In front of another huge crowd at Syracuse War Memorial Arena, the Iroquois Nationals dropped a close 11-9 decision to Canada.
“It was a good game. We were right with them,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour said. “We had them down 8-4. All we had was a flat five minutes and they made us pay.”
With a 6-4 Iroquois lead at the half, Canada began to chip away, led by Mark Matthews’ five-goal effort, and Dan Dawson’s winning goal with seven minutes left to go in regulation time. “Every one of their players plays professionally and every one of their players has played box lacrosse since they were little kids,” Brett Bucktooth said. “If you take a minute off, or even a second, those five great players are going to take advantage. And that’s what they did to us. We just have to go out there and match their intensity for a full 60 minutes.”
But before Canada chipped away, it was all Iroquois to the delight of the crowd.
Haina Thompson got things going 57 seconds into the game. After Shawn Evans tied things up, Miles Thompson, Wenster Green and Lyle Thompson gave the home crowd lots to cheer for, increasing the lead.
Craig Point added another first quarter goal, while Matthews and Zach Greer replied for Canada.
In the second quarter, Johnny Powless and Matthews exchanged goals to give the Iroquois Nationals a two-goal lead at the half.
Randy Staats and Jeff Shattler got Iroquois out early again in the third quarter, before Matthews spearheaded his teams attack with two unanswered goals, with Dickson adding another to make it a one-goal game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Miles Thompson gave his team another two-goal lead, before Chris Corbeil, Matthews and Dawson gave Canada a lead they wouldn’t give up, with Jordan McIntosh adding an insurance marker.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Kilgour said. “They battled hard for the full 60 minutes. We just came up two shots short. That happens some nights.
“One good thing is what happened can be fixed,” he said. “England and the Czech Republic are geared up and will bring their A game against us. We have to prepare like we normally do and get back at it.”
The Iroquois Nationals are back in action Tuesday, when they face the England at Onondaga Arena at 4:30pm.
Media Relations, Iroquois Nationals