(Photo Courtesy of Colgate 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 Patriot League.
Army West Point (1984)
One of the most historic and tradition-rich programs in the sport, the Black Knights lay claim to eight Pre-NCAA era national titles. They have also been to two NCAA Final Fours (1971,1984).
That 1984 season may just be the best in program history for the Black Knights. They went 11-3 overall, beat rival Navy, and came into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed. The Black Knights, who were led by a Pete Short on offense and a stout defense that featured Mike Riccardi and goalie George Slabowski, defeated Penn, 8-7, in the first round before falling to Syracuse, 11-9, in the semifinals.
Boston U. (2017)
The Terriers are still somewhat the new kids on the block amongst the rest of the Patriot League, as they just started play in 2014. And while they are still newer, they have had some very successful seasons thus far.
2017 is arguably the best season in Terrier history, thus far, as they went 12-5 overall and 5-3 in the Patriot League. Additionally, the Terriers made their first trip to the Patriot League Tournament during the 2017 season, beating Lehigh in the quarterfinals and falling to Army, 10-7, in the semifinals.
While many will point out the 2011 season as the best in Bucknell lacrosse history. However, there is also a significant argument to be made for the 1969 season, which was the Bison’s second season as a program.
The Bison, who were led by the first two All-American selections in program history, Ed Farver and Jim McKee, went 10-1 overall and 7-0 in the Middle Atletic Conference (MAC). Bucknell’s only loss during that season came against Fairleigh Dickinson. That season still stands as the Bison’s only one-loss season in program history and set the foundation for future success.
The Colgate Raiders have a long history in lacrosse, but the success hasn’t seemed to be there as often as other programs who have been playing just as long. However, Colgate has put together a few stellar seasons, including its best season ever in 2012.
Colgate, who was led by eventual Tewarraton winner Peter Baum, went 14-4 overall and 5-1 in the Patriot League during the 2012 season. In the NCAA Tournament, the Raiders defeated No. 6 seeded UMass in the first round and lost to No. 3 seed Duke in the quarterfinals. It is the only quarterfinals appearance the Raiders have ever made.
Holy Cross (1983)
The early and mid-1980s saw some of the best seasons in the history of Holy Cross lacrosse, which included three consecutive 12-win seasons (1983,1984,1985).
During the 1983 season, Holy Cross went 12-2 overall. The only two losses that the Crusaders suffered during that season were against Tufts and Boston College. That 1983 season was the first of a three-year stretch in which the Crusaders won 12 contest each year.
Lafayette has a pretty long history of lacrosse, however, success has never been something that the Leopards have been known for. But they have had some pretty good seasons, nonetheless.
The most successful era of Lafayette lacrosse thus far came under head coach Bill Lawson, who was at the helm of the Leopards from 1971-2002. Lawson led the Leopards to their first-ever nine-win season during 1981, as they went 9-3 overall. It was the first of three nine-win seasons during the Lawson era.
One of the most historically rich programs in the sport, Lehigh has put together plenty of phenomenal seasons, which include pre-NCAA era national titles, over the course of the program’s history. However, none might be greater than the Mountain Hawks run in 2012.
The 2012 season marked the Mountain Hawks’ first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, as they went 14-3 overall and 5-1 in the Patriot League. They won the Patriot League Tournament and earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Maryland, 10-9, at home in the first round.
The 2012 season is, without a doubt, the best season in the history of Loyola lacrosse, as they went 18-1, 6-0 in the ECAC, won the ECAC Tournament, made their third Final Four appearance (DI era), and won their first and only national title. Loyola had finally reached the pinnacle of the sport.
The Greyhounds, who were led by the likes of Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins, and others, dominated their competition all season long and were the No. 1 seed coming into the NCAA Tournament. Their only loss of the season came in the final regular-season contest of the season against Johns Hopkins, losing 10-9 in overtime.
One of the most storied programs in the history of the sport, there are multiple seasons that could be argued as the best ever in the history of Navy lacrosse. However, three seasons seem to always stand out the most, 1964,1965, and 1966. During that time the Midshipmen went 33-1 and won three straight national titles, which are part of their bigger run of seven straight titles from 1960-1967.
For this exercise, we are going with the 1964 squad that was the start of that historic three-year run where the Midshipmen only lost one game, which came against Mt. Washington L.C. in April in 1966. Additionally, the Midshipmen featured the legendary Jimmy Lewis.