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Reverse Survivor: Once More, with Feeling

The Keydets are now 0-14 with one regular season game remaining.

It all comes down to this:

VMI: 2015 REMAINING SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT OPPONENT RECORD MASSEY WIN %* MASSEY MEAN SCORE*
April 25 v. Massachusetts-Lowell 1-11 35% 10.10-11.83

* Through games played on April 19, 2015.

Winless seasons aren't all that rare in Division I lacrosse, and the fact that teams are rushing through around a dozen games in a year and aren't able to bag a kill at some point illustrates the difference between the top teams in the nation and those that need to travel light years to even see the apex of the country's hierarchy.  In the last 10 seasons, including 2015, there are 14 instances of teams going winless or currently facing a campaign devoid of a victory:

WINLESS SEASONS: 2005-2015
TEAM RECORD AVG. MARGIN OF DEFEAT LAXPOWER RANK LAXPOWER S.o.S. RANK
2015 VMI 0-14 10.93 68/69 46/69
2015 NJIT 0-12 8.75 69/69 68/69
2014 Monmouth 0-13 5.08 63/67 58/67
2011 St. Joseph's 0-12 8.08 58/61 14/61
2011 Wagner 0-12 9.92 60/61 48/61
2010 Providence 0-14 6.57 55/60 27/60
2009 Detroit 0-11 9.64 57/59 49/59
2008 Hartford 0-13 5.15 51/57 40/57
2008 Wagner 0-15 8.29 56/57 57/57
2008 Presbyterian 0-11 11.18 57/57 45/57
2007 Wagner 0-15 9.60 56/56 53/56
2006 Holy Cross 0-14 7.50 53/57 34/57
2006 Wagner 0-15 9.47 57/57 52/57
2005 Robert Morris 0-13 7.23 57/57 52/57

Five winless seasons are owned by teams in their first run at college lacrosse's highest level of play: 2005 Robert Morris, 2008 Presbyterian, 2009 Detroit, 2014 Monmouth, and 2015 NJIT. The vast majority of empty seasons in the last decade have come from programs with some kind of history, even if that history is dark and bleak. That's concerning despite the fact that some of these years are at least partially attributable to an unrelenting schedule that was significantly out of proportion to the competitiveness of the team.  The relatively short nature of the college lacrosse season has an impact on these records -- a greater volume of games would help even out some under/overachievement that effects a team's record -- but these are still teams that suffered through campaigns filled with oppressive depression.

Losing is an experience that should be burned in the sun, and losing by more than five goals per game -- the lowest average margin of defeat in the above table is just north of the five goals mark -- is an exercise in philosophical theory. This is like getting punched in the face, and then punched in the face, and then punched in the face, and then punched in the face, and then punched in the face, and doing it all voluntarily due to the belief that eventually it will be your fist hammering a mouth (even if you don't have a hand to make a fist). That kind of dedication is arguably more interesting than the effort it takes to pull together an undefeated season as a team rolling with an unblemished record has the power of positive momentum on their side.

This is why chronicling Division I's winless teams with at least of season of play in their history books is important: There's an opposite side to the spectrum, and that part of the continuum exists as a way to understand a different aspect of the game.