Of Lacrosse on Memorial Day

     As Avad Fans of lacrosse, I know what my family will be doing this Memorial Day at 3:30 p.m.  We will be watching the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Final on ESPN.  Virginia v. Maryland is sure to be an exciting game.  Despite a 12-7 pummeling by Maryland in their only meeting of the season last month, a re-focused Virginia team looks to give its seniors a title win after four straight losses in the Final Four.

     Last year our family headed to Baltimore for the Final Four weekend to partake of the madness up close.  In sweltering conditions on and off the field at M&T Stadium, we lived and breathed the best of college lacrosse.  Witnessing five great games in three days, the final came down to the first five seconds of overtime when Duke’s long-stick middie, CJ Costabile, took the ball on the faceoff and put it in the goal.  If you had blinked, you would have missed it.  For those of us in the stands, it truly was a jaw-dropping moment after Notre Dame had dominated on faceoffs the whole game.

     I came to be a lax fan later in life.  Throughout my childhood, my parents would reminisce about my father’s stellar college lacrosse career at Hofstra, as well as his post-college games against Indian tribe teams while he was studying at Syracuse, and his big wooden D-stick always hung in our basement.  Having grown up in the South, though, I had never actually seen a lacrosse game until about 2003 when the UVA team visited Richmond to play a local men’s team.  Though I had watched many a football game in my life, this lacrosse game seemed the most brutal athletic contest that I had ever witnessed.

     Fast forward a few years, and my son has gotten the lacrosse bug.  For awhile every year, there has been nothing that he liked better than chasing after opponents with a big stick.  Lots of time and money have been invested for his love of the game, and I have come to appreciate the athleticism required of the great lacrosse players.  I have even on occasion identified myself as a “lacrosse mom.”  While some of the finer rules of the game still confuse me, I truly relish watching a great game like I know will be played today in Baltimore.

     If you are not yet a fan of what has to be the fastest growing sport around, I hope that this Memorial Day finds you re-laxing. 

This scene that I captured last night just says “Memorial Day”.   While this holiday is the time to honor those who have died in service to our country, it also evokes so many memories of past perfect summers.  With these memories comes the anticipation of another summer that may be filled with at least a few carefree moments reminiscent of youth.

     No matter how Memorial Day is celebrated, thank you to all of our service men and women, living and dead.  Without you, we would not have the freedom to enjoy our beautiful country nor to choose how we will relax today.

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