With a 4-0 record to start the year, the university's club lacrosse team is off to one of its best-ever starts by utilizing creative recruiting to build a strong team.
“We have a full roster that’s from all over the United States – California, [Michigan], East Coast, West Coast, all over Texas, too. The talent level is above and beyond what we’ve had before here at TCU,” Matt Patyk, the team's defensive coach, said. “This is by far the best talent we’ve had on this team since I’ve been involved.”
Patyk, who played four years for the university, has been involved as a player and coach with the team since 2004.
Dillon Cook, team captain and a junior business major, said the team has done recruiting in New England as well, bringing in players from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Because the team is a club team and cannot offer scholarships, coaches have been selling the program to recruits as a place for players to enjoy the sport while being a student instead of a NCAA athlete.
“A lot of Division I, II and III teams have workout regiments that start at 6 a.m. and five days of practice,” Patyk said. “We offer something different here. You can come have fun at school, come out a few days in the spring and fall and enjoy lacrosse as a competitive sport.”
The strategy has been paying off. Last year, the team started off 7-0 before losing to Tennessee. The team could extend its current record to 6-0 this weekend when they play Oklahoma and Texas State.
Cook said Texas State will be the best team the university plays in the regular season thanks to the Bobcats’ new coach Michael Brand. Brand came from Brown University, where he led the Bears to a top-25 Division I ranking and an appearance in the Ivy League Championship Tournament last season. Seven of his players made All-Ivy honors.
Cook said his team is still confident in a victory.
“We’re coming out fired up,” Cook said. “We all know this is the best TCU lacrosse has been and we’re capable of beating both of these teams.”