1981 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship
|1981 NCAA Division I Men's
|Finals site||Princeton University|
|Champions||North Carolina (1st title)|
|MOP||Jeff Cook, Attack, Johns Hopkins|
The 1981 Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship game was played at Princeton University in front of 13,943 fans. North Carolina capped off a 12 and 0 season with its first-ever NCAA championship, as they defeated previously unbeaten Johns Hopkins, 14 to 13.
North Carolina scored five goals in the fourth quarter to defeat Johns Hopkins in a come-from-behind victory from a late three goal deficit, which snapped a three-year winning streak by Johns Hopkins. Hopkins had finished first or second in eight of the 11 NCAA championships, and had been on a 22-game unbeaten streak. The title was North Carolina’s first in lacrosse.
The Tar Heels were led by coach Willie Scroggs, former Johns Hopkins' top assistant coach. North Carolina had been ranked number two in the USILA poll behind three-time defending national champion Johns Hopkins entering the tournament. Scroggs who played midfield at Hopkins, turned the Tar Heels into national champions after only three seasons as coach.
Annapolis native Michael Burnett was selected USILA first team All-America. The University of North Carolina's leading scorer, Burnett a sophomore, was among the first of a group of high profile Maryland players recruited by Willie Scroggs to North Carolina as the school quickly built its program into a national power. For Hopkins, the prior four-year period included 53 wins against three losses, to go with three national championships. During this stretch, the Blue Jays won a record 11 straight NCAA tournament games, a record later tied by Syracuse. National Player of the Year Jeff Cook scored six goals for Hopkins.
Tournament Finals - May 30, 1981
Tournament Semi-Finals - May 23, 1981
Tournament First Round
Tournament outstanding players
- Jeff Cook, Attack, Johns Hopkins, tournament Most Outstanding Player
|Mike Burnett, North Carolina||3||9||6||15|
|Jeff Cook, Johns Hopkins||3||8||4||12|
|Syd Abernathy, Navy||2||7||3||10|
|Brendan Schneck, Johns Hopkins||3||6||4||10|
|Jim Zaffuto, Johns Hopkins||3||9||0||9|
|Jeff Homire, North Carolina||3||7||1||8|
- "NCAA Lacrosse Division I Results / Records" (pdf). NCAA. p. 3 (51). Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Looney, Douglas S. (June 8, 1981). "The Heels Get Their Feet In The Door". sportsillustrated.
- Associated Press. First team All-Americas. The Capital. June 4, 1981. pg. 23
- Associated Press. Coach Scroggs keeps his promise at UNC. The Capital. June 1, 1981. pg. 17