FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Despite the Blue Devils’ obvious disappointment associated with coming up short of the program’s first national championship, head coach John Danowski wasn’t too outwardly upset about the loss.
“The sadness I feel–it’s not losing the game today,” Danowski said. “Listen, I’ve learned in the last two years the games aren’t that important. But you know what, I’m going to miss seeing these kids tomorrow. That’s what I’m going to miss: being with them, going to meals, being in the hotel with them for another day. I don’t get to do that now. And that’s what I’ll miss.”
Danowski praised his outgoing seniors, who helped raise the program to new heights but were unable to get over the hump and take home the national title. From the fifth-year players, who have been criticized for being allowed to play another season, to the senior class, which stuck with the program during the 2006 scandal, the head coach defended his team.
“This is one of the neatest groups of young men I’ve ever been around,” Danowski said. “There’s nothing that they don’t do well–academically, socially, community-oriented, lacrosse-wise. And the fifth-year guys had a chance to play again. They’ve been vilified for choosing to play a fifth year…. Why? You love to play lacrosse. Would you like to come back and maybe play in front of 40,000 people? I mean, come on, it’s a no-brainer for these kids…. Their legacy is they didn’t win the game today. They’re going to be very successful in life, and this is going to be a small bump in the road for all of them.”
-by Joe Drews