Not even that distance made a 12-2 loss hurt any less.
"Especially when they made it that far," he said. "My heart goes out to them."
Now a third-year law student at Western New England College School of Law, Purington, 25, got text-messaged commentary and a few postgame phone calls Sunday from teammates across the country. "We were all pretty disappointed," he said.
Local sports bars near the Stony Brook campus that were packed on Friday night were virtually empty Sunday.
"I'm not happy right now," he said. "I'm sad for the kids."
It had been a strange experience for him, watching two back-to-back games that were nothing like what he'd seen all season: "They weren't themselves."
But age has given him equanimity.
He was going to see Kevin. "I'm going to tell him how proud I am, that they got somewhere nobody thought they were going to get, that he's my son and he did great."