The Best Lacrosse Team in the History of History Tournament: (10) 1981 Johns Hopkins at (7) 1979 Johns Hopkins

It's Johns Hopkins against Johns Hopkins. Brother against brother (or nothing at all like that).

To the truncated profiles! (There's a poll at the end for you to cast your vote.)

(10) 1981 Johns Hopkins

Details of Incredible Importance

Record: 13-1
Tournament Seed: 1
National Champion?: Doh!
Four Really Important Names: Brendan Schneck (M); Jeff Cook (A); Dave Black (D); Lance Schneck (D)
Hall of Famers: One -- Brendan Schneck
All-Americans: Six -- Jeff Cook, Brendan Schneck (First Team); Lance Schneck (Second Team); Henry Ciccarone (Third Team); Dave Black, Brian Holman (Honorable Mention)
Scoring Margin per Game: 8.93

Brief Notes For/Against

  • The biggest difference between the 1981 Johns Hopkins team and the three teams that preceded it (all national champions) was that the 1981 iteration of the Jays wasn't quite the defensive force that Hopkins had prior. While the team's overall scoring margin per game value is strong, it was built (in part) on beating up some lesser teams: Against teams ranked in the top-15, Hopkins held only a 5.00 scoring margin (that isn't terrible by any stretch, but it's not quite the value that some of these other clubs put together in this little exercise). Things were even tighter in the tournament for the Jays, as they -- in the aggregate -- held only a 2.67 scoring margin per game mark and dropped the title game to North Carolina, 13-14. This had the look and feel of a team that could rush through the nation -- and if it had, it'd probably have a top-eight seed in this best of the best tournament -- but a fourth quarter in which it yielded five goals to the Heels ultimately sunk that opportunity. The best teams don't bonk like that at the moment of complete pressure; Hopkins has nothing to feel bad about with respect to its 1981 season, it just seems incomplete.

(7) 1979 Johns Hopkins

Details of Incredible Importance

Record: 13-0
Tournament Seed: 1
National Champion?: National champion
Four Really Important Names: Dave Huntley (M); Mark Greenberg (D); Mike Federico (G); Dave Black (D)
Hall of Famers: Three -- Mike Federico; Mark Greenberg; Dave Huntley
All-Americans: 10 -- Dave Huntley, Scott Baugher, Mark Greenberg, Mike Federico (First Team); Dave Black (Second Team); Ned Radebaugh (Third Team); Jeff Harris, Wayne Davis, Curt Ahrendsen, Leroy Katz (Honorable Mention)
Scoring Margin per Game: 8.31

Brief Notes For/Against

  • Just a horse of a team that was a pivot point in back-to-back-to-back national championships for the Jays. The Jays didn't score less than 12 goals in any of their games and on all but two occasions -- against second-ranked Maryland in the regular season and fifth-ranked Navy -- held their opponents under 10 tallies (in five games, opponents were held to six goals or fewer). Against their strongest competition (teams ranked within the top-15 of the nation), Hopkins was stellar, holding a 7.11 scoring margin per game average (including a 9.67 mark in its three NCAA Tournament games against eighth-seeded N.C. State (20-6), fourth-seeded Virginia (16-7), and second-seeded Maryland (15-9)). The Jays were seriously tested only once during the year, a 13-12 defeat of the Terrapins at College Park in late-April. By the end of the 1979 season, Johns Hopkins had won 20 games in a row and wouldn't lose again until a 9-12 defeat at the hands of Virginia (the team to which the Jays would drop in the NCAA title game in 1980).
  • Johns Hopkins put 10 -- 10! -- on the All-America list in 1979. Considering how good Maryland and Cornell had been during this era, the Jays' placement of so many players onto the list shows how dominate the team was during the year. Throw in one of the best coaches ever patrolling the sidelines for Johns Hopkins -- Henry Ciccarone -- and this Hopkins teams stacks up to any that ever existed.

So, who are you taking: 1981 Johns Hopkins or 1979 Johns Hopkins? Back up your expression of freedom in the comments, homeslice.

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