If there is any team in the MCLA that truly gets treated like a NCAA Division 1 program, or maybe even better, it’s the Liberty Flames.
Never heard of Liberty? That’s okay, the school is tucked away in south Lynchburg, Virginia and only hosts about 14,000 undergrads, although Liberty is booming on the online front, boasting over 100,000 students worldwide.
Sparky the Eagle and the Flames lacrosse team have made the MCLA quite familiar with them, until 2013 the team competed in Division II where they found very little competition.
I remember the first time I saw Liberty compete in person, they made the trip to Wabash College in Indiana where I officiated the Flames in two games that weekend. As soon as a saw their lacrosse specific bus roll up, I knew this was no average MCLA program.
From matching track suits, head phones and game faces ready for war, Liberty rolls in to their games in style but still extremely focused.
Coach Kyle McQuillan revived the program in 2011, after 2006’s horrific team car accident that injured seven of their student-athletes and put the program on a hiatus. Coach McQuillan was on that team, and before 2011, the team barely made it on anyone’s radar.
Since the McQuillan takeover, Liberty has not let the team face a losing record and in 2013 he led the Flames to a 12-1 regular season, 4-0 in the SELC and made it to the MCLA Final Four before dropping a close one with national champion St. Thomas.
In 2014, the Flames went 12-3 in their first regular season as a MCLA Division 1 program. The men only dropped the SELC DI final to Virginia Tech 9-13, keeping them from the national tournament.
Now that one season of MCLA DI competition is under their belts, expect the Flames to be a force to be reckoned with in 2015, something to be counted on with McQuillan at the helm.
Take a look at the unparalleled resources available to the Flames of Liberty University!
Recruits, if you haven’t already, take notes. This is one of the most legitimate lacrosse teams in the country, let alone the MCLA!