July 2, 2012

Team USA Remembers Chris Sanderson

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Three-time USA midfielder Matt Striebel said former Team Canada goalie Chris Sanderson played with both "childlike joy" and "a fiercely tenacious quality" that showed in his fight with cancer.
© Kevin P. Tucker 

With the funeral being held Monday in Princeton, N.J., for former Team Canada goalie Chris Sanderson, some members of Team USA who competed against Sanderson shared their remembrances of the three-time all-world goalie who helped the Canadians beat the U.S. for the 2006 FIL World Championship. Sanderson also played in three other world title games against the U.S., in 1998, 2002 and 2010, the latter of which he played in the middle of his battle with brain cancer. He passed away early Thursday morning after that lengthy battle. He was 38.

Matt Striebel

Team USA (2002, 2006, 2010), Rochester Rattlers all-star midfielder

"You play against Sandy you remember him most as a voice. He was non-stop chatter, some good, most of it bad--the kind that gets in your head and stays there. I remember him running circles around the crease in Perth in 2002 to kill off penalties, Mikey Powell and Darren Lowe chasing but never quite catching him. I remember him walking out to the field in 2010, dauntless, loud, and then performing at a level that was remarkable on its own merit let alone all that he was going through at the time.

"There was always a childlike joy in the way Chris played that was both contagious and inspiring. There was also a fiercely tenacious quality to the way he did things, born out in the fight he waged against his disease until the very end. It's unfathomable to think of what Chris has had to endure since his diagnosis in 2008; it's similarly unfathomable to imagine him NOT playing for Canada in 2014. For so long Chris has been Team Canada. A mainstay. The guy in the back. That voice."

Mike Pressler

2010 Team USA head coach, Bryant men's head coach

"All of us in the lacrosse world that knew Chris were very saddened to hear of his passing last week. I will remember Chris as one of the all time greatest competitors between the pipes that I had ever seen. His individual performance in the 2010 World Games while in the middle of cancer treatment was one of the greatest displays of guts, courage and determination I have ever witnessed in the history of our sport. We all feel so sorry for his family and country."

Kevin Cassese

Team USA midfielder (2002, 2006, 2010), USA training team coach (2010-12), Lehigh men's head coach

"Chris Sanderson was one of the toughest competitors the game of lacrosse has ever seen. I had the opportunity to play against Chris in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Championships. He was an incredible goaltender who played at the highest level of the sport for a long period of time. More importantly, he was well respected as a charismatic leader and a great man."

Sanderson is survived by his wife, Brogann, and daughters Stevie, 6, and Clementine, 4, and his parents, Phil and Susan Sanderson; father, Bill Gerrie, and younger brother, Dustin.

Sanderson is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, Tania and Sam McCleery, and brother- and sister-in-law, Mark and Ana Tassie, and their son, Harrison. He was predeceased by a younger brother, Ryan.

Donations in Sanderson's honor can be made to "Chris Sanderson Memorial Trust" to benefit his legacy, and his children's education, and mailed to Guggenheim Partners, c/o Chris Sanderson Memorial Trust, 1045 First Ave, Suite 120, King of Prussia, Pa., 19406. Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, N.J. To send a condolence, visit www.wilsonapple.com.

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