Syracuse lacrosse is again ranked #1 in the country and primed for a third title run in four years, begging the question is the 2011 class the greatest class in Orange lax history? When you own 11 National Championships, 16 four-time All-Americans and some of the greatest players in the history of the sport including Jim Brown, the Gaits and Powells, that’s a huge statement. But it might be true.
With all the history of SU lax, the accomplishments of this graduating class are even more impressive. The victory over top-ranked Notre Dame Saturday meant this group set the record for most wins ever by a class with 58 (breaking the record held by the ’86 class) and reclaiming the #1 ranking in the polls.
- Listen to the FizzCast: SU’s statement against ND
This group of seniors has compiled an insane 58-7 record that includes two National Championships and an excellent chance to add a third. Joel White, John Galloway and John Lade were all first-team All-Americans last season and a near certainty more Orange will make that list this year. But is that enough to make this class the greatest of all-time?
One thing this group lacks is a dominant offensive player and transcendent star that’s been a trademark of Syracuse lacrosse forever. There’s no offensive superstars like the Gaits, Powells, or Mike Leveille. However, Class of ’11 has compensated for it with great defensive players like Lade and White and a superstar goalie in Galloway.
Plus, there’s stiff competition for “Greatest Class” at SU. The seniors of ’90, won three National Championships (the ’90 title was later vacated) and featured 4-time All-American Gary Gait. The ’95 edition won two titles and featured multiple 4-time All-Americans, Ric Beardsley and Roy Colsey. The ’04 class also won two Final Fours and had 4-time All-American and two-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner Mikey Powell. The ’09 class won multiple titles, but also missed the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
Already this year’s class has to rank 3rd all-time, behind 1990 and 2004, but ahead of the 1995. The ’90 team has three titles and changed the game of lacrosse (“Air Gait”). The ’04 class had one of the greatest players of all-time in Mikey Powell. But if the seniors can find a way to raise their third National Championship Trophy in Baltimore on Memorial Day, they could vault to the top as Syracuse’s “Greatest Class Ever.”
Posted: Alex Plavin