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A year after simply trying to make it to the next day, the Virginia lacrosse program reached the sport's summit with Monday's 9-7 national title game defeat of Maryland.
Legions of Maryland's loyal college lacrosse subjects made the quick trip here to the sport's capital Monday hoping to witness a coronation 36 years in the making. It had been that long since the Terrapins' last national championship, and there were reasons to think this was their day to reclaim the crown.
Virginia's path to a national championship was neither smooth nor orthodox nor stylistically representative of one of lacrosse's most consistent programs.
Denver's run to the final four emerged this month as the feel-good story of the lacrosse season.
"It's a dream come true," sophomore Nick O'Reilly said. "We were those kids in the stands hoping one day that we'd be playing [for the championship]."