PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — With a dramatic last-second victory in the national championship game, Pittsford grad Jared Conners’ college lacrosse career came to an end.
“It was a wild experience definitely, but the best way to end your career, right?” said Conners.
Conners and the Virginia Cavaliers repeated as national champions, winning by one goal in a thrilling championship game that came down to the last second.
Conners returned for a fifth-season after his senior season got canceled due to COVID and was able to go out on his own terms.
“Having it end the way that it did and the way that we wanted to with us winning, it was an awesome experience and just crazy,” said Conners. “It was something you dream about.”
The Cavaliers suffered four conference losses during the regular season but hit their stride once the playoffs started.
“Maybe teams played better than we expected to or we weren’t playing up to our championship ability yet,” said Conners. “It was a crazy ride, that’s for sure. We battle some adversity along the way and I think that’s what made us into the team we were by the end.
The All-American defensive-minded midfielder also scored two goals in the final four after scoring just twice all season long.
“I’ve been shooting all season and trying to get in the cage but the goalies have had my number this year,” said Conners. “Winning the championship is a dream but scoring on such a big stage is also something you dream about your whole life.”
Despite his lack of offensive production Conners’ defensive prowess was recognized as he was named midfielder of the year, the first long-stick to be given the award in nearly a decade.
“It was really cool with some of the greats and the big names that go along with the long-stick middies that have received that award in the past,” said Conners.
After Conners’ sophomore season, the Pittsford grad refocused himself on the field and became an All-American. Before his fifth season, Conners did the same academically, excelling in Virginia’s M.S. in Commerce program that taught him a lot about what he could accomplish.
“You can always push yourself further than you think whether that’s in the classroom or on the field,” said Conners. “Mentally or physically you can push yourself further than you think. When you do, great things happen. You can go further than you ever thought you could.”
Next up for Conners is professional lacrosse, as he was drafted in the first round of the Premier Lacrosse League by Archers LC.