SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Five of the top MCLA teams in Southern California converged on the campus of UC Santa Barbara this past weekend to participate in the seventh annual Face Off vs. Leukemia event.
The event is held in memory of Stephan Meloy, a lacrosse player from UCSB’s Class of 2007 who passed away from leukemia in 2011. All of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“Throughout the years, you come to realize that it is the people who make a program special,” said Gauchos’ coach Mike Allan. “It is an honor to host this event and celebrate Stephan by supporting the LLS.”
This year’s event showcased Cal Poly, Chapman, Concordia-Irvine, USC and the host Gauchos. The games kicked off on Friday night with Chapman and UCSB squaring off in a full-length game.
“We've been a part of this great event since its inception,” said Chapman coach Dallas Hartley. “Raising money to fight leukemia is a great cause. On the lacrosse side, it's a great opportunity for us to finish fall ball with a full game against a top team like UCSB and play two or three games the next day against quality teams. We wouldn't miss it.”
On Saturday, the teams played 50-minute games with a running clock and gained valuable game experience for the fall. One of the interesting elements of this year’s event was the addition of the 80 second shot clock.
The teams all seemed to be fairly accustomed to the new rule, and there were only a handful of violations, according to Allan.
“The Faceoff versus Leukemia event is a day we look forward to every fall,” said Cal Poly coach Bobby Dabrieo. “It gives us the opportunity to compete against some of the best clubs in California while raising funds for a great cause. Kudos to Mike Allan and the rest of the Gauchos for a putting together a fun and well-organized event every year.”
“This is a fantastic event to be a part of,” added Concordia-Irvine interim coach Dylan Miles. “I was fortunate enough to experience this event as a player and a coach over the last few years and to see the growth of the competition has been great to watch. We are very thankful to Coach Allan for giving us the opportunity to be a part of it.