It was a tough pill to swallow Monday, especially since things look so good early, as the Syracuse Orange's National Championship run fell just short with a 16-10 loss to the Duke Blue Devils at Lincoln Financial Field.
Despite ending their season with a loss, the top-seeded Orange sounded upbeat about their effort, even though, for a solid seven-minute stretch they were dominated. That time span was enough for the Blue Devils to pull away for good.
"It was a little more mental than physical," goalkeeper Dom Lamolinara said. "Talking that much, trying to direct people, it was probably about 15 minutes I was thinking about the ball. It wears on you. They had all the momentum. They never let it go."
"They didn't really miss a while lot," Lamolinara said. "It's my job to get the saves. Since we weren't getting the faceoffs, it's my job to get the ball to the offense. This one is on me."
"The defense gets tired, Dom's taking shot after shot after shot, they're bound to fall," senior Brian Megill said. "It kills you."
One of the biggest keys to Duke's victory was the play of Jordan Wolf, who SU had done a good job against in previous meetings, however, nagging injuries to defensemen Brian Megill, a two time All-American, forced head coach John Desko to make some adjustments.
"We thought with his quickness, (Hamlin) was a little bit better matchup," Desko said. "We were going to ask Megill to do some other things like maybe faceoff in the game so we wanted to get Hamlin on him. We thought it was a good matchup."
Wolf ended up scoring four goals in the victory.
Meanwhile, the biggest SU post-game story -- besides the face-off X -- focused around senior midfielder JoJo Marasco, who ended his 'Cuse career without a National Championship, though, the argument can easily be made that without Marasco the Orange are not even sniffing the Final Four in Philadelphia.
The biggest reason for his success this season has been his ability to become an unselfish player.
"I've tried to be one of the most unselfish players since I've been here," Marasco said. "I'd rather have an assist than a goal, and no points for a win."
All-in-all, Marasco will be missed and he will miss playing for Syracuse.
"It's been the best four years of my life," Marasco said. "I have no regrets."