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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
|YEAR||CHAMPION||COACH||SCORE||RUNNER-UP||HOST OR SITE|
|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.