(Photo Courtesy of UMass Athletics)
College lacrosse has a rich history, filled with endless stories and legends.
And while the game is still growing at the college level and some programs have been around way longer than others, there is a certain amount of history at every program that can be heralded.
But what is considered the highest peak for all 75 current DI programs?
For some, the answer is very simple. But for others, the choices are endless and serious debates could be had about to determine the greatest season for that program.
Over the next few weeks, Lacrosse Bucket will be analyzing the greatest season for every team in every conference. And things continue here with the CAA.
In 2007, the Delaware Blue Hens shocked the college lacrosse world as they made their first, and so far only, Championship Weekend run.
Led by faceoff man Alex Smith, attackman Curtis Dickson, and other, the Blue Hens went 13-6 overall, 3-2 in the CAA, and won the CAA Tournament that season. They upset No. 2 seed, Virginia, on the road in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before taking down No. 13 UMBC in the Quarterfinals. The Blue Hens fell to the eventual champions in Johns Hopkins in the semifinals.
The Drexel Dragons have only made one NCAA Tournament appearance to date. And that was during the 2014 season when they pulled off one of the most memorable upsets of the 2010s in the first round.
Drexel ended that season with a 13-5 record and were the CAA champions heading into the NCAA Tournament, where they were unseeded. The Dragons, led by Ben McIntosh, upset No. 4 seed Penn in the first round, defeating the Quakers 16-11. They then fell to Denver, 15-6 in the quarterfinals.
Under head coach Ted Spencer, the Stags enjoyed a pretty successful period in the program’s history, making their only two NCAA Tournament appearances to date during Spencer’s reign. One of which was the 2005 season.
During the 2005 season, the Stags 11-5 overall and earned their second trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Duke in the first round. That 2005 squad was headlined by Greg Downing, Mike Bocklet, among others.
When you look at the modern-day CAA, the Hofstra pride have arguably the richest history of success of any program in the conference. And due to that there are multiple seasons that could be argued as the Pride’s greatest.
The 2006 season is, arguably, the best in Hofstra lacrosse history. The Pride, who were led by guys like Chris Unterstein and Athan Iannucci, went 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the CAA. They earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they beat Providence in the first round and lost 11-10 in the quarterfinals against UMass in an overtime thriller.
The Towson Tigers have a rich history of lacrosse and have put together many special seasons. And while many fans would bring up one of their Final Four seasons as the best in program history, the Tigers only have one national title (DII): 1974.
During the 1974 season, Towson went 14-1 overall and earned a spot in the first-ever NCAA DII tournament, which was a mix of DII and DIII teams at the time. Towson obliterated the University of Baltimore and Adelphi in the first and second round before defeating Hobart, 18-17, in double overtime to secure the national title.
Led by head coach Greg Canella, who was in his 12th season at the helm of the Minutemen at the time, UMass went 13-5 overall and put together one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament runs in the history of the game.
The Minutemen came into the NCAA Tournament unseeded and were placed against six-seeded Cornell in the first round, who they took down 10-9. They then defeated Hofstra in an 11-10 overtime thriller and defeated Maryland in the semifinals. They fell to an all-time great 17-0 Virginia team in the national title game.