(Photos by Dave Adams)
Mike Roth enters the MCLA Hall of Fame as an outstanding player.
The offensive face of Colorado State’s near-perfect three-year run from 1999-2001, Roth was as dominant an attackman as the MCLA has ever seen. The Rams all-time leader in points (375), the Aurora, Colo., native racked up a pile of accolades to go along with the Colorado State wins during his career.
Roth was a two-time All-American, a three-time all-RMLL selection and a three-time MCLA all-tournament pick. Colorado State won its first national championship in 1999 and Roth was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring seven goals and dishing out two assists in the championship game win over Simon Fraser.
Perhaps Roth’s signature game came in the 2000 semifinals when he scored nine goals along with an assist in the Rams win over California. The nine goals still stands tied for the most in an MCLA tournament game while the 10 points is tied for second most.
“Mike Roth was synonymous with Colorado State University men’s lacrosse at the beginning of our historic run in the late 90s and early 00s,” said former Rams coach and player Alex Smith. “He was the absolute epitome of what Flip Naumburg wanted to build at CSU: a fearless competitor who led by example, never backed down from a challenge and is a loyal teammate to the end.
“Mike was someone who could truly say that he was the best possible version of himself as a lacrosse player at the end of his career. His virtues as a player, captain and person represented the very best of Colorado State lacrosse and the MCLA at that time. I’m proud to have suited up with him in many games, both in college and post-collegiately. Whenever you need a big play, you turn to Mike Roth and he’s sure to come through.”
Roth played in the national championship game in each of his three seasons, leading Colorado State to titles in 1999 and 2001. He is known in the annals of the MCLA as one of the deadliest scorers, with 245 of his 375 points coming on goals.
The Eaglecrest (Colo.) High School product was a two-time captain for the Rams and named to the MCLA All-Decade First Team. Roth was also a two-time captain of the Team USA West squad.
“I feel truly thankful to be inducted into the MCLA Hall of Fame,” said Roth. “Honestly, when I went to CSU, I never even thought that I’d play lacrosse again after high school. I didn’t even know they had a program. Luckily the first day I walked onto the field, Flip Naumburg was there. My college career never would’ve been possible without him.
“I’ve always had great respect and admiration for the Creator’s Game. It gave me inspiration when I needed it growing up. Baggataway and what it stands for has always spoken to my soul and guided me into manhood. It was an honor to lead my team to greatness and to look back on it with no regrets is truly a blessing. One teammate I need to single out is Mike Napolilli, my left-hand man. Without him, we never would have won anything and I’m not accepting this award.
“While I am extremely proud of my individual statistics, they pale in comparison to the satisfaction of being in three straight national championship games, earning three straight first team all-tournament selections and winning two national championship rings.”