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On This Day In History | 1999

May 31, 2017
1999 Virginia Lacrosse

Virginia after claiming the 1999 title

On this day 18 years ago, Derek Kenney ’98 led the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team to a 12-10 victory over Syracuse University in the National Championship.

The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead and held a 9-4 advantage heading into the fourth quarter, when the Orangemen showed their own championship mettle. Syracuse reeled off five straight goals to trail 10-9 with 3:36 left, but Connor Gill scored and assisted on goals 21 seconds apart to seal Virginia’s first title since 1972.

Kenney, the first starting keeper at UVA since 1979, closed a brilliant tournament with 12 saves, an impressive follow-up to his career-high 15 saves in a 16-11 semifinal win over Johns Hopkins. During the three games of the NCAA tournament, Kenney registered more saves (40) than goals allowed (31), earning him a place on the All-Tournament Team. Additionally, be became just the 6th freshman goalie to start for a National Championship team and the first since 1987.

Liam Banks ’98, another former Bear, was on the losing end that day, but he and the Orangemen would get redemption one year later by beating Princeton, 13-7, in the championship. Banks would tie the championship game record with 6 goals and earn MVP honors.

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Virginia

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