Orange fans take no pleasure in knowing Maryland's lacrosse players are daydreaming about the Syracuse-less road ahead for them. SU should still be directly in the Terrapins' path back to glory, instead of making room for them.
Though I suppose if we had to bow out early, of all the choices of teams to beat us, Army might have been the best one.
Not because they're an amazing program or because I expect them to win the National Title. Instead, it's because once their season ends, Army's seniors are in for a much different next step than most other lacrosse players.
Army’s seniors, or "firsties," will soon head for more perilous assignments. Tyler Seymour plans to fly helicopters. Andrew Maisano, a systems engineering major with a 4.0 average, is enrolling in the rigorous Sapper Leader Course for explosives. It seems a long way from this bullet-fast game on green fields, but players say it’s not at all.
The conditioning, discipline, and focus on detail, teamwork and leadership helped Army do more with less, the coaches and players say. And Tyler Oates, a senior who plans to attend Airborne and Ranger training before heading, he assumes, to Afghanistan, said West Point’s training for war was just as applicable to sports.
For all the trash that gets dumped on lacrosse players and their entitlement or snobbery (of which I am guilty as well), we sometimes forget about guys like the Army and Navy players who play the game with a far different outlook than most.
Speaking of Navy, perhaps this loss was some kind of karmic revenge for what we did to the Midshipmen in 2004. Navy entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Syracuse was the No. 4. The Orange upset Hopkins in the Final Four and advanced to face off against the overwhelmingly sentimental favorite. The only folks rooting for Syracuse on that day were the ones wearing orange, everyone else was pulling for a historical Navy victory on Memorial Day.
As evil empires do, the Orange won and did so in heart-breaking fashion for the Navy supporters, scoring three goals late in the fourth quarter to win 14-13. SU ruined the storybook ending and maybe, just maybe, the lacrosse Gods decided it was time for the Orange to pay up.
After two-straight National Titles to go with that 2004 one...so be it.