It was going to be Maryland lacrosse's defining image.
The one plastered on walls inside the soon-to-be-rennovated Cole Field House.
It was set to become the greatest moment in Maryland Terrapins lacrosse history.
There was Senior goalie Kyle Bernlohr, lunging forward, contorting his body in the opposite direction, reaching out to deny North Carolina's Chris Cloutier the overtime game-winning goal.
But it wasn't just any goal. It was the goal that would once again keep Maryland from claiming its first lacrosse national championship since 1975. The goal that would — for the fourth time in six years — stop the Terps short of the their national championship dream.
Bernlohr's rejection of the brief championship moment lacked basic goalie technique and execution, but made up for it with — well — everything else.
As Cloutier drove toward the crease, Bernlohr made one final lunge to match his stick with Cloutier's.
That's when Cloutier dipped to the left, hoping to find one last sliver of goal space before fading to behind the goal.
Bernlohr, weight firmly planted on his front foot, was out of position and out of options. Cloutier faked high, and had the game-winner in his sights. Bernlohr was on uneven footing and without much hope.
Then, instead of shifting back toward the middle of the crease and finishing low and away, Cloutier kept the head of his stick up high, drifting away from the goal and away from a better scoring angle.
The better option for the Kitchner, Ontario native would have been to use the traditional Canadian 'box" technique for close-range shooting by bringing his stick back across his body without switching hands, resulting in an awkward yet effective shot that would have opened up more shooting space.
But lacrosse is a game made up of thousands of breakneck, hectic moments. If you have to stop and think, you've already lost.
Bernlohr made one final — if not desperate — lunge across his body, jumping off his line to snatch the ball —and impending defeat — from the Tar Heel attackman who would finish the game as the NCAA's all-time leader for goals in a single tournament.
In one graceful yet reckless moment, Bernlohr — a lefthanded goalie — jerked the stick across the front of his helmet while diving in the air, then readjusted to rob Cloutier and North Carolina of the title
It was a true championship moment, but also just that.
It was supposed to go down as the greatest save in NCAA Tournament history.
It was supposed to be the catalyst to Maryland breaking its streak of nine-straight championship game losses.
Bernlohr's save was the pure embodiment of competitive spirit. It was a magical moment. One that defied proper fundamentals. It was the beautiful meeting point of reaction, instinct and sheer desperation.
But it was also a run-of-the-mill moment for a goalie. Not the save, that was phenomenal.
But the moment. That fleeting feeling of nothingness despite having just accomplished everything.
A goalie's greatest moment is never remembered.
You're more likely to be last seen digging a ball out of the back of the net than you are making the game-winning save. The next save is always the most important, which is why the great saves are hardly ever remembered.
Goals in lacrosse are scored at a premium, 27 on Memorial Day to be exact.
The goalie is the last line of defense but given arguably the most difficult task in sports: Stop a 90 MPH shot from ten feet away with minimal equipment standing in front of a net with four times as much surface area as the human body.
It's an unenviable task that features brilliant athletic accomplishments forgotten in a matter of moments.
Goalies get all the glory, but at a cost. It's there for a moment, and then it's gone, just a blip on the high-speed radar of "the fastest game played on two feet."
And so, just like the off-balanced, double-clutch 3-pointer hit by North Carolina's Marcus Paige in the waning seconds of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship game against Villanova, and like Jay Beagle's Herculean, diving save in the Capitals' overtime playoff game against the Penguins, Bernlohr's save was on the cutting room floor within moments.
There was Cloutier, playing the role of Villanova's Kris Jenkins and Pittsburgh's Nick Bonino, blasting a shot low and away, completely out of reach of Bernlohr, into the back of the net, giving the Tar Heels a 14-13 championship victory. It was his 19th goal of the tournament, the most in NCAA Tournament history.
It was also the lasting image, the one nobody could have expected given what took place just moments prior even though it's all part of the vicious goalie cycle.
Maryland's championship nightmare did not vanquish, but the greatest save in tournament history did.
But that's the violent nature of sports, and the painful truth of being a goalie. One minute you're the hero and the next you're the goat.
It's absolutely heartbreaking.
But you can't predict sports. You can't script sports.
And yet, it's better that way, even if it ends with players like Bernlohr being reduced to a mere footnote.