PISCATAWAY, N.J., MAY 28 -- Syracuse Coach Roy Simmons Jr. thinks this season's team may well be the best yet.
Syracuse beat Loyola (Md.), 21-9, today for its third consecutive NCAA title and 27th straight win, but Simmons said the Orangemen (13-0) may be remembered more for their style than their many trophies.
"You've seen lacrosse history out there," said Simmons, who is the first Division I coach to win four NCAA lacrosse titles. He also won in 1983, '88 and '89.
"It's been good for Syracuse and good for the game of lacrosse and I think it will have a ripple effect on the way the game is played from here on."
Most of that explosive, crowd-pleasing form was provided by senior midfielders Gary and Paul Gait. The twins displayed a variety of moves, including behind-the-back shots and passes that drew gasps from the crowd of 19,015 at Rutgers Stadium.
"I don't know if this was my best year, but this is the best team I've ever played on," said Gary Gait, who had five goals and three assists. He set an NCAA tournament record for goals with 15, bettering his mark of 14 set in 1988. He missed by one tying the NCAA career goal record of 193 held by North Carolina State's Stan Cockerton.
"I think everyone could see today that this team is a lot more than just Gary and I," said Paul Gait, who had three goals and three assists.
The Gaits, who were all-Americans as sophomores and juniors, combined for 319 goals and 146 assists during their careers.
Loyola (11-3), making its first appearance in an NCAA lacrosse final, briefly kept it close. Trailing by 3-2 going into the second period, Loyola tied the game at 1:02 on an unassisted power-play goal by Kevin Beach. Thirteen seconds later, Jim Egan took a pass from Tom Marechek and scored, giving Syracuse the lead for good.
"They're a great team who had too many horses for us," said Greyhounds Coach Dave Cottle. "Our kids played their hearts out and lost to a better team."