C/O Cooper Gary

Often overlooked despite being Canada’s national sport, the McMaster lacrosse team deserves more attention 

For those not already aware, the national sport of Canada is lacrosse. Despite that, there really isn’t much hype around the sport when it comes to varsity athletics within Canadian universities. Although the men’s lacrosse team is a member of the Ontario University Athletics, they don’t get nearly as much recognition as other sports such as football, soccer and basketball.  

With very little exposure for the team, it only felt appropriate to analyze the success and the dynamics of the men’s lacrosse team and figure out how this team fits in at McMaster. 

“We’ve basically got three practices a week even during the off season, with each being two hours long. During the actual season, we had one to two games a week and there was a lot going on during that time,” said Ryan Smith, a member of the men’s team. 

The most notable game for the team was against Laurier, when the Marauders were trailing 1-7, but ended the game with a score of 9-8, which marked an incredible comeback. This seemed to be one of the most impressive and more memorable games of the year. 

“For being a first-year goalie on the team, I am pretty satisfied with the way we played most of our games. Honestly, we had some great games throughout the season, such as the comeback against Laurier. For the team we had and the experience some players had, I think that we were pretty good all around,”

Ryan Smith

The team managed to make it to the playoffs this season, but unfortunately was eliminated in their first-round matchup against the Brock Badgers.  

“While we did qualify for the playoffs, losing in the first round to Brock was very unfortunate. I think that we have to focus on coming out stronger and harder, as in some games we would get down early and would have to fight our way back into the game,” said Smith.  

It’s evident that although this season was not bad for the lacrosse team, they would be eager to get back even stronger next year. They understand what they are capable of and are looking forward to the next opportunity to get back into competition. 

“For the next season I think we will do a lot better as our team was pretty young and we had a lot of players who have never played lacrosse in their life prior to this. We also now know each other much better and have gained more chemistry with one another, as we know the play style each person possesses. We have done a lot of team bonding over time, such as riding on the bus together before the game, team parties or even going to a bar to celebrate a team's birthday. Our coach, Jason Tellevi, is fantastic at bringing us closer together and has helped us improve a lot over the past season,” explained Smith. 

During the off season many athletes tend to practice or play scrimmages to keep in shape. The drill is no different with the lacrosse team, who continues their rigorous training methods throughout.  

“During the off season, which would be from early [in the year] until August 2022, I know a lot of boys on the team also play junior lacrosse for clubs. Those clubs are on from April until July, which ensures that you are staying in shape and in form as the stick is always in your hands and always playing and moving. We also have group workout sessions running from time to time. They’re great as everyone can push each other to do more and can see the progress individuals are making which will benefit our team in the long run,” said Smith. 

Although the lacrosse team is perhaps not the most recognized in university athletics, the team practices and has the same scheduling as every other varsity team at McMaster. Their hard work and determination in the off season may get them an even better season next year, for which the whole squad will be even more experienced.  

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