Mustangs suffer first loss
Making some waves
Mustangs climb the mountain
Women's volleyball served up in Montreal
Let's have some hockey hooliganism
Mustangs climb the mountain
By Jordan Bell
There's a changing of the guard on the campus of the purple and proud.
While the Western Mustangs' football team was getting thoroughly thrashed by the McMaster Marauders this past Saturday, a short walk away the Mustang lacrosse team was taking the stick to the same Marauders routing their opponents 18-4.
That was only the beginning of the weekend success for the under-appreciated squad. The next day the team pulled off an upset of monumental proportions, beating the Guelph Gryphons, the Ontario University Field Lacrosse Association champions from last year, 11-10.
"We have never beat Guelph at home," attacker and German national team member Jason Jankowski said. "This definitely sends a message that we're the real deal."
The Mustangs depended on their ability to win draws and were fuelled on the offensive end by midfielder Ryan Sedgwick, who netted a hat trick. But according to head coach David Leich, the glory and notoriety should go to a young and inconspicuous wall in net.
"If there was a most valuable player in that game, it had to be our rookie goalie Jesse Cracknell," Leich said. "The kid showed veteran leadership beyond his years."
In the Marauder rout, it was midfielder Chaka Bainbridge and attacker Joe Falconi, who had three and two goals respectively. Falconi also assisted on four Mustang goals. They provided immense punch, but Leich is clear about where his team's excellence lies.
"The major strength of this team is its depth," Leich said. "Our third line could easily be any other team's first. I have a bunch of blue-collared guys who work hard."
The season began with a disappointing loss at the hands of the Brock Badgers, a game the team thinks got away from them. The lacrosse food chain has recently been controlled by Guelph and Brock, but the Mustangs are poised to feast on the beast.
Attacker and captain Jeff Campbell said it's only a matter of time before they reach the summit. "When we get everyone on the same page, there's no one in this league that can beat us."
Nonetheless, the team struggles with the lack of attention and Campbell said it's hard to compete in the shadows. "Lacrosse is our national sport. It would be nice to get the same recognition the other teams receive."
But Jankowski said the tide has gradually begun to sway. "The first year I played here, there were only about 20 fans and on Sunday, we had 500 people out to our game. The growth is encouraging."
The Mustangs continue their quest this Saturday at 7 p.m. at TD Waterhouse Stadium against the Carleton Ravens.