UCSB's Loy joins Gaucho teammates for opener.

Freshman Aaron Loy joined his UCSB teammates at the season opener against USC
In one of the most remarkable comeback stories in all of sports, Aaron Loy, a freshman on the UCSB mens lacrosse team, returned to the sidelines on Saturday night for his team's opening game against USC.

His pre-season was a bit more challenging than most.

It began 12 weeks ago when he was rushed to a Santa Barbara area Emergency Room by his UCSB dorm mates with what was soon diagnosed as meningitis. Three hospitals, an air medi-vac ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego, sixty doctors, eighty or more nurses and specialists, a double amputation of his lower extremities, and twelve surgeries later, Aaron had overcome incredible odds and joined his teammates for the 2014 season opener against the Trojans.

Shortly after the game began, Loy made his way to the UCSB sideline, where he remained, smiling, throughout the Gauchos impressive 20-6 win.

"It was truly touching and eye opening to see Aaron out there," commented senior defenseman and UCSB captain Alex Mainthow. "That was the first time a lot of the guys had seen him since he was hospitalized, and the joy that brought our team made me realize we aren't just a lacrosse program, we truly are a family. His ability to fight through this and stick with us has shown a lot of the guys how special our program is and that no matter what, our team will always stick together. We're a family forever."

UCSB's first in-game time out, at the end of the first quarter, was consumed by hugs and high fives with Aaron. Loy, proudly wearing a #4 Gauchos jersey, spent the remainder of the game smiling and interacting with everyone on the sideline.

"Having Aaron make it to our game was an exciting and humbling moment for our team," added fellow freshman Casey Mix. "It really made us appreciate the opportunity we have to play lacrosse and to never take our time on the field for granted. It was amazing to see Aaron on the sideline, smiling the entire game. His ability to keep a positive attitude throughout this entire process is incredible, and really shows how much of a competitor he is. I am so thankful I can call him my friend and my teammate."

Loy will join his teammates again on March 8 at Orange Coast College, when the Gauchos play LMU in Game Two of the Pacific Coast Shootout. He will have a busy day. Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan also invited Loy to be on the Fighting Irish sideline for their game against Denver.

Aaron Loy still has many challenges ahead. His family reports they have assembled a great team of doctors, specialists and therapists, whose collective goal is to get Aaron back to UCSB for the Fall 2014 quarter. His prosthetic team will begin to work with him, once his recent grafts are healed.

If you would like to help in Aaron's recovery efforts, there are two funds recently established in his name:

HelpHopeLive - In Honor of Aaron Loy
(Tax Deductible)

Aaron Loy Recovery Fund
(Gift / Non Tax Deductible)
Pacific Premier Bank
781 Garden View Court, Suite 100
Encinitas, CA 92024

Pacific Coast Shootout

2020 Pacific Coast Shootout
Yale 17 •  Michigan 11

2019 Pacific Coast Shootout
Notre Dame 10 • Denver 7

2018 Pacific Coast Shootout
Maryland 11 • North Carolina 7

2017 Pacific Coast Shootout
Virginia 19 • Cornell 18 (OT)

2016 Pacific Coast Shootout
Notre Dame 9 • Maryland 4

2015 Pacific Coast Shootout
Maryland 10 • North Carolina 8

Pacific Coast Shootout
Denver 10 • Notre Dame 7