Gary Gait knows what it means to be elite.
The Syracuse Orange lacrosse legend was a four-time All-American. He won three national championships. He was a two-time national player of the year winner in college lacrosse to go along with being in the United States Lacrosse National Hall of Fame and the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame.
So when Gait talks about a program being elite, especially his own Syracuse women's lacrosse team, we should listen. While the Orange are playing in their fifth-consecutive Final Four against Maryland on Friday night, they've never won a national championship in school history.
That lack of a championship, according to Gait, is what's keeping his Orange from reaching that elite status in college women's lacrosse:
"I think it (making five straight final fours) puts us at the one level before. But we're not the best yet," Gait said on a media conference call Monday. "We've never won. In women's sports, the level of confidence that comes from winning, it's amazing. We've been close a few times. But we need to step up our game and finish one of these things."
It will be no easy task for Syracuse, who are playing a Maryland team that has played in five of the last six national championship games, winning three of them.
Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.