With college sports at a complete halt, this felt like a really good time to dive into the archives of Syracuse sports. While mostly thought of for men’s basketball, there have been some great seasons put together during the school’s history.
Here are my top 25 Syracuse sports seasons of all time, starting with the 25th through 21st best seasons. Check back in on Wednesday when we release 16 through 20!
25. 2016 men’s basketball
Are there better Syracuse men’s basketball teams out there to pick from? Absolutely. Was there ever one who managed to shock us all like this? I really don’t think so. Cardiac ‘Cuse wasn’t supposed to make the tournament that year, much less the Final Four. After losing five of its final games, nobody saw this coming from the Orange. It came to a very abrupt end against North Carolina, but it was still about as exciting and unexpected a tournament run as I can possibly think of in program history.
24. 1951 men’s cross country
Let’s go into the vault for this one. Probably one of the least known national championships in Syracuse history is the 1951 men’s cross country title. I admittedly only found it while researching for this list. ‘Cuse crushed the competition, winning by a 38-point margin over second-placed Kansas. For a frame of reference, Penn State had won the year before by only a two-point margin.
23. 2015 men’s soccer
What a run this turned out to be. After a strong 2014 season, Syracuse men’s soccer took the next step and reached the program’s only Final Four. This was an exciting team loaded with talent. Julien Buescher went 10th overall in the ensuing MLS Super Draft. Miles Robinson and Kamal Miller were both freshmen on this team, but both are now starting in MLS and have been capped for the United States and Canada respectively. Along the way, ‘Cuse reached the ACC tournament final, but ultimately lost on penalties to Clemson. It was a huge moment for the team that had been building to this point for several years.
22. 2015 women’s lacrosse
You are going to see a lot of lacrosse on this list. Far from as dominant as we have come to expect for this program, ‘Cuse struggled a bit in the regular season, finishing with a losing record in the ACC. While they were always highly ranked, it seemed like there was a gap between them and the top teams in the sport. Instead, the Orange ran the table and won the ACC tournament followed by a run to the NCAA semifinals. The season ended with a narrow loss to Maryland, but that late-season spark made it a fun team to follow.
21. 2014 field hockey
Often times, teams have one season where they start to grow into their championship potential before cashing in. 2014 was exactly that for Syracuse field hockey. ‘Cuse turned in a solid regular season and made a run to the ACC tournament final, losing to Wake Forest. The Orange built on that momentum and took down No. 1 North Carolina in the NCAA tournament semifinal. It set up Syracuse’s first trip to the national championship game. While UConn would go on to win 1-0, it set the stage for the following year and definitely created a ton of buzz around the program.
Check back in on Wednesday when we reveal our rankings for the 16th through 20th best Syracuse seasons of all time!