Simon Fraser just finished what we like to call an “epic” weekend. In the MCLA, it’s not too common that a team travels by plane during fall ball. It’s even more uncommon that a team travels by plane to a different country. But that’s exactly what the SFU Clan did – showing up in Salt Lake City, Utah last Friday to beat the Utah Utes 9-2. The following day, they played a tough contest against BYU, falling to the Cougars 17-9. The next day they played MCLA D2 power Westminster College, winning 13-8.
Select quotes from the weekend:
SFU Co-Head Coach Brent Hoskins on the Utah game:
“Utah has added some good players to their returning core and Coach Morris continues to build a quality program. Both teams looked a little rusty as expected but I think that Utah may surprise some teams in 2010 as Coach Kladis has more time to work with some new offensive threats.”
SFU Co-Head Coach Jeff Cathrea on the BYU game:
“We had a rough start today but we were able to battle back and establish some positive building blocks heading into the season. Even though the game got away from us in the end we were able to get our freshmen class some valuable experience playing against one of the MCLA’s elite programs.”
For fall ball, that’s truly a big weekend. And what better way to continue the positive momentum than announcing your spring schedule the day you get back to your homeland?
It’s a doozy.
We talked about Oregon’s slate of tough games already, but heading into the spring season it looks like both of the two top dogs in the PNCLL have decided to step up their game. Name a top tier program in the MCLA and odds are that Simon Fraser not only plays them, but plays them on the road.
The majority of their huge OOC games are going to cause the Clan to rack up the frequent flier miles by the hundreds. While the Clan traditionally travels light in terms of bodies on their bench, trips to Colorado, Michigan, a game at Montana, and multiple trips to Oregon for neutral games against California schools compromise one of the most impressive schedules for any team ever. Not to mention convincing BYU and Cal Poly to visit our friendly neighbors to the north for the first time in history.
If you count SFU’s recent fall ball excursion against BYU and Utah in the mix, this is easily the most travel ever by a club team in one season and could rival that of many D1 programs.
Kudos to the Clan. The recent shuffle in the PNCLL’s A division allowed for more flexibility and a greater number of OOC games for the 1-A teams. “Canada’s team” made the most of it.
Check out the madness for yourself:
2009 Simon Fraser Men’s Lacrosse Schedule
Feb. 6 – vs. Western Washington (MCLA Div. II)
March 5 – @ Colorado State
March 7 – @ Colorado
March 12 – @ Michigan
March 14 – @ Michigan State
March 20 – vs. BYU
March 27 – vs. Cal Poly
April 3 – vs. Chapman (at Lakeridge HS in Lake Oswego, OR)
April 4 – vs. Arizona State (at Lakeridge HS in Lake Oswego, OR)
April 10 – vs. Oregon State
April 11 – vs. Oregon **
April 16 – @ Montana
April 18 – @ Washington (at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, WA)
April 24-25 – PNCLL Quarterfinals – if necessary
May 1-2 – PNCLL Final Four Conference Championships ^ – TBA
May 11-15 – MCLA National Championships # – TBA
** Senior Appreciation Day
^ PNCLL Conference Championships at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon
# MCLA National Championships at Dicks Sporting Good’s Park, in Denver, Colorado
Full Press Release:
Simon Fraser announces 2010 Schedule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By William Howard, SFU Lacrosse Media Relations
Simon Fraser University Men’s Lacrosse
BURNABY, BC (October 20, 2009) – Simon Fraser men’s lacrosse Co-Head Coaches Jeff Cathrea and Brent Hoskins (6th season) have announced the Clan’s 13-game regular season schedule for 2010. The Clan will play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation as 7 of their 13 games are against teams that qualified for the 2009 MCLA National Championship Tournament. Five of the 13 games are scheduled to be played at home on Terry Fox Field atop the Burnaby Mountain campus. SFU’s 13 opponents compiled a combined record of 141-60 (.701) in 2009 and eight of their 2010 opponents won 11 or more games last season.
“We wanted to put together a regular season schedule that would challenge our players both physically and mentally to ultimately prepare them towards winning an MCLA National Championship.” commented Hoskins.
“Our focus in recruiting is to attract the best lacrosse student-athletes” added Cathrea. “We are very confident in the young men who have chosen Simon Fraser and we want competing against the top teams in the nation to become part of what makes playing at SFU so special.”
The 13-game regular season schedule is just the fourth in school history (2005, 2006, 2008). The Clan will open the season at home against perennial PNCLL Div II power Western Washington on February 6. SFU will then take a three week break from competition as Vancouver hosts the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Cathrea and Hoskins will use a prolonged pre-season to prepare the Clan for what will undoubtedly be the toughest schedule in the program’s 15-year existence.
Fraser will start the month of March on the road when they travel to the Colorado to play Colorado State on March 5 before facing 2009 semi-finalist Colorado on March 7. The Clan will then travel to Ann Arbor on March 12 to take on the two-time defending MCLA Div 1 Champion, Michigan Wolverines. SFU will wrap-up their Michigan road trip with a visit to Lansing to play Michigan State on March 14.
After a challenging first couple of weeks, the Clan will return home on March 20 to play host to Brigham Young. This will mark the first time the Cougars have played Fraser on Canadian soil. The Clan continues their mini home stand on March 27 when another out-of-conference (OOC) opponent, Cal Poly, makes their first trip north of the border to Burnaby.
April opens with a rematch of the 2009 MCLA Quarterfinal as SFU travels to Lake Oswego, OR to play Chapman on April 3 and then Arizona State on April 4. These games will be hosted at Lakeridge High School in a showcase weekend featuring SFU, ASU, Chapman and Oregon.
Following a tough stretch of OOC games, the Clan return home for the final time of the regular season to face divisional opponents Oregon State on April 10, before hosting long time PNCLL rival, Oregon for Senior Appreciation Day, on April 11.
Fraser will close the regular season on the road with two additional conference games versus University of Montana in Missoula on April 16 and University of Washington at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, WA on April 18.
A quick review of the opponents on the 2010 Simon Fraser schedule includes many of the MCLA’s top programs. Fraser will play both teams that advanced to last year’s MCLA Division I National Championship Finals (Michigan/Chapman) as well as the 2009 (BYU/Colorado) and the 2008 (Arizona State) MCLA Division I Semi-Finalists. They will also face-off against three other 2009 MCLA Tournament teams (Colorado State, Cal Poly and Oregon) and one other opponent that finished the 2009 season ranked in the MCLA’s Top 20 (Michigan State).
Simon Fraser posted a 14-1 record and defeated Oregon 11-7 to win their second straight PNCLL Conference Championship in 2009. SFU climbed as high as No. 2 in the CollegeLAX Top 25 Poll before entering the MCLA National Championship as the No. 6 seed where they would fall in overtime 15-14 to No. 3 Chapman in the Quarterfinals. The Clan will carry a 19-game regular season winning streak into the 2010 season, during which Fraser will celebrate its 15th anniversary of the program.