Paul Gait Went Off in 1989 National Championship
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Paul Gait Went Off in 1989 National Championship

The year was 1989 and for the second-straight NCAA National Championship, Syracuse and the Gait brothers were on top of the world. The Orange had just blew the doors off Maryland the Saturday before, 18-8, drawing the first-ever crowd over 20,000 to the NCAA men’s lacrosse semis (20,615). Then it was time to take on the Johns Hopkins Bluejays on Championship Monday. Catching all attention, the matchup between defensive nightmare Dave Pietramala and the long-poles against offensive phenom Gary Gait was all any lacrosse nut could talk about. With all eyes on Gary, star of the semi-finals, it was brother Paul Gait ready to etch another chapter of his story into lacrosse history.

The Hopkins defense was backed by Quint Kessenich between the irons, building a reputation as one of the best net-minders in the game. The terrifying factor about his opponents were their depth on the offensive end, not just at attack, but with the Gaits helping to wreak havoc through the midfield and threatening wicked outside shots, the Jays were beyond spread thin. While Kessenich made 17 saves that game, four of them mailed in from Paul weren’t get returned.

You’re about to witness a glimpse of Paul Gait’s historic performance that wound up earning him the title of the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the W.H. Brine Award for top player in the DI title game.

It only takes 19 seconds for #19 to get rolling. Fasten up.

Paul Gait 1989 National Championship Highlights

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