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Michella Chester | | May 30, 2022

College lacrosse teams with the most national championships

Maryland takes down Princeton to continue undefeated run to title game

Cornell won the first men's lacrosse national championship when the Big Red took down Maryland 12-6 in 1971. Since that inaugural NCAA DI men's lacrosse national championship game, 11 teams have won a national title. Maryland won the most recent title, beating Cornell in the 2022 final.

Let's take a look at the eight teams that have won at least two national championships: 

Men's college lacrosse history: Programs with the most national championships

1. Syracuse — 10 

Larry French | NCAA Photos Syracuse 2009 champMembers of the Syracuse University Men's Lacrosse team celebrate after defeating Cornell at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. Syracuse defeated Cornell 10-9 in overtime for the national title.

Championships: 1983, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009

Syracuse has been a commanding force in men's college lacrosse for many years. The program took home its first title in 1983, and then dominated for three straight years from 1988-1990. Twin brothers Paul and Gary Gait played for the Orange and set numerous records and popularized behind-the-back passing and scoring. Syracuse won the 1990 championship that was later vacated because of NCAA violations. The last championship came in 2009, but the Orange was national runner-up in 2013 to Duke. 

2. Johns Hopkins — 9

Larry French | NCAA Photos Johns Hopkins championshipJohns Hopkins defenseman Ben O'Neill (with trophy) celebrates with his teammates after defeating Duke 12-11in the 2007 championship at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD.

Championships: 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2005, 2007 

While Johns Hopkins is a decorated program with nine national championships, it hasn't taken home the title in the past decade. The Blue Jays took home the 2007 championship and then lost in the 2008 title game to Syracuse, 13-10. 

3. Virginia — 7

Larry French | NCAA Photos Virginia national champThe Virginia Cavaliers players celebrate afterdefeating Yale 13-9 in the national championship held at Lincoln Financial Field.

Championships: 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2019, 2021

The most recent national champions are tied for third with six total national titles. In the 2019 NCAA tournament, it took the Cavaliers two overtimes in the national semifinal game to advance to the championship, but just 60 minutes to capture the title. Virginia goalkeeper Alex Rode had 13 saves and was named the championship most outstanding player. 

4. Princeton — 6 

Larry French | NCAA Photos Princeton National ChampionshipRob Torti (1) of Princeton University held the championship trophy over his head after his team defeated Syracuse University 10-9 in the 2001 championship held at The Rutgers Stadium.

Championships: 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 

Princeton is another program that has not been in the championship mix in recent years, and its last NCAA tournament appearance was in 2012. The Tigers did, however, win five national championships in seven years and three in a row from 1996-1998 under head coach Bill Tierney. 

5. North Carolina — 5

Larry French | NCAA Photos UNC national championshipUNC players celebrate their 15-14 overtime win over Maryland during the national championship held at Lincoln Financial Field.

Championships: 1981, 1982, 1986, 1991, 2016

The Tar Heels' last championship came in a memorable way. Not only did they beat Maryland in overtime, but they were unseeded that year. Only seven unseeded teams have made it to the championship game, and UNC was the last to do it. And they did it on the 25th anniversary of their last title in 1991. 

6. Maryland — 4

Maryland men's lacrosse won the 2022 national championship

Championships: 1973, 1975, 2017, 2022

The Terrapins took home the title in 2017 after 42 years and nine championship game losses. They defeated Ohio State 9-6, and Tim Rotanz led with a hat trick. Matt Rambo and Connor Kelly led the Terrapins in that year that brought the title back home to Maryland after a long, long drought. Maryland had a shorter wait for their next championship, toppling Cornell in the final to complete a perfect 18-0 season in 2022. 

7 (tie). Duke — 3

Larry French | NCAA Photos Duke championshipMyles Jones of Duke University celebrates their 11-9 victory over Notre Dame for the national championship at M&T Bank Stadium.

Championships: 2010, 2013, 2014

The Blue Devils have been a college lacrosse power in this last decade, with their three championships all coming since 2010. Their last championship came against Notre Dame where they won a second consecutive lacrosse title and third in five seasons. Jordan Wolf led the Blue Devils with six points.

7 (tie). Cornell — 3

Cornell 19771977 Cornell men's lacrosse championship team

Championships: 1971, 1976, 1977

Cornell won all three of their championships in the 1970s. But, they have still continued to be a strong college lacrosse program. The Big Red were the national runner-up in 2009. 

