Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


'Stangs track down top awards

Rucchin's purple and proud in the NHL

Cheerleaders take basket-toss to Daytona

Lacrosse team is as good as gold

Lacrosse team is as good as gold

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

After this weekend's performance at the University of Pittsburgh Lacrosse Shoot-Out, the Western lacrosse team may never be invited back.

Western was the first Canadian team to ever play in the tournament and came away with the championship, winning the title game 5-4 over the host Pittsburgh Panthers.

According to Western captain Ryan Firth, the win didn't shock the other nine American schools in the tournament.

"They expected us to be good," the fourth-year mid-fielder said. "Although our positioning on the field may not have been as good as the other teams, coaches from the other schools felt our stick skills were the best in the tournament."

Western goalie Ryan Phillips, who Firth described as being the best goalie in the tournament, said his team's speed and footwork around the net were also key in helping them take home the gold medals.

"We have a really fast team and all our guys cut hard at the crease which made it tough for them to defend," he said.

Canadian's grow up playing indoor box lacrosse which is five-on-five, while the Americans play 10-on-10 field lacrosse, even at the younger levels, said Western's head coach Kevin Butler.

"The conception of space is very different," he said. "Canadians are not used to having a defenceman with a six-foot long pole on top of them all the time."

Steven Love, the head coach at Pittsburgh, said Western's ability to pass and catch the ball wrecked havoc on his club, since they were able to control the tempo of the game.

"When you have 13 guys who can catch and throw the ball well, you are able to have a much more laid back offence," Love said. "In comparison, most American schools have to drive and dump which causes fatigue quickly.

"Most teams try to push the ball but Canadian schools are much calmer and concentrate on controlling the ball."

Western attacker Jason Jankowski won the fastest shot competition with a 92-mile (148 kilometres) per hour bullet in the tournament skills competition.

Western, which competes in the Ontario University Field Lacrosse Association during the regular season, currently receives no funding from the athletic department. They plan to submit their application for semi-varsity status tomorrow, Firth said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999