The Navy men's lacrosse team is charting unfamiliar territory.
For the first time since 2003, the No. 15 Midshipmen did not win the Patriot League tournament and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. That means Navy (9-5) must wait until Sunday for the selection committee to determine its postseason fate.
"It's really nerve-racking, putting our season in somebody else's hands," senior attackman Nick Mirabito acknowledged. "We had an opportunity to secure that, but we didn't get it done."
Unranked Colgate derailed the Midshipmen's plan to win the Patriot League tournament with a 12-9 victory in a semifinal Friday night. (The No. 11 Raiders eventually defeated No. 12 Bucknell to earn the conference's automatic qualifier.)
Seven of the NCAA tournament's 16 bids go to conference champions of the America East (either No. 7 UMBC, Stony Brook, Albany or Binghamton); Colonial Athletic Association (No. 6 Drexel, No. 19 Hofstra, Delaware or Villanova); Eastern College Athletic Conference (No. 13 Loyola); Great Western Lacrosse League (No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 17 Ohio State, Denver or Quinnipiac); Ivy League (No. 8 Cornell or No. 20 Princeton); Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Providence, Canisius, Manhattan or VMI); and Patriot League (Colgate).
Six of the remaining nine at-large bids figure to be taken by No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Syracuse, No. 3 Virginia, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Maryland and No. 18 North Carolina, and analysts predict that the runners-up in the GWLL and Ivy League will get two invitations.
That leaves No. 10 Georgetown, No. 12 Bucknell, No. 14 Army, Navy and No. 16 Brown battling for the final at-large spot.
Midshipmen coach Richie Meade declined to plead his team's case, saying he trusts the selection committee to make the decisions.