Why did it have to end this way?
Don’t get me wrong: it’s cool to see a school like Yale win the NCAA National Championship this past Memorial Day, but come on! Now that I’ve fulfilled my duties as a “big J journalist” covering a lacrosse beat this spring, I’m back to bring you some silly lacrosse takes and emotionally-driven opinions.
As an emotionally driven lacrosse fan, it was painful to see the heartwarming, stylistically superior Albany Great Dane team thwarted by Yale, 20-11. I mean J.D. Colarusso couldn’t stop shots even if the Yale offense was using a beach ball.
While I’m glad a first champion was given this year’s throne instead of a Duke team that has been there/done that, Yale is just the kind of team that fans just generally shouldn’t root for.
If you’re a fan of Connor “Con Bro Chill” Martin, free-flowing lacrosse with no rules or strict guidelines, then Albany’s behind-the-back passing, motion offense filled with flair and extraordinary talent is the team for you.
Connor Fields playing with so much swag, even if he doesn’t have the greatest tilt all the time, was truly remarkable considering how he tore his ACL last year and again this season.
Sidenote: I could watch this highlight video on loop all day, and great song choice too. The Thompson glory days in college lacrosse should give rise to a whole generation of amazing laxers.
Now that you know my bias and undying love for Albany lacrosse, you realize how sad I was to see Yale dominate the Great Danes from start to finish. Just look how freaking cool head coach Scott Marr is:
— Lax Sports Network (@LaxSportsNet) May 18, 2018
On the other hand, Yale head coach Andy Shay is the polar opposite.The Bulldogs don’t attract the lax bro recruits, but instead different hard-working individuals that love keeping alive the worst cliche there is: hard work beats talent if talent fails to work hard.
While Albany certainly worked hard to finally get over that quarterfinal hump, they certainly aren’t the kind of program to take pictures of their food before eating it and send it to the team captains for feedback, according to the ESPN broadcast. That’s a little much.
Shay exemplified the kind of not-that-chill vibe that Yale exudes in his postgame interview after winning the title game. Like, dude, you just won the championship, take a break from the whole tough-guy persona.
But I guess this is how it works in the sports universe. Discipline trumps style. This is why Arsenal can’t win the Premier League, but Chelsea can. All saltiness aside, the face-slapping reality that a free and innovative style can’t overcome the over-disciplined freaks is, well, depressing.