- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2009

— In the midst of a business-as-usual scene in the Syracuse lacrosse locker room after last weekend’s NCAA tournament quarterfinals, Scott Kahoe stood out.

The graduate student was crying, the outpouring of the former Georgetown midfielder’s years of frustration for not making a final four appearance.

Around him, there was amused astonishment that anyone would be so thankful a program with typical Memorial Day weekend reservations would be there again.

“After so many years of getting hit in the gut and disappointing as a team trying to get over that hump, these guys were all making fun of me, just saying, ‘We’re used to this. We’ve been here 27 times,’ ” Kahoe said.

Still, the tears came, followed by some more after Saturday’s semifinal rout of Duke. After all, the one-time highly regarded recruit will play for an elusive national title when the second-seeded Orange (15-2) meet fifth-seeded Cornell (13-3) in Monday’s tournament final at Gillette Stadium.

Kahoe contributed throughout the season, collecting nine goals and seven assists while anchoring Syracuse’s second midfield line. Along the way, he has cleansed some of the regrets from a career that simply didn’t work out the way he thought it would.

He joined Georgetown in 2005, and during his time in the program the Hoyas lost in the quarterfinals three times. Kahoe, who missed 2006 after major shoulder surgery, graduated with a degree in finance last spring and wanted to look around for a different school to use his final year of eligibility.

“There was super-heavy expectations going in there,” said Kahoe, who had just 11 goals and three assists at Georgetown. “I went in there with Dan D’Agnes and Miles Kass, and we were considered the top recruits in the country. A lot of people had a lot of big expectations, and it was a great school, but we just underachieved.”

Ultimately, Syracuse emerged as an option. Kahoe considered the Orange when he made his initial recruiting choice, and he remained impressed every time Georgetown played in the Carrier Dome and noticed a banner declaring Syracuse the greatest program ever.

With thoughts of joining a defending national champion, Kahoe made his move. But finding a place in a scheme with established options - even after Syracuse lost starting midfielders Steve Brooks and Brendan Loftus from last season - took time.

“It was an awful lot to absorb, coming in during the fall, picking up the offense, picking up the defense, figuring out where he is riding and so on. He’s adjusted as the year’s gone on,” coach John Desko said. “He’s just starting to come into his own as far as what’s expected of him now.”

He also provides a different perspective to Syracuse mainstays like attackman Kenny Nims and midfielder Matt Abbott, stars who played in the final four as freshmen and won a championship last season. Both smiled at the thought of Kahoe’s joy at simply reaching the season’s final weekend.

“To see that emotion definitely helps,” Abbott said. “To see it in his eyes, he wants it as bad as anybody. I’m happy he’s here with us, and we have a chance on Monday to be national champions.”

It would fulfill a dream and no doubt set off another stream of tears Kahoe wasn’t sure he would ever experience.

He said he remains in touch with several former teammates, including Andy Corno, Brodie Merrill and Brendan and Peter Cannon, all of whom earned at least third-team All-America status at least once in their careers. None, though, won a national title.

“People remember them for being the players they were at Georgetown, but legends are really made on Memorial Day weekend,” Kahoe said.

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