goals this season in the NCAA Tournament. He became the fifth different SU player to record at least two game-winning goals.

  • The attendance for Saturday's Division I semifinal games were 36,594. It was the seventh-highest total for an NCAA semifinal round.

  • The attendance for Monday's championship game was 41,935. It was the sixth-highest total for an NCAA title game.

  • Cornell was the first Ivy League team to advance to the NCAA Championship final since Princeton in 2002.

  • Cornell is 27-19 (.587) in 22 NCAA tournament appearances.

  • Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni reached the NCAA final for the first time in his nine-year tenure. His NCAA coaching record is to 9-7 (.563) in seven tournament appearances.

  • Cornell held Syracuse scoreless for 16 minutes and 51 second. The Big Red has held all four of its tournament opponents scoreless for at least that long, holding Virginia scoreless for 17 minutes, 32 seconds, Princeton without a goal for 27:58 in the quarterfinals and keeping Hofstra goalless for 19:37 in the first round.

  • Cornell's Ryan Hurley notched a point for the 32nd straight game.

  • Cornell has had one player with at least a hat trick in each of its seven championship game appearances (John Glynn in 2009).

  • Cornell's Rob Pannell had one assist to give him 42 on the season - good for seventh on the Big Red's all-time list.

    Division I Final - Syracuse Coach Quotes
    Head Coach John Desko

    Opening Statement
    "I'm a little bit at a loss for words. I can't tell you how happy I am for our group. I'm excited they've won the school's 11th national championship. It wasn't easy. I feel like we played for about three minutes at the end and I still have to go back and watch the film to see what happened. I know that Danny Hardy made a great play at the last goal and Cody (Jamieson) made a great goal to give us our 11th national championship.

    I really have to congratulate Cornell. I've had a chance to watch them in the playoffs now. They've really played unbelievable going down the stretch. They've been extremely well-coached; their players have really understood what the coaches' game plan is. They possess the ball for minutes at a time, ending up with good shots. They play great defense, their goalie has played well. My hat's off to them, they certainly played well today and had a chance to win the game."

    On the late timeout down three goals:
    "We had to cover a lot of things. First of all, we needed a goal there, so we had to set up the offense. We had to set up an offense for zone defense, we had to set up an offense for man-to-man defense. We had to tell our guys if we did lose it, we had to get back and stop the fast break and we had to pressure. We had to get our goalie ready to come out and double-team the ball. I don't always like the TV timeouts, because we're used to the regular season and having 60 seconds. We're probably fortunate that it was a TV timeout, because we were able to get an extra minute or two to set things up on the offensive end and the defensive end."

    On Cornell forcing tempo for much of the game
    That's how they've been playing. They've been playing very well, it's a great game plan for their personnel and what they do. We had talked to our guys all about it and said that when we get the ball at the offensive end of the field, you've got to understand how the game is going. If they've had the ball at their offensive end, we've been playing a lot of defense. We get it at our end, if it's a fast break, we're going to take it, but if not, we need to get the ball around, settle it down, get comfortable and rest our defense at the other end of the field. For three periods, we thought we could get some quick goals, and we kind of played right into their hands."

    Division I Final - Syracuse Athlete Quotes

    Kenny Nims (Most Outstanding Player)

    On Syracuse's comeback in the fourth quarter:
    To be honest, I never did think we were going to lose. Our guys never give up. Starting last year, we made a commitment to ourselves to work hard on and off the field. We became a lot more disciplined and it's been showing the past two seasons. Never count us out. We made some mistakes here and there, but worked hard to get the ball back and come out on top.

    On playing well on Memorial Day:
    This is our time of year. Simply put. This is why we go to Syracuse. The tradition of our program is extremely rich. This is what we've been waiting for all year and this is our time.

    Cody Jamieson

    On scoring the game-winning goal:
    I don't really remember too much of it. I think it was an unsettled situation. Dan (Hardy) got the ball in a shooting situation and wound up. Dan is a guy you have to defend, so my guy slid up and Dan found me open in front of the crease and I just took a shot.

