ANNAPOLIS, Md. - They are the Cinderella story of college lacrosse.
“It doesn’t feel real at all. I think we’ve always been done May 2,” said Navy Captain Morgan Young, with a laugh. “The fact that it’s May 20 or something is actually insane. I don’t even know how to think about it.”
“It’s unreal. It’s something you dream about as a little kid,” said a smiling Navy Attack Meg O’Donnell.
The Navy women’s lacrosse team is Final Four bound, after a shocking upset of defending national champion North Carolina in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Mids took down the Tar Heels 16-14 on Saturday in Chapel Hill.
“We beat them. We beat them by two. We made history,” said O’Donnell. “We just went in and did something that no one else thought we could ever do.”
The victory secured Navy’s first national semifinal appearance in its 10-year program history.
“It kind of hasn’t hit us yet, I feel like over and over again,” said Young.
While these are uncharted waters for the Navy players, it’s nothing new to head coach Cindy Timchal. She’s the winningest coach in division one women’s college lacrosse history.
“It’s a real exciting time for Navy women’s lacrosse. (The) Carolina victory was a nice one for Navy,” said Timchal.
Prior to landing at Navy Timchal led the Maryland Terrapins to 12 Final Fours and 8 National Championships when she coached the Terps. She says this team is something special.
“It’s a team. They’re the ones that get out on the field when the whistle blows. They really just try to put it all on the line for the whole game. That’s been a big part of our success.”
Navy will face Boston College in the national semifinal Friday, 7:30 p.m., in Foxborough, Massachusetts. If they pull off another upset and Maryland tops Penn State in the other semifinal, the Mids will face Timchal’s old team, the Terps, in Sunday’s National Championship.