When your alma mater (or the team you support) takes the field in some hideous, over-designed version of the classic uniform that you and, what seems to be, everyone loves, you have a fit of rage. Rightfully so, keep on ragin’. But through all of that frustration and ridiculousness, comes inspiration and beauty. So even though my beloved Wolverines didn’t make the cut (step up your game Michigan), here we have the very best NCAA lacrosse uniforms of 2014.
Isaac Clark is a Philadelphia-based writer for SportsUnlimited.com. He loves Bo Schembechler quotes and the University of Michigan. He runs his company’s twitter account @SportsUnlimited or you can keep up with his literary blog YellowTypewriter.com.
No. 10 - Virginia Cavaliers in Nike
I rarely enjoy patches or color blocking on the shoulder, but I must admit that the Cavs have pulled it off. The deep blue paired with bright white and orange obviously works and I think the navy cutting off at the seam adds a little toughness to what seems to be a classic design. The great thing about these jerseys is that they work so well with both the navy and orange helmets. I’d go with orange if I’m picking though. AND I AM PICKING. So, orange.
No. 9 - Denver Pioneers in Warrior
It’s hard to argue with the great color-combo of crimson and gold, but Warrior really has done a great job with detailing. From the gold thin-trim down the sides to the crimson middle stripe on a gold helmet, the Pioneers look intimidating and ultra-modern. I’m not always a fan of two-tone metal, but there’s a nice touch to the crimson fade to gold in the facemask. Those gloves though. This uni could have definitely been higher on the list, but tough decisions must be made.
No. 8 - Harvard Crimson in Nike
The simplicity. Dear dog, the simplicity! I’m a sucker for classic designs and this is as good as any when it comes to simple, classic, beauty. They’ve nailed the crimson color and didn’t add any unnecessary neckline flair; nothing but class. The “H” on the front of the short-leg and side of the helmet aren’t flashy and that’s exactly how it should be. Well done Harvard and Nike.
No. 7 - Syracuse Orange in Nike
Syracuse aren’t one’s for classic design, at least not anymore. They’ve got a different uniform for each day of the week, but I’ve captured my favorite: Orange helmet, white shirt, orange shorts. The blue accents on the helmet, mask, and neck, give this uniform great balance and shape. The best feature of this uni is the thin orange line that rounds off from the neck and down the sleeve. Modern, but not too aggressive.
No. 6 - Syracuse Orange in the Nike "Fast Break"
We’ve gone from modern conservative Syracuse, to whammo-this-is-the-future-suckers Syracuse. Sleeveless with a numbered baselayer gives this jersey quite a bit different shape, but it does jump out at you, and that is precisely the goal of this uniform. The blue helmet with orange “S” and highlights allow the white of the jersey to really shine through. If you like aggressive, you have found aggressive. I get nervous just looking at this dude.
No. 5 - Navy Midshipmen in Nike
There are only a few features of these uniforms that make them stand out: gold facemask, large font, and the under-sleeve gold panels. The rest is classic, smart design. The Navy Midshipmen look exactly how they should in these uniforms, gallant.
No. 4 - Maryland Terrapins in the Under Armour "Black Ops"
These uniforms scream… something. Maybe stealth, no… speed, power, ok, stealth, let’s go with stealth. Well, despite a lack of clarity on what this uniform represents to me, I still am a fan. A black and dark gray pattern of the 1st Baron Baltimore and Crossland Banner (Maryland flag) jumps from the helmet to the jersey to the shorts to the cleats. It’s like their own personal, state camo. The pattern looks great on the helmet, less so on the jersey and shorts, but these Black Ops uni’s look mean and well, er, stealth!
No. 3 - Duke Blue Devils in Nike
As with Harvard, the Dukies have that classic uni look down. Even with three different options for helmets, they smartly succeed with a ‘less-is-more’ mentality. If I’m picking from the three pictured, and I am picking, I’m going with the blue helmet. It could be from 1990 or it could be from 2014 and either way, I love it. I’m no Dukie, but these uniforms make me want to be.
No. 2 - Denver Pioneers in the Warrior Throwbacks
Denver hops on the list twice at number nine and again at number two. The cursive “Denver” on the helmet, jersey, shorts, and gloves does it for me. Game over. Things got a bit weird with the faded two-tone helmet/facemask, but the gloves are dope, the colors work perfectly, and the cursive gets me. Extra points for the old school collar trim that really ONLY works because it’s a throwback. That would not fly on a modern jersey design.
No. 1 - Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the adidas "Shamrocks"
Straying from the classic Golden Dome, Adidas punched me in the face with this uniform and the sting just feels so good. Dominated by white and a mesmerizing shade of green, the gold trim on the numbers, gloves, and facemask perfectly accents the uniform. The gold facemask combined with an oversized ND logo make this helmet flawless. I can’t stop looking at it.