SEVEN NATIONALS TO DRESS FOR DIRTY LAX
9/25/12 1:10 PM
(September 25, 2012)… The Hamilton Nationals are “getting the band back together.” Seven members of the Major League Lacrosse team will play for The Dirty Lacrosse Club on Saturday in an exhibition game against Canisius College. The 4:00 p.m. game will take place at the Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, NY.
“I'm looking forward to playing with my Nats guys," said Nationals midfielder Kevin Crowley. "We felt we underachieved this year so hopefully we can right the ship and get some wins."
Head Coach Randy Mearns, who is in his 15th season as the head coach of Canisius College, will lead the defending MAAC Champions against Dirty Lax. Dirty Lax will travel to Canisius as it prepares for the 22nd Annual Hawaii Invitational Lacrosse Tournament. The Griffs will battle a team that features Hamilton Nationals players like Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keogh, Crowley, Jeremy Thompson, MJ Kiekebelt, Dan Coates and Adam Jones. Despite its star power, Dirty Lax knows it’s in for a tough game.
“I expect this to be a very high-paced, high-intensity game. I scrimmaged Canisius many times during my college years, and they always play with a lot of heart. At the end of the day, they are playing for a college team who have practiced and played together day in and day out for the last four years. So, they certainly will be much more polished and organized in the way they do things,” said Kiekebelt. “On the other hand, we are a group of players where the majority of us have, or will be playing, at the professional level and have a strong appetite to win. I believe that both teams will come out with a lot of fight and that this game will display some great lacrosse.”
Lacrosse fans will get a preview of the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Denver by watching the Dirty Lax team. Founder and General Manager Jason Donville admitted that 12 to 15 players from the team could play in the next World Championships.
“There are a lot of guys out there with aspirations of playing for Canada and the Iroquois, but don’t play in the NLL or MLL, or just don’t get the reps they need,” he said. “That’s the reason behind Dirty Lax. It was so those players could play at a high level in the fall, which was the only hole in the schedule. I wanted to build a nucleus of guys to get ready for the next World Championships.”
“I think it’s great what Jason is doing with Dirty Lax to let guys continue to play field lacrosse, and work on their games from a Team Canada and Iroquois standpoint,” said Mearns, who also coaches Team Canada.
Dirty Lax will play in its second straight Hawaii Tournament, which is set for October 26th to 28th at Kapiolani Park on the island of Oahu. In 2011, Dirty Lacrosse lost a hard-fought 5-4 decision to defending champion Wimmer Solutions in the Finals. Crowley returns for his second season with the Dirty Lax team.
“Hawaii for me last year was one of my best memories playing this sport,” he said. “So, I'm obviously pumped to play again this year with a group of great guys.”
“It’s always fun to play field lacrosse after playing indoor lacrosse all summer,” added Jamieson. “I am a firm believer that lacrosse is lacrosse. I love it and play as much as I can.”
Eleven of the players were part of the “Duel in Denver,” which was won by Canada on September 8th. Jones, who played for Canada in Denver, is one of five Canisius College standouts that are returning to campus for Canisius’ Alumni Weekend. Joining him are Coates, Kevin Ross, Matt Vinc and Simon Giourmetakis. The Canisius’ contingent represents five of the 13 former local college stars on Dirty Lax. Tickets to the contest are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. An autograph session will follow the contest. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (716) 888-2885 or visiting ticketmaster.com.