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State College Native Caitlin McGlaughlin Eyes National Title Shot With Navy

by on May 26, 2017 12:50 PM

It doesn't matter the level of the sport or the game being played, when you make the Final Four, you can almost reach out and touch that championship trophy.

And for Navy women's lacrosse and State College native Caitlin McGlaughlin that championship trophy is just two wins away, all starting on Friday night against Boston College. It's the first final four appearance for a Navy program that started as a club team just 10 years ago.

"Making the final four is by far the biggest thing I've ever done in sports," McGlaughlin, a defensive starter in 22 games this season, told "The opportunity to play at this level in Gillette Stadium is unbelievable and indescribable. It's truly a dream, I don't think I've really realized the magnitude of it yet."

For McGlaughlin the opportunity is a long time coming, a 2014 graduate of State College area high school, she lettered all four years and was named a two-time US Lacrosse Academic All-American. On the field she wasn't short on impact either as senior captain and three straight district 6/10 championships to go along with three PIAA state championship appearances.

It's hard not to want to take that next step, but even just making an appearance is a noteworthy accolade. On Thursday night she and her teammates met Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick, and got a taste of what it takes to win a championship,  something the Midshipmen are so close to doing themselves.

But like the road to get to the Final Four, Friday night will once again be about focusing on what she and her teammates have to do to win. Take care of the details and the rest will take care of itself. On Friday night that will entail taking care of Boston College with a trip to the title game on the line.

"Going into any game, our focus is always on Navy," McGlaughlin added. "We have a game plan that we want to execute and be able to adapt as the game evolves. At the end of the day we just want to play our game and go all out for 60 minutes."

And of course, there is the hometown team awaiting on the other side of the bracke. Penn State would have to take down undefeated Maryland, but that matchup is there waiting if both teams take care of business.

"I always thought it would be cool to play Penn State especially on their home field in my hometown but I never thought about the possibility of playing them in the National Championship," McGlaughlin said. "If it ends up that way that would be a pretty awesome experience, kind of a coming full circle in my lacrosse career."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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