Less than an hour after the No. 3 seed Yale men’s lacrosse team had defeated No. 4 seed Duke, 13-11, and captured its first NCAA title on Monday at Gillette Stadium, Jackson Morrill was still in disbelief at what he and his teammates had accomplished.
“Honestly, this whole run has been a blur,” the starting attackman said. “It hasn’t even settled in that we were in the final four. I was just saying to my teammates in [the locker room] that it didn’t even go this well in our dreams. We were actually shaking in there because we cannot believe it. I’m so happy for every guy on this team.”
Morrill, a Baltimore resident and McDonogh graduate, became the fourth generation of his family to claim a national championship. His great grandfather, William Kelso Morrill Sr., helped Johns Hopkins win United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association titles in 1926 and 1927 and then coached the Blue Jays to national titles in 1941 and 1950. Grandfather William Kelso Morrill Jr. factored in Johns Hopkins collecting USILA crowns in 1957 and 1959, and father Michael was a member of the 1985 and 1987 Blue Jays squads that captured NCAA championships.
Jackson Morrill’s father, mother Mary and three siblings attended the game, while his grandfather and grandmother watched the game on television.
“I’m going to call my grandfather,” Morrill vowed. “I can’t believe it. My dad was in tears. It’s crazy. I’m so happy.”
Michael Morrill conceded that he shed what he called “tears of joy.”
“After the game, I told him, ‘I’m not crying, you’re crying,’ ” he said. “I was very happy. He has worked so hard to get to this point. So I’m proud of him. The end result is fantastic, but just to get here and be in the position that he was in, I’m so proud of him.”
The younger Morrill had only one assist Monday. He still finished his sophomore season ranked sixth in school history for points in a single season (72), seventh in goals (40) and eighth in assists (32).
But all the numbers pale in comparison to the national title.
“I hope there is something that tops this, but this is incredible,” Jackson Morrill said. “There’s nothing close.”
Michael Morrill offered some words of advice for his son.
“Keep looking for it,” he said. “It will happen someday if you keep looking for it. Don’t settle for this.”