After a three-year hiatus, men’s lacrosse is once again a part of UR sports.

The team has regained club status and has been admitted into the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League, making the team a “virtual varsity” program. The PCLL is a division of the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates, meaning the men’s team will be competing against hundreds of schools across the country for divisional and national titles. But the future wasn’t always bright for this great program.

In the 1980s, men’s lacrosse was a stable varsity sport for UR. Then, in 1987, the stock market crashed and the university’s endowment took a big hit.

They had to make the tough decision of allocating funds. In the end, men’s lacrosse fell victim to the budget cut.

The team continued to exist as a club sport for many years, but at the turn of the century the support for lacrosse diminished from inside the team.

In 2003, men’s lacrosse vanished from the UR sports scene. Now sports come and sports go, but what made this disappearance so odd was the intense popularity of lacrosse in Upstate New York. Rochester itself is home to a professional indoor team, the Knighthawks, and a professional outdoor team, the Rattlers.

This past year, however, lacrosse players committed themselves to bringing the team back and regain club status, and their work paid off. Unfortunately, there was almost no equipment left over from the old team. While they do receive funding from the Student’s Association, the team has worked hard to raise funds in order to buy new gear and compete at a high level. They are currently gaining sponsorships from local businesses.

“I couldn’t imagine a school like UR without a men’s lacrosse program in any form,” captain and sophomore Jamie Scheu said.

Continuing, he said, “I’m grateful there are enough other players here who feel passionately about the sport that we’ve been able to make so much progress in such a short amount of time.”

When asked about the outlook for the team this spring, Scheu added, “I definitely think the student body will have something exciting to look forward to in the success of this team.”

This spring, the team will put its skills to the test, playing six games under the lights at Fauver Stadium. The games will take place on Friday and Saturday nights and with the already present women’s varsity lacrosse team, fans will once again have multiple opportunities to witness “the fastest game on two feet.”

Moeller can be reached at amoeller@campustimes.org.



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