Canadian and Iroquois Lax Players in the NCAA

submitted by Jason Donville

With the NCAA regular reason only a week and a half from season-end most teams are focusing on one of two issues. Many are trying to win their conference championships and therefore qualify for an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament while the rest are trying to earn their way into the final 16 with a strong later season surge. Several Canadian players have played prominent roles in some of the key match-ups over the past week.  These include Neufeld, Card, McBride, Greer, Jamieson, Keogh, Artem, Kirkaldy, MacIntosh and Clevely. For those keeping track of the stats, the 153 Canadians in the NCAA have scored 1,682 goals so far this year.  Here’s my brief recap of the week.
42% of this year’s Canadian Contingent are freshman and the numbers will grow again next year
One of the key story lines of this year’s lacrosse season has been the surge in the number of Canadians playing in the NCAA in 2009 which I estimate is up 35-40% year over year. This has occurred for a variety of reasons but regardless of what those reasons are, I predict that the number of Canadian’s playing in the NCAA within three years will rise from the current 153 to more than 300. How can I make such a bold claim? Having spoken with several high school and club coaches I am quite certain that next years freshman class (plus transfers from JUCO’s) will exceed this years 70 freshman by a considerable margin.  As such, if one does the math we see that the Canadian wave that was only a trickle a few years will soon be a torrent and that 300 Canadian’s or more in the NCAA in a year or two’s time is not only likely but may prove to be conservative.
Bryan Neufeld leads the Rookie Class of 2009
Among this years crop of impressive rookies none has shone any brighter than Siena’s Bryan Neufeld (Virgil). Neufeld leads all Canadian rookies in scoring with 33 goals and 12 assists for 45 points in 15 games. Neufeld had another productive week last week when he scored 3 goals and an assist in a 13 to 7 win over Marist and then scored a goal and assist in Siena’s 8 to 5 victory over Providence. Neufeld has won the “Rookie of the Week” award in the MAAC an unprecedented 5 times so far this year.
Stony Brook Salmonbellies?
Besides Neufeld’s performance there were several other games of note in Division I lacrosse last week that featured a Canadian or two. Long Island rivals Stony Brook and Hofstra are each having terrific seasons and both teams feature Canadians prominently in their line-up. Last Tuesday saw Hofstra narrowly defeat Stony Brook 12-11 with Jay Card (Caledon) picking up 3 goals and an assist for Hofstra. Stony Brook was led by Jordan McBride’s (New Westminster) four goals with Kyle Belton (Langley) adding a pair, Kevin Crowley (New Westminster) contributing 2 goals and an assist and Robbie Campbell (Delta) adding a goal and two assists. The boys from Stony Brook aren’t ones to dwell on a defeat and turned around and beat #20 Albany 13-12 a few days later with Robbie Campbell and Kevin Crowley each scoring a hat-trick and McBride and Belton adding singles. Corey Small (Albany) had a pair of goals from Albany.
Say Goodbye to Zach Greer and Hello to Cody Jamieson
Zach Greer (Whitby) concluded his remarkable NCAA season with a goal and 2 assists in a 10-3 win over Holy Cross and in the process tied the NCAA all time points record. This will be Greer’s last game in the NCAA but of course we won’t be surprised to see him reappear shortly in an MLL and NLL uniform. At the same time that we say goodbye to Greer, Cody Jamieson (Six Nations) made his NCAA debut with Syracuse in a game that was televised into the Toronto market via CBS College Sports. While Jamieson only played in the fourth quarter, he did manage two dodges at the net that highlighted both his explosive speed and ability to throw a fake. The UMASS game also featured an impressively large crowd and a particularly sweet between the legs goal by Stephen Keogh (Toronto Beaches) who had a hat-trick on the day.
A Quiet Week in Div II
The Div II Lacrosse world is quieting down quite quickly but a few performances were worth noting from last week. Braden Artem (Acton) had a big week scoring five goals in a 10-6 win over Lees-McRae. Tyler Burton (London) had two goals and two assists as Mercyhurst defeated Wheeling Jesuit 12-6 this past Saturday. Finally, Gabe Sutherland (Saskatoon), Tyler Douglas (St Albert) and Jesse Peterson (Saskatoon) each had a couple of goals and assists in losses to Assumption and NYIT.
The Tradition Lives in Div III
The first time I ever saw John Grant Jr play lacrosse was at the Tradition Lives Tournament in Red Deer, Alberta in 2000 and quite possibly Andrew Kirkaldy (Red Deer) was there as well. He certainly knows how to find the net like Grant as evidenced by his five goal performance against University of New England. Jordan Macintosh (Oakville) also picked up 5 goals in the 18 – 8 win. MacIntosh, who had been injured earlier this year has been on a hot streak of late and has scored 20 goals in eight games for Gordon. Adrian College in Michigan also has a large Canadian contingent on its roster and each week a different one seems to have a big game. Last week D.J. Clevely (Orangeville) scored five goals and added an assist and Jeff Ivey (Orangeville) adding two goals and an assist in a 19-15 win over Trine University.
Games Upcoming
There are a couple of Central New York rivalry games that are worth taking a look at if you get the chance to drive down from Toronto. Colgate plays at Syracuse in a game that will feature a number of seniors in what may be their last home games of their career. Just down the road will be a game filled with great tradition that will see Hobart take on Cornell at Ithaca. For lacrosse fans out west #2 SFU kicks off its PNCLL playoff run with a game against Oregon State at Tacoma. Tacoma is a bit of a hike from Vancouver but the boys in Red would sure appreciate your support.
Dave Huntley Is Coming To Town
Most readers of this blog who live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will probably be involved in watching or coaching a youth game this weekend. If so, keep an eye out for Dave Huntley who will be in town this weekend for the sole purpose of meeting and greeting prospective National’s fans like you. Depending on which NLL teams are eliminated from the play-offs this weekend, Huntley will be joined by the likes of Brodie Merrill, Dan Dawson and possibly Gary Gait. Regardless, don’t be shy if you see “Hunts” walking around a lacrosse field as I am told that he is one of the most likable, down-to-earth guys in the sport today. For those who miss seeing Huntley this weekend, don’t despair – he will be back the following weekend when the Nationals kick off their training camp, probably in Whitby. The Nationals website is now up and running and season tickets and flex packs can now be purchased for the team which starts play at BMO field on the 22nd of May. Go to and see for yourself. Looking forward to seeing you all at the season and franchise opener on the 22nd of May!
Yours in lacrosse – JD


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