We all know football is our first love around this place, and that football news drives this site. However, with the recent changes with the Old Guard stepping down, this site has made an effort to expand the collective consciousness of our fans into some of the lesser known sports the Tide fields. Bammer has asked me to step in write a little bit about the Tide Lacrosse team.
A little about me, I've been a member of this site for years, but never really posted about anything until recently. I graduated in 2010 from the Capstone with a BSc in Electrical Engineering, and played on this team from 2004-2008 serving as Captain my last year.
For those who don't know, lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America. Lacrosse originated from Native North Americans who often played the game as a way to train for warfare. The game may not be played for the same reasons today, but the action and intensity that is displayed is still highly competitive and exciting. Traditionally, Lacrosse has been most popular in the Northeast, especially in hotbeds like Baltimore, New England, and New York. This is no longer the case with hotbeds now forming in the states of California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and several other states. This is a fast paced game that combines the physicality of football and hockey, with the quick ball movement of basketball. The object of the game is to put a baseball sized rubber ball in the opposing teams goal.
What makes Lacrosse different however, is that players have to equally adept passing and shooting with both their right AND left hands, while the other team is whacking your arms, hands, and stick with their own.
Alabama has had a team since 1986, but by the time I showed up at the Capstone it was a mess, as the below video will show you. The team is considered "club" by the University, and receives very little funding from UA. Generally, all the team gets is field space, however the team operates on a budget of around 40-60k per year, mostly on dues from the players. Alabama plays in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, which comprises over 200 teams from schools who are not NCAA D1 in lacrosse. Alabama competes in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference, one of 10 such conferences in the MCLA. Check out the league at mcla.us. The MCLA national championships are broadcast on FCS every year.
This video was made in 2009
And in 3 short years the team has improved to this:
Alabama beat Auburn, Tennessee, AND LSU in the same year while making the conference tournament for the first time since the mid 1990's. Alabama just opened their season in New Orleans last weekend, handling LSU 14-4. Check out the box score here. This year the team features players from all over the country, as well as some D3 transfers. After losing most of their offensive production due to graduation, the team will be looking for young players to contribute immediately, and DC native Chris Balla tallied 4 goals against LSU, look for him to remain a contributer this year.
I will be writing all year, following the team trying to make it to Atlanta for the conference tournament, and hopefully getting a bid to the national championships.
Alabama has its home opener tonight at 6 vs. Kentucky, at the UA rec fields, free to public. You can check out the pregame writeup here.