Instead of my preview of conference schedules, I figured a better way to get geared up for the MCLA season would be to share some of our favorite memories of playing in the MCLA. Our first few posts in the series will come from those in the LAS family. I sent an email to my MCLA brethren with one simple question:
What is your favorite memory of playing/coaching in the MCLA?
For this week, we start in Caldwell, Idaho, home of the Coyotes of the College of Idaho
My favorite memory of playing in the MCLA (Specifically the PNCLL – DIVISION B!) comes from the first game of the season in 2006 with the College of Idaho (Formerly Albertson College of Idaho).
I had transferred from NDNU to the College of Idaho after my sophomore year and anxiously awaited the first game of the season as a Coyote against Central Washington. The team had been preparing hard and had been in existence for two years, although never had won any games. I remember waking up at 3am the morning of the game because I was so nervous and excited to get the season underway.
During my junior year, we had a maximum of 13 players at any given time. Lines were short and even when we were able to get all 13 to a game, inevitably someone got concussed or injured and had to leave. We ended up playing most of our games with only 10 players and subbed our midfielders through our attack line “on the fly.” It was interesting to say the least, especially after transferring from a program that had 6 other attackmen that could replace me at any given moment.
Of course, because the C of I’s schedule was always awesome, our first game was scheduled during our Spring Break. What did this mean? Absolutely no one was there to witness what was going to happen next except for the two teams playing. It was so cold that I literally was standing (cleats and all) on top of the ground we were playing on.
We started the game with a couple of subs. However, interestingly enough, Colin Burke (who ended up being our second leading scorer) had to leave at half time to catch a flight back home to Colorado. Again, we were down to no subs. After an extremely long game of playing attack and midfield without any breaks, we ended heading down the stretch neck and neck. However, when the final buzzer rang, The College of Idaho Coyotes and our “10 man squad” had won the first ever game for the program. Blake Gaudet (another transfer from the University of Utah) and I were so happy for the team and especially Matt Gier who had started the program two years prior to finally notch our first win. We went on to win a few more games through the same season and the next, but none will ever be as memorable as the first.
One of our midfielders, Tom Elias, started cramping with 5 minutes left in the game while he was transitioning back to play defense. He collapsed on the field and couldn’t operate his legs, and subsequently we were playing a man down for about 30 seconds. During this time Cody was screaming at Tom to just roll over the mid-line so that he could go play defense. Our D held while Tom literally rolled across the mid-line, and Cody came running in on defense.
When we won that game I was so excited that I jumped on Matt Gier’s back and started riding him like a horse, slapping his backside with my stick and everything. He was so excited that he didn’t even seem to mind. You would have thought we won the MCLA Division B Championship right then and there.
Our motto for that season was “Iron Man” lacrosse, since as Cody pointed out, we were often playing with just 10 guys. I’ve played on much more talented teams that won a lot more games, but I’ve never been happier to win a game than I was in that moment. Very proud to have been a part of that 2006 College of Idaho squad.
Also, on that group picture, from left to right it’s Matt Gier (D), Blake Gaudet (G), and Cody Hart (A)
If you are a current or former MCLA player or coach, feel free to share your story with us! send it to [email protected] with Great MCLA Memories in the subject line!