COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- When Texas A&M walked off the field in Farmer's Branch in 2008 having just lost to Minn.-Duluth in the first round of the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, the Aggies were probably quickly turning their sights to the following season. After all, they had just gone to the tourney two straight years and looked in control of the Lone Star Alliance.
They haven't been back since.
Texas, Texas State and SMU have gobbled up the subsequent bids, taking Texas A&M off the national grid.
Optimism has returned to College Station, however. Heck, the Aggies are even hyping games five months away.
I know this is like 700 days away but #leggo pic.twitter.com/eDRJkB2mpt
— Texas A&M Lacrosse (@TexasAggieLax) September 25, 2016
Tony Scazzero -- one of the four individuals to serve as MCLA president -- has a team loaded with grizzled returners along with dash of young talent that should let them build on last year's run to the LSA semifinals. The Aggies just might be perfectly situated to become the hunter in a wide-open conference.
Team: Texas A&M
2016 Record: 11-6
Conference record/finish: 4-1 / LSA Semifinalist
Head Coach: Tony Scazzero (38th year)
Mike Bryan -- He scored 16 goals and dished out 14 assists as the Aggies' go-to attackman in 2016.
Logan Bonsignore -- The senior notched 17 goals and six dimes while playing big in big games,
Ian Wood -- Wood was the most consistent defender for A&M and matched up against the opponents' best attackman.
Bryce Green -- Scored 31 goals and dropped 10 dimes. He was named first team all-LSA and HM All-American. Green is the leader on and off the field with an outstanding skill set.
A.J. Hepting -- Named first team all-LSA after posting 51 goals and 19 assists. His 70 points made him the Aggies leading scorer.
Tucker Bryce -- The true two-way midfielder scored 27 goals with 7assists and 43 ground balls. Named third team all-LSA.
Best moment of the 2016 season.
Achieving our team goal of making it to the LSA semifinals (the Aggies lost to eventual champion Southern Methodist).
Biggest challenge facing us in 2017
Playing more consistently in big games. We will build on the offensive momentum and look to become more disciplined on team defense.
Why the Aggies will be better in 2017
Successfully integrating our returning starters with our incoming talent on both attack and defense. Our focus this fall is teaching the new guys how to be successful within our system and learning how to play at the collegiate level. There is a high talent level among the incoming players and they have brought a strong work ethic to our fall practices.
We're looking to further evolve the team chemistry at both ends of the field. I have been impressed with the effort and enthusiasm at practice and the willingness to learn. I see the incoming players providing the needed depth and increasing our overall talent level. We now have the roster to make us a very successful team. Based on our performance to date, I see the Aggies taking a big step upward in 2017.