The Best of 2015.

  1. The coolest MCLA team.

Imagine laxing in 70 degree February temperatures, with coeds in the stands and an SEC logo on the noggin. Or wading through Phil Knight’s Duck gear collection for that perfect look. Truth is, most MCLA teams are living the dream. But on this crucial question, we’re giving the edge to the UCSB Gauchos. (Gauchos. Let that roll off the tongue.) They’re selling their surf-inspired look on Sideline.

2. Team of the year.

The Lizards’ rampage deserves recognition, but Denver — over two dramatic weeks in May — pulled lacrosse’s axis of gravity west. Way west. Given that not a single East Coast ACC team made the Final Four this year, we suspect that the Pios’ run is no isolated occurrence.

3. The best play of the year.

The team of the year yielded our favorite play of the year, too. Wes Berg turned garbage into art with his loose-ball-turned-BTB-turned-five-hole-stunner in the Final Four. Stick it in the MoMA.

4. The coolest helmet.

Take a bow, ZimaGear. This helmet scaled new heights (Tufts cleared them out in a few days on SidelineSwap) by bringing together those twin pillars of lacrosse fashion: majestic animals and American flag iconography.

Finally, a helmet for the leather armchair set.

5. Best Twitter exchange

It was, to paraphrase Nixon, the hour that changed the world. Over one lunchtime in December, Machine hardman Scotty Rodgers’ offhand pastry analogy escalated into internecine Twitter warfare. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

Rodgacalypse Now.

6. Favorite new gear

The Metal Plus really is the lightest shaft you’ve ever held. (We know, because we passed it around the office and everyone said “This is the lightest shaft I’ve ever held.”) Their promo video — featuring Lizards attackman Matt Gibson — is pretty cool, too.

7. Best gear collection.

This was close, but the honors belong to SidelineSwapper pmetz, who managed to snag everything from a Grateful Dead tribute bucket to Hop’s Wounded Warrior lid. In one sentence: more blackouts than a college freshman.