This year the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference has realigned from its previous three divisions to just two: 1A North and 1A South. Missouri is the South division.
According to Missouri Coach Keith Euker, the GRLC has traditionally been a weaker member of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and this move is designed to help change that. The two divisions will give the eight teams more non-conference games and they are encouraged to play against tougher opponents.
In past years when a GRLC team makes it to the national tournament it usually was knocked out in the first round, and by a fairly large margin. By playing only three other conference teams, this leaves 10-12 open dates to play OOC games against stronger teams. If all GRLC teams play tougher competition for their OOC games, this should increase the overall strength of the entire conference.
“Typically when a team plays OOC games they are against stronger opponents,” Euker said in an email. Though running up the score on weaker teams might boost morale, “You don’t get better by playing weaker opponents,” Euker added. This season Missouri’s OOC games include Michigan, Texas State, TCU and SMU.
Coach Euker notes, “In order to play the best teams in the country you have to be able to travel.” This will mean more fund raising for Mizzou to pay for the Spring Break trip to Texas and the April trip to play Michigan. So please support your favorite players when they come around asking for your financial support. Every dollar helps to make the team stronger.