When the Maryland Terrapins suit up to play the Virginia Cavaliers in the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse National Title at 3:30 p.m. EST in M&T Stadium in Baltimore, they'll be doing so in their customary school colors of red, black and yellow.
They'll also be adding one more color into the mix. Purple.
Purple is the color used to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, which is what took the life of Maryland senior attackman Ryan Young's mother, Maria, six weeks ago. She battled against the cancer for three years.
Maryland head coach John Tillman says the Terps rallied around Young and his family after the loss.
"I think what happened is everybody else stepped up their play to make it easier for Ryan, and that adversity really brought us together," Tillman said. "I think hearing Maria Young's story inspired everyone to work that much harder. To go through three years of chemo and radiation and fight the fight for her three boys and make sure they graduated, you can't not be inspired."
Part of that support means the Terrapins have been wearing purple shirts during warm-ups as well as donning purple ribbons or stickers with the initials MY on their helmets. Tillman has worn a purple shirt on the sidelines.
Young also has the word "MOM" etched on a piece of paper taped inside his helmet.
Ryan almost had the chance to play for the title against his twin brother, Kevin, who plays for Duke. The Blue Devils were beaten in the other semifinal by Virginia. Their older brother Michael also played for Duke between 2005-2008.
Expect the team to honor Maria Young not only by wearing purple on Monday but also through what is sure to be inspired play in what's already been an inspired post-season run.