Whitby, St. Catharines, Brampton and Oakville grads playing for gold at World Lacrosse Championships in San Diego

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Published June 12, 2023 at 2:09 pm

Dyson Williams competing for Canada in 2021

A six-pack of local lacrosse stars will try to bring Canada its fourth world title this month when the world’s best athletes playing the Creator’s Game converge on San Diego June 21 to July 1 for the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship.

The gold medal game has always been the USA vs Canada but while the Canadians have an edge in the box version of lacrosse, the Americans are usually ranked #1 in the traditional field game, where it is a popular collegiate sport.

Canada won its first world title in 1978 when Oshawa’s Stan Cockerton led the tournament in scoring and scored the overtime winner in a dramatic 17-16 upset win over the U.S. in Stockport, England. They added their second gold in 2006 in London, ON when they won 15-10 and their third world crown happened in 2014 when they used a slow-down game to perfection to beat the U.S. 8-5 in Denver.

That was also the first year the Haudenosaunee Nation (then called the Iroquois Nationals) medalled in the world tournament, beating Australia for an historic bronze medal.

Haudenosaunee is always a force, with some of the world’s best lacrosse players at their disposal – many who hail from the GTA – with only their lack of depth preventing them from challenging for the gold every tournament.

The Whitby Warriors organization will have three alumni on Canada’s roster, including defender Graeme Hossack of Port Perry – a veteran from Canada’s 2018 silver medal team – and two Oshawa players: goalie Brett Dobson and midfielder Dyson Williams, a Duke University star, the presumptive number one pick in the upcoming NLL draft and the son of Las Vegas Desert Dog coach and hall of famer Shawn Williams.

Latrelle Harris, a defender from St. Catharines and another holdover from 2018, is also on the squad, as is faceoff specialist Justin Inacio of Oakville and two players from the Brampton Excelsiors  system: Jeff Teat, an attacker with the New York Riptide (and the #1 pick in the 2020 NLL draft) and  Clarke Petterson, who had 198 points for Brampton in just 39 games his last year of junior in 2018 and is now a three year NLL veteran with Halifax.

 

Jeff Teat playing for Brampton

There are also four players from the gold medal 2014 team playing this year, including goalie Dillon Ward (Orangeville), who was the MVP nine years ago, but there is also plenty of youth with seven players 25 or under on the roster.

Canada will compete in Pool A, which is made up of the top teams in the world: United States, Haudenosaunee, Australia, and England. Team Canada opens the action against the USA on June 21 at Snapdragon Stadium at 7 p.m. PT.

The head coach for Canada is Matt Brown (