With a world record total of over 10,400 in attendance this Sunday at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome, Team Canada bested the Iroquois Nationals with a final score of 12-8 at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships to take home the gold.
Amidst massive cheers from a crowd filled with a majority from the Iroquois nations, the Iroquois Nationals collected their silver medals and Team USA was awarded bronze medals.
The Iroquois Nationals received Silver Medals at Worlds Photo: Vincent Schilling
2015 marks the fourth time the Canadian team has won the WILC and to date, they remain undefeated in obtaining tournament gold. Previous to the gold and silver medal match-up between Canada and the Iroquois Nationals, Team USA took the bronze against Team Israel with a final score of 15-4.
The Canadian team lauded the Iroquois Nationals at the after-game press conference, calling them an excellent team. Team Canada also added that they appreciated the gift of lacrosse from the Iroquois people.
Canadian head coach Eddie Comeau said, “With this Iroquois team, we knew we were going to have our hands full.”
When asked why the Iroquois Nationals didn’t take home the win, coach Rick Kilgour replied simply, “We played a really good game, they were just a little bit better. We could have tied it up, who knows,” he said, but added with a laugh “but isn’t that what the losers always say?” The Iroquois National players also laughed with Coach Kilgour.”It was disappointing, but I’m proud of the players and I just wish we could have had a different outcome.”
In the fourth quarter, a goal by the Iroquois Nationals was recalled by the same referee who had called back a goal in their previous bout against Canada. Randy Staats said the team did not feel deflated, but the goals just did not come together in their favor.
“We had three different resets, we weren’t scoring on wide open shots, we just needed to buckle down a little better,” said Staats.
“We’re not supposed to say anything bad about the refs, but that call was pretty questionable,” said Kilgour. “It went in, they looked around, called it a goal, then the one ref came running in, I don’t know what he saw...and why he made that call. It was a big call, I don’t know if it was the right call,” he said.
Kilgour remarked how great it was to work with his players, calling them coachable and hard working. “And with these four Thompson brothers, I call them the Beatles, ‘Hey Paul, Hey Ringo.’ There were 7 and 8-year-olds out in the stands who look up to these players, maybe one of them is the next Thompson,” said Kilgour.
The players also shared what it was like to play lacrosse on the Onondaga territory. “It is a big thing to come back to the reservation and play for all of our people. It is an incredible opportunity, it brings our community together,” said Staats.
Fans of the Iroquois Nationals at Syracuse University's Carrier Dome on Sunday
Jeremy Thompson said, “It reminds me of playing in our backyard with me and my brothers, growing up on this Rez. It is definitely an honor.”
Coach Kilgour and the Thompson Brothers Photo: Vincent Schilling
When Kilgour was asked what the Iroquois Nationals needed to do to get the gold, he said, “Score one more than them.”
The closing ceremonies of the WILC 2015 included presentations of the medals to all of the players of Team USA, the Iroquois Nationals and Team Canada, the presentation of the WILC trophy and MVP awards by Chief Oren Lyons and dances by the Haudenosaunee Dancers.