    On rejoining the team after missing most of the season:
    There were definitely nights looking at your ceiling wondering if it was going to happen. So I leaned on my family and friends and hoped it would happen. I practiced every day with the team and I still felt like I was part of the team. They didn't make me feel like I wasn't a part of the team and it's a great feeling right now.

    Division I Final - Cornell Coach Quotes
    Head Coach Jeff Tambroni

    Opening Statements
    The most difficult thing of our profession is that one day you wake up and you know that these guys to my right, John Glynn and Max Seibald, won't be representing Cornell lacrosse as an active member of our team and they'll no longer be spending each and everyday heading to work and being with that group of seniors. We have to tip our hats to Syracuse today. They played great and showed a lot of poise at the end of that game. They certainly played like a team that has been here before. At the same time, I could not be more proud of the effort that a group of guys, who didn't seem to get a whole lot of credit coming here, that battled through two pretty tough lacrosse games and almost pulled this one off.

    Division I Final - Cornell Athlete Quotes

    Senior midfielder Max Seibold

    On Syracuse's tying goal
    "We had an opportunity to clear the ball, and I picked the ball up off the end line and passed it up. I probably should have just ran it out myself. I'll probably never forget that. I just passed the ball up, and Syracuse just rode hard. They got an opportunity. They worked hard for it, and they got it. They pushed the ball down the field and got a shot on cage, and at that point in the game anything can happen. Give them credit for not giving up and getting one in."

    On the emotion of coming so close to winning the championship
    "Four seconds away ... It seems to be a number that haunts us. When we sophomores, that was the number on the board when Duke scored on us. That makes it even tougher for us. For the seniors we've worked so hard the past four years, and for the rest of the team, throughout the entire year, we've put so much into it, and it meant so much to us. For no one believing in us and us coming out and doing what we did and having control of this one until the end, that's why we play the game. We love each other. There's a lot of emotion in that locker room right now. I'm proud of every one of them, and I wouldn't trade this group of guys for a national championship. The experience I've had with these guys for the last four years and this last year, I wouldn't trade it for a ring."

    Senior midfielder John Glynn

    On Syracuse's tying goal
    "The Syracuse players made a great play, and they deserved it at the end there, the way they rode that ball back. They've been doing that all season. We've watched a lot of film of those guys, and the game wasn't over until it was over. They proved that today."

    On the difference in the Cornell offense in the first and second halves
    "In the first half, we kept it moving. We knew that Syracuse was going to come out and try to take the ball from us and try to get us out of our rhythm of just holding the ball, kind of settling into our offense. We handled that first wave of pressure coming, and that kind of settled them back, let us do what we wanted to do and kind of settle into our offense and run the plays we wanted. In the second half, once we got a two-goal lead and maintained that two-goal lead for a long time, we got out of that groove and let Syracuse push back on us. We weren't attacking as much. We just got away from that offense that was successful for us in the first half, and too much holding back with the ball. It bit us in the butt.

    On the play of defender Matt Moyer
    "He's been playing like that for us all season. A guy who has two torn meniscuses, it's remarkable. He comes out on the weekends and fits right in with our defense. He's the leader in that end, and he was sorely missed that one game. We missed him a lot, and when he comes back into our lineup, it's just a totally different defense. The way he's been communicating and just leading our defense in the last two games, holding Virginia to six and Syracuse to 10 ... He's been a first-team All-American all season for us. He's just a great player, a great competitor and a great teammate. I know me and Max are going to miss him a lot.

    Division I Championship All-Tournament Team

    All Tournament Team

    Matt AbbottSyracuse Senior Midfield
    John Glynn Cornell Senior Midfield
    Ryan Hurley Cornell Junior Attack
    Cody Jamieson Syracuse Junior Attack
    Matt Moyer Cornell Senior Defense
    Kenny Nims Syracuse Senior Attack
    Rob Pannell Cornell Freshman Attack
    Pat Perritt Syracuse Senior Midfield
    Max Seibald Cornell Senior Midfield
    Joel White Syracuse Sophomore long stick midfield
    Most Outstanding Player   
    Kenny Nims Syracuse Senior Attack