National champions from 1971 to now

2022 Maryland (18-0) John Tillman 9-7 Cornell East Hartford, Conn.
2021 Virginia (14-4) Lars Tiffany 17-16 Maryland East Hartford, Conn.
2020 Canceled due to COVID-19 -- -- -- --
2019 Virginia (17-3) Lars Tiffany 13-9 Yale Philadelphia, Pa.
2018 Yale (17-3) Andy Shay 13-11 Duke Foxborough, Mass.
2017 Maryland (16-3) John Tillman 9-6 Ohio State Foxborough, Mass.
2016 North Carolina (12-6) Joe Breschi 14-13 (ot) Maryland Philadelphia
2015 Denver (17-2) Bill Tierney 10-5 Maryland Philadelphia
2014 Duke (17-3) John Danowski 11-9 Notre Dame Baltimore
2013 Duke (16-5) John Danowski 16-10 Syracuse Philadelphia
2012 Loyola (Md.) (18-1) Charley Toomey 9-3 Maryland Foxborough, Mass.
2011 Virginia (13-5) Dom Starsia 9-7 Maryland Baltimore
2010 Duke (16-4) John Danowski 6-5 (ot) Notre Dame Baltimore
2009 Syracuse (16-2) John Desko 10-9 (ot) Cornell Boston
2008 Syracuse (16-2) John Desko 13-10 Johns Hopkins Boston
2007 Johns Hopkins (13-4) Dave Pietramala 12-11 Duke Baltimore
2006 Virginia (17-0) Dom Starsia 15-7 Massachusetts Philadelphia
2005 Johns Hopkins (16-0) Dave Pietramala 9-8 Duke Philadelphia
2004 Syracuse (15-2) John Desko 14-13 Navy Baltimore
2003 Virginia (15-2) Dom Starsia 9-7 Johns Hopkins Baltimore
2002 Syracuse (15-2) John Desko 13-12 Princeton Rutgers
2001 Princeton (14-1) Bill Tierney 10-9 (ot) Syracuse Rutgers
2000 Syracuse (15-1) John Desko 13-7 Princeton Maryland
1999 Virginia (13-3) Dom Starsia 12-10 Syracuse Maryland
1998 Princeton (14-1) Bill Tierney 15-5 Maryland Rutgers
1997 Princeton (16-0) Bill Tierney 19-7 Maryland Maryland
1996 Princeton (14-1) Bill Tierney 13-12 (ot) Virginia Maryland
1995 Syracuse (13-2) Roy Simmons Jr. 13-9 Maryland Maryland
1994 Princeton (14-1) Bill Tierney 9-8 (ot) Virginia Maryland
1993 Syracuse (12-2) Roy Simmons Jr. 13-12 North Carolina Maryland
1992 Princeton (13-2) Bill Tierney 10-9 (2ot) Syracuse Penn
1991 North Carolina (16-0) Dave Klarmann 18-13 Towson Syracuse
1990 Syracuse* (13-0) Roy Simmons Jr. 21-9 Loyola Maryland Rutgers
1989 Syracuse (14-1) Roy Simmons Jr. 13-12 Johns Hopkins Maryland
1988 Syracuse (15-0) Roy Simmons Jr. 13-8 Cornell Syracuse
1987 Johns Hopkins (10-3) Don Zimmerman 11-10 Cornell Rutgers
1986 North Carolina (11-3) Willie Scroggs 10-9 (ot) Virginia Delaware
1985 Johns Hopkins (13-1) Don Zimmerman 11-4 Syracuse Brown
1984 Johns Hopkins (14-0) Don Zimmerman 13-10 Syracuse Delaware
1983 Syracuse (14-1) Roy Simmons Jr. 17-16 Johns Hopkins Rutgers
1982 North Carolina (14-0) Willie Scroggs 7-5 Johns Hopkins Virginia
1981 North Carolina (12-0) Willie Scroggs 14-13 Johns Hopkins Princeton
1980 Johns Hopkins (14-1) Henry Ciccarone 9-8 (2ot) Virginia Cornell
1979 Johns Hopkins (13-0) Henry Ciccarone 15-9 Maryland Maryland
1978 Johns Hopkins (13-1) Henry Ciccarone 13-8 Cornell Rutgers
1977 Cornell (13-0) Richie Moran 16-8 Johns Hopkins Virginia
1976 Cornell (16-0) Richie Moran 16-13 (ot) Maryland Brown
1975 Maryland (11-3) Bud Beardmore 20-13 Navy Johns Hopkins
1974 Johns Hopkins (12-2) Bob Scott 17-12 Maryland Rutgers
1973 Maryland (14-1) Bud Beardmore 10-9 (2ot) Johns Hopkins Penn
1972 Virginia (11-4) Glenn Thiel 13-12 Johns Hopkins Maryland
1971 Cornell (13-1) Richie Moran 12-6 Maryland Hofstra

*After the 1990 championship, the NCAA Committee on Infractions determined that Paul Gait had played in the 1990 championship while ineligible. Under NCAA rules, Syracuse and Paul Gait's records for that championship were vacated. The NCAA does not recognize Syracuse and coach Roy Simmons Jr.'s 3-0 record, and Paul Gait's 7 goals, 7 assists and his participation in that championship.

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