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Coaches and players say the conditioning, discipline, and focus on detail, teamwork and leadership helped Army do more with less. Tyler Oates, a senior who plans to attend Airborne and Ranger training before heading, he assumes, to Afghanistan, said West Point’s training for war was just as applicable to sports.
“We never go on the field saying, ‘We’re going to give them a heck of a fight,’ or ‘We’re going to play our best,’ ” he said, adding: “You’re not going to go into Afghanistan saying ‘I hope I do all right.’ That’s life or death, not win or lose, but what makes you think the way you approach a lacrosse game should be different than the way you approach a training exercise or when you actually go to war?”
While the Knights were defeated by Cornell this weekend and didn’t make the final four, their journey has been an inspiration to all that witnessed it. Sports tend to give us more than just a team to cheer for, and in this instance, the men on the Army Knight’s lacrosse team were able to bring the excitement of an underdog to the Army family as well as other lacrosse enthusiasts.
While the West Point athletes will go on to serve their country after their lacrosse days are over, they were able to showcase their program in the best possible light and show the fighting spirit of the Army Knights on a national platform.
ESPN provided a free feed of the game to anyone with an AKO/DKO account, while the American Forces Network also broadcast the game to those deployed overseas.