Editor’s note: We’re back with another installment of our Wolf of the MCLA series! Thanks to the support of Wolf Athletics, we’re selecting, interviewing, and honoring impressive student-athletes who are competing in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association throughout the 2015 college lacrosse season. Each new member of the “Wolf Pack” will receive a Ghost shaft as an award for his accomplishments. We hope you enjoy![mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
The first Wolf of the MCLA to join The Pack in 2015 is human brick wall, Austin Lewis.
Austin is well known for ruining kids’ days in the PNCLL, this goaltender has been posting an 8 goals per game average or better in his first three seasons at Oregon.
Austin was even a baller back in high school, don’t take our word for it? Watch!
Last year Austin excelled on an off the field, earning a spot as an All-PNCLL Honorable Mention goalie and as an All-MCLA Scholar athlete.
The whole Pacific Northwest practically thought that we should invite him to join the Wolf Pack, so get to know our first goalie addition, Austin Lewis.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
Austin Lewis – Wolf of the MCLA
Full Name: Austin Lewis
Key Stats: All-PNCLL Honorable Mention Goalie, MCLA Scholar Athlete
College: University of Oregon (MCLA Division I)
High School: Oregon Episcopal School (OR)
LAS: When you aren’t playing lacrosse, what are your hobbies off of the field?
Lewis: I love spending my free time with friends and family. We watch everything from SportsCenter to True Detective, or get into some heated FIFA matches.
I am also always listening to, and searching for, new hip-hop and rap. Currently J. Cole’s new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive has been on repeat.
Do you play any other sports?
I played basketball and soccer in high school along with lacrosse. I still play a lot of pick up basketball at our rec center and intramural soccer in the spring, but lacrosse takes up the majority of my time.
Favorite shoes in your collection?
Recently I just picked up the Kyrie 1 ‘Dream’ over last winter break, while working at Nike. Definitely the best basketball shoes I’ve played in.
What’s your idea of a perfect meal?
Special Spicy Chicken Teriyaki from Tokyo Grill in Portland. Nothing comes close.
What’s your main source of transportation?
I have a car at school, but getting around on bike is definitely the way to go.
What is your pre-game ritual (if any)?
I love getting to the field earlier than everyone so I can get in an extra long stretch. I use this time to calm my mind before the game and envision the saves I am about to make.
Playing goalie is such a mental position, more than it is physical, so it is really important to focus my energy on the game before I step on the field. I also spend about 5-10 minutes before gearing up throwing a racquetball against an uneven concrete wall to ready my eyes for the game.
What is one thing you wish the world would understand about lacrosse?
Lacrosse combines so many aspects of other sports that any neutral fan can find something to like about the game. From the box substitutions, and fast paced play of hockey, to the half field offensive and defensive plays like basketball, this sport has a little something for everyone.
Do you consider yourself a lone wolf, leader of the pack, or committed teammate?
As the goalie I consider myself a leader of the pack because I carry a lot of responsibility for the outcome of the game. I’ve seen a lot of goalies lose their head in game and defer blame to his defense, which is the fastest way to lose the trust of your teammates.
In my experience the better I am at playing level headed, and making key saves for my team, the more energized our team plays.
How many years have you been playing lacrosse and where did you find your start?
I started playing lacrosse for Oregon Episcopal School when I was 10 years old. Lacrosse was still very young in Oregon at this point, but my school played a big part in fostering the growth in the state, and we as players had a lot of support in the early years.
I got forced into playing goalie in 8th grade, and I absolutely hated it at first. The position definitely has the biggest learning curve, because once you can get over the fear of the ball and focus on your fundamentals, the more you start to make big saves in game and have fun playing alongside your teammates.
What made you choose to go to become a Duck?
I grew up a huge Oregon fan in both football and basketball, but I told myself I wanted to look out of state for college.
Once it came down to it, I could not pass up the in-state costs, and competitive MCLA program Oregon offered. Now it’s four years later and I have never looked back.
What are your goals for yourself and the team in 2015?
I think this squad has the best chance in years to bring Eugene a MCLA Championship. We are still very young, but after a few scrimmages in the fall and winter the team is growing up fast.
As a defense we are very strong this year and I believe we can hold any team under seven goals.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
Congratulations to Austin, and a special thanks to Coach Bongiorno, Coach Eckenroad and the University of Oregon Ducks for nominating him as our latest Wolf of the MCLA!