Students, faculty gather to remember life of men’s lacrosse player

The scoreboard in Hunter Stadium showed Isaiah Kozak in remembrance of his life.
Photo by Kelby Lorenz

Updated March 9, 12:28 p.m.

Students, faculty and friends gathered at Hunter Stadium to honor Lindenwood men’s lacrosse player Isaiah Kozak, who took his life yesterday.

The men’s lacrosse team held a memorial for Kozak at 3 p.m. on the field where he used to play with his team. The scoreboard read “Isaiah” as the home team and “Kozak” as away with the clock left at 41 seconds, signifying his number on the field.

Molly Beckham hugs a fellow women’s lacrosse player before the ceremony remembering the life of men’s lacrosse player Isaiah Kozak.
Photo by Kelby Lorenz

Members from the women’s lacrosse team took the field first, walking in a tight group, some holding one another.

Jim Lange, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, told the crowd that this memorial would be “informal.”

“My plan here is to talk a little bit about Isaiah,” said Lange. “The point of this is to get a few smiles.”

He shared a story about Kozak’s first goal on a collegiate lacrosse team last year against Roberts Wesleyan College in New York.

“The kid lost it, just lost it,” said Lange. “He ran, pushed the goalie away, grabbed the ball out of the back of the net. The ref tried to take it from him, he yanked it away from the ref and ran off the field.”

On Saturday, a freshman on the team, one of Kozak’s linemates, had his first collegiate goal.

“At the end of the game the whistle blew and everyone goes to congratulate the goalie,” said Lange.  “I kind of see Isaiah veering off, he ran and grabbed that ball to give to his linemate.”

Kozak’s teammates and members of the women’s lacrosse team stepped up one by one to tell stories about his love for food, Lindenwood, his teammates and making other people happy.

A GoFundMe page was created by Lindenwood alumni and former women’s lacrosse player Maddi Ossello. Within 24 hours, the page raised more than the $21,000 goal.

The memorial ended with a 41-second-long moment of silence. 

Changed to reflect an update in the GoFundMe donations.

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