Some stories are simply irresistible.

They grab you by the heart and simply won't let go.

The fairytale season that the Loyola University men's lacrosse team just completed is one of those stories.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that what I know about lacrosse could probably fit on the back of a post-it note. I never played it, I've rarely watched it and I don't completely understand it.

But it doesn't mean I can't appreciate what the Greyhounds accomplished on Monday.

It borders on the unbelievable.

A Jesuit school in Baltimore with fewer than 4,000 undergraduate students is the best college men's lacrosse team in the nation. They were unranked at the beginning of the season and No. 1 at its conclusion.

Making the triumph even sweeter, Loyola routed its gargantuan rival to the south, the University of Maryland, in the championship match, 9-3. Maryland has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 25,000.

It's the stuff of a Hollywood script. If fact, I wouldn't be shocked to see the story on film in the very near future.

This script was no fluke, however. Loyola has a fine lacrosse tradition and finished the 2012 season at 18-1. Still, it is the school's first-ever NCAA Division I national crown and comes on the heels of a disappointing 8-5 campaign in 2011.

The fact that this underdog tale occurred at a school that is less than 40 miles from York County makes it all the more compelling for folks in these parts.


York County, if you haven't noticed, has become a lacrosse success story in the past decade. Just five years ago, the York-Adams League didn't even sponsor the sport. Now there are a dozen local high schools offering lacrosse. It's fair to say it's the fastest-growing sport in this area.

The fact that we're right next door to Maryland -- the white-hot center of the lacrosse universe -- certainly has a lot to do with that. There are a lot of transplanted Marylanders living in York County -- especially in the southern end -- and they brought their passion for the sport with them.

Those folks undoubtedly have gotten caught up in the Loyola story. And why shouldn't they?

But this story shouldn't be just limited to lacrosse lovers. After all, everyone loves to see the feisty underdog pull off the impossible upset.

It's what attracted many of us to sports in the first place. And it occurred at a small college that sits less than an hour's drive from York County.

There's just one word to describe it -- unbelievable.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dis patch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdis or at 854-1575, ext. 455.