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SU Top 100: #20 Paul Gait

1989 may have been the peak of Syracuse lacrosse. In ’88, Syracuse went undefeated en route to a national championship. When the NCAA tournament came around the following season, SU had just one blemish on their record.

The Orange took care of Navy and blew through Maryland 18-8 to land themselves in the national championship game once again. Gary Gait scored five goals against the Terrapins in the semifinals, and he was the talk of the lacrosse world. But while the world-class Johns Hopkins defense keyed in on Gary in the national championship game, they were leaving one of the greatest players in NCAA lacrosse history with extra room to operate.

Paul Gait scored 19 seconds into the game.

He finished with four goals, twice what his brother Gary had.

The Orange were champions for a second straight year. They defeated the Blue Jays 13-12 in front of nearly 24,000 fans at Homewood Field in Baltimore. Paul was named MVP of the 1989 tournament.

The Canadian twin brothers from Victoria would lead Syracuse to a third consecutive national championship in 1990. The Gait brothers were almost unfair, and John Zulberti was a great third wheel. The run from ’87-’90 was historically dominant, and Paul was USILA First Team All-American each year, recording over 60 points.

Unfortunately, the 1990 national championship was vacated due to a car loan faux pas involving Paul Gait and the legendary Simmons family.

After leaving Syracuse, Paul’s legend only grew. Over his 13 year pro career in various organizations, he won nine championships. He led the NLL in scoring four times. He was an eight time first team all-pro. He was MVP in 2002.

In 2005, Paul was inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame alongside his brother. It’s only fitting- his twin brother Gary is the only lacrosse player who could ever compare with Paul’s offensive genius.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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