Irvine, CA., May 22, 2023 – Concordia University Irvine’s men's lacrosse team won the 2023 Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Division I Championship in Round Rock, Texas on Friday, May 12. They are now the first program to win championships in both MCLA club divisions as they previously won the MCLA Division II Championship in 2017. The 2023 championship provides a memorable send off as the team will move to NCAA Division II for the 2024 season.
“It was amazing to see our confidence surge with each play from the first whistle of the quarterfinals to the final whistle of the Championship. I am grateful to have played a part in the team’s success. We are very excited for the move to NCAA Division II. This is a fantastic opportunity for Concordia to compete against a national schedule in an emerging sport,” said Jesse Foss, Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach.
During the semifinals game on Thursday, May 11, Concordia Junior Chad McFadden set a new MCLA record of 10 goals in a single playoff game during the team’s 25-10 victory over Liberty University. The 25 goals scored were also the most by any MCLA Division I team in tournament history. In the finals, the Golden Eagles went on a 15-5 scoring run in the second quarter of the championship game and claimed the title with a final score of 17-10 against Virginia Tech University. Concordia finished the tournament with the second-most ever total goals of 68.
“Our Athletic Department is proud of all that the men’s lacrosse team has accomplished in its short history, including two MCLA championships and individual and team MCLA records. We are confident that the team will build on its past success to thrive at the next level in NCAA Division II,” said Crystal Rosenthanl, Athletic Director.
Concordia’s men's lacrosse and STUNT programs will both transition from club to NCAA-sponsored sports at the start of the 2023-24 school year. As a result, next academic year, Concordia will offer 21 NCAA II sports: the most out of all NCAA DII West Region schools. The men’s lacrosse team will join the NCAA DII Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) as an associate member. Promotion to NCAA DII adds prestige, recruiting potential, and greater national recognition to Concordia’s already exceptional programs.
Concordia is committed to providing its student-athletes with facilities and resources that will support their outstanding achievement, both on and off the field. Concordia student-athletes compete with determination and excellence, thriving as competitors and classmates while preparing to live as wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens.
About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine, part of the Concordia University System, is a private, nonprofit Christian university that is proud to be one of the founding institutions of higher education in Irvine, California. For nearly 50 years, we have prepared students for lives of learning, service, and leadership through distinctive Lutheran education. Today, we educate nearly 4,000 students on campus and online, and our alumni network has grown to over 25,000 worldwide. We’re recognized as a top-ranked university for Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report and a fierce NCAA Division II PacWest competitor. Learn more about our mission, community, and heritage.