THREE NATIONALS TO PLAY FOR USA IN 2012 CHAMPION CHALLENGE
1/27/12 12:00 AM
(Hamilton, January 27)… Three members of the Hamilton Nationals will represent Team USA this weekend in the 2012 Champion Challenge. Attackman Casey Powell, goalie Scott Rodgers and defenseman Steven Waldeck will take part in the US Lacrosse event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., January 28-29.
The U.S. men’s national senior team will battle the University of Denver, who had its best season at the Division I level in 2011 with a 15-3 record and an NCAA Semifinal berth. The 1:30 p.m. game will be televised live on ESPN3.com and will be re-airing on ESPNU at 10:00 p.m.
The U.S. men’s team will include members of the 2010 World Championship team and training team and professional-level players who have played in Team USA events. For more information about Champion Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, visit: www.uslacrosse.org/ChampionChallenge
Powell will play his first game since the MLL Finals where he suffered a knee injury in August. He sparked a second-half comeback with three of his four goals in a 10-9 loss to Boston in the title game. He led the MLL Playoffs with five goals and eight points. The former Syracuse University star is Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leader in points (393). Powell was named to the All-MLL team in 2005, and is a three-time MLL All-Star (2001-03). Furthermore, he has won three MLL Championships and earned two MLL Offensive Player of Year honors (2005 and 2007). Internationally, he played for Team USA in the 1998 FIL World Lacrosse Championship and helped the US win gold. The West Carthage, NY, native won silver with Team USA at the 2006 World Field Lacrosse Championships. Powell was a four-time All-American and a two-time National Player of the Year at Syracuse. He helped SU to the 1995 NCAA National Championship and was recognized as a four-time member of the NCAA All-Tournament team.
Rodgers led the Nationals to the 2011 MLL Finals and was third in the MLL with an 11.46 goals-against average and fourth with a .558 save percentage. In 2010, Rodgers had an impressive rookie campaign with the Nationals. The Wantagh, NY, native was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 NCAA Championship as he helped Notre Dame reach the title game of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The fifth-year senior made 53 saves (13.25 per game) and surrendered just 23 goals (5.75 per game) during the four games of the tournament. He concluded the 2010 collegiate campaign ranked first nationally in save percentage (.605) and third in goals-against average (7.56). The two-time All-American honoree finished his stellar Notre Dame career with a 24-6 record to go along with a 6.77 goals-against average and a .642 save percentage.
Waldeck completed his second season with the Nationals in 2011. In 2011, he played in 12 games and registered one goal, one assist and 36 ground balls. The Levittown, NY, native finished his college career at Stony Brook with 313 ground balls, including 112 in 2010, the third most in school history. Among all long poles, he led the country with 10 goals and four assists. The three-time All-America East First Team selection finished his four-year career with 17 goals and 11 assists. He was the first player from Stony Brook to get selected in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
The Nationals will open the 2012 season against the Denver Outlaws, on Saturday, May 5th at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Hamilton makes its home debut on Friday, May 18th with an 11:00 a.m. contest against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. For ticket information, contact the Nationals Ticket Office at (905) 768-2225.