Canadian and Iroquois Players in The NCAA Finals

submitted by Jason Donville

Syracuse wins the NCAA
 
Wow! – What a week for fans of field lacrosse everywhere. The past week witnessed the NCAA finals which of course went into overtime and featured a clutch winning goal from Six Nation’s Cody Jamieson.  For the final game, there were eight Canadian or Iroquois players in the line-up. Following closely on the heels of the NCAA championship was the MLL draft which occurred on Wednesday and saw one Canadian and one Iroquois player drafted in the first round. Finally, we finish this week with a game in Toronto that features both first round picks from north of the border and the likelihood that they will go one-on-one on several occasions. Here’s a quick recap of the weeks events – note that I have attached the final scoring stats for the NCAA as well.
 
Cody, Sid and Stephen help bring home an NCAA Championship.
 
For those of you who missed it, the NCAA finals were played this past Monday between Syracuse and Cornell with Syracuse winning 10-9 in overtime. Of the 153 Canadians and Iroquois playing in the NCAA in 2009, eight were in that final game. The Game was extremely well played and required a major comeback by Syracuse to force overtime. Down the stretch, Syracuse scored the last four goals in a row with Cody Jamieson scoring two including the overtime winner and Stephen Keogh (Toronto Beaches) scoring one to go along with the other goal he scored in the first half. Sid Smith (Six Nations) was also prominent throughout the game and made a crucial strip of the ball in overtime that ultimately led to the Jamieson goal – how fitting for life long friends. Overall, a fantastic way to end a tremendous season! Congrats to the Big Orange!
 
Putting the 2009 stats in perspective
 
This will be my second last note on the 2009 season as I will finish with a more thorough statistical re-hash in a few weeks time. In the meantime, let me point out that the 153 Canadian’s that played in the NCAA in 2009 scored in aggregate 1,792 goals or 11.7 goals each. However, if we take away the 36 players that were either out of the line-up, were goalies or were long poles, then the number of attacks and middies stood at 117 which raises the scoring average to 15.3 goals per player. This is an impressive number and explains in part why I expect the numbers of Canadians playing in the NCAA will continue to rise. I will have more on this in my final note in a few weeks time.
 
The MLL NCAA Draft
 
One of the features of the NCAA finals is that the MLL draft occurs immediately after the championship game. Before discussing the draft results, it is worth pointing out that there tends to be a bias against drafting players from British Columbia in the MLL because of the costs related to having these players commute to teams that are based in the east. This explains why players such as Garret Billings (Langley) were drafted late in the process or in the case of Joel Delgarno (Port Coquitlam) who was not drafted at all.
 
The Whitby Warrior and Sid the Kid go in the first round of the MLL draft
 
Zack Greer, the Whitby Warrior who scored 42 goals for Bryant this past year was the top Canadian drafted overall going #3 to the Long Island Lizard.  It is presumed that Long Island wanted to grab Greer so that he could be linked up with former team mate Matt Danowski whom Greer played with at Duke. Toronto has plenty of offensive fire power already so the priority was defence in this draft and Toronto used its first round pick and sixth overall to grab Sid Smith, the Syracuse long pole from Six Nations. Toronto used its next two picks to grab a goalie (Doc Schneider from UMASS) and a fast two way middy (Brad Ross from Duke)  Two other Canadians were drafted and they included Cory Small (St Catherine’s) who went 22nd overall and Garrett Billings (Langley) who went 32nd overall – and both were drafted by Toronto. Commenting on the draft, Nationals President and GM Stu Brown said “I think we did a great job addressing all of our needs in the draft. We wanted to add a starter on defence which we did in drafting Sid Smith. We added some excellent depth at midfield with Brad Ross and at Defence with Mike Timms and Chris Schnogar. To be able to pick up two players like Corey Small and Garrett Billings as late as we did speaks volumes about the depth of this years draft. Both players could be starters on some teams in this league, for us they will provide great depth at the attack position. We also added another great goaltender in Doc Schneider who I think will compliment Brett Queener and Rob Scherr very well and gives our Goaltending a real solid look for years to come” I think the draft was a great success for us and Coach Huntley did a great job of addressing all of our teams needs and getting us few real steals late.”
 
The Whitby Warrior and Sid the Kid go head to head this Friday Night in Toronto
 
For fans of field lacrosse, the Toronto Nationals will host the Long Island Lizard who will slither into town tomorrow night. This game will feature the first match-up between the Whitby Warrior (Zack Greer) and Sid (the Kid) Smith. Assuming both can get their personal affairs sorted out in time, we expect both players to be in the line-up for tomorrow nights game. We are also expecting a large contingent of fans from both Whitby and Six Nations. For fans who watch the field game closely, Sid Smith’s role is typically to cover the high scoring off-ball attack man and that is typically the role that Greer plays when he is on the field with Danowski. Thus, Smith and Greer will likely go head-to-head on several occasions and it should be an exciting match-up for all concerned. The Nationals are the only undefeated team in the MLL and are looking for another good crowd at tomorrow nights 7:30 tilt at BMO Field.
 
These are exciting times for Canadian Lacrosse
 
Yours in lacrosse
 
JD

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