Volume 96, Issue 11
Tuesday September 17, 2002

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Returning the favour
Brock handles lacrosse men

By Benjamin Mills
Gazette Staff

Allen Chen/Gazette

A MAN AND HIS LONG-SHAFTED STICK. The Western Mustangs men's lacrosse team weren't able to tame the Brock Badgers on Sunday afternoon.

The Brock University Badgers lacrosse team found sweet redemption on Sunday night, defeating the Western Mustangs 10-7 at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

The loss dropped the Mustangs to a 1-1 record on the season. Loyal Mustangs fans still showed up for the game despite the rainy conditions, but unfortunately the day didn't turn out as planned.

The contest was a rematch from last year's Baggattaway Cup final (considered the Ontario university championship of lacrosse) where Western beat Brock 12-10 in a nail-biter.

"We have a lot of guys back from last year, so this was a bit of revenge for us," said Brock head coach Shawn Williams, who also is a midfielder for Canada's national lacrosse team. "We're very lucky. Western is a great team."

"The basic story of the game was that we didn't get in [it] soon enough," said Western head coach David Leich, referring to his team's lacklustre performance in the first half. "The second half was a better indication of where our team is at right now," he added.

The Mustangs were outscored 7-4 in the opening frame, mainly because of Brock's quick transitional game. "Brock's a fast-break type of team and we couldn't react to it tonight," Leich said.

Several Western players play in the National Lacrosse League, which is allowed in university lacrosse because the NLL is an indoor (or box lacrosse) league and Canadian University lacrosse is played outdoors (field lacrosse).

Western goaltender Jesse Cracknell didn't match his stellar 32 save outing the previous night in a 10-7 defeat of the University of Guelph Gryphons, but still remained solid in net. "We were a bit worn down from the night before, but that's no excuse for losing," Cracknell said.

The loss, however, didn't seem to phase Leich or his players. "I'm happy with how we played in the second half, but it could have turned out much better," Leich said.

Cracknell added, "We controlled the ball well in the second half and our offense did their thing, but don't worry, we'll get them next time."

Big words from a big boy (and he is pretty damn big), but Western has the clout to back it up. Both Leich and Williams identified Western, along with Brock and Guelph, as the top contenders in Ontario this year.

Western's next game is at home in TD Waterhouse Stadium this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m..

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