December 27, 2013

Stories of the Year: Oh, Canada

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

Kevin Crowley won the MLL MVP Award in a banner year for Canadians.
© Greg Wall

The Canadian pipeline of lacrosse talent is not a new story, but the strength in numbers and depth of the phenomenon was notable this year.

At the top end, Canadians made up 40 percent of the nation's top-15 NCAA Division I men's goal scorers, the same percentage as Americans did. U.S.-born players still comprised 68 percent of the top 50 scorers, but Canadians made up more than a quarter.

The Canadian women's World Cup team made history this summer on its home turf in Oshawa, Ontario, beating Australia twice and earning the silver medal in the country's first championship game appearance.

Seventeen of the 18 players on the roster had NCAA experience, the lone exception being Lydia Sutton, a rising high school senior who is committed to play at USC.

In the MLL, north-of-the-border native Kevin Crowley was voted the league's most valuable player, the first Canadian since John Grant Jr. won the honors in 2008.

And it wasn't just an offensive year: Canadian-born goalie Dillon Ward had a breakout senior season at Bellarmine, with a 66.2 save percentage. He played for the MLL's Hamilton Nationals this summer and was drafted third overall by the NLL's Colorado Mammoth.

This story originally appeared in the December issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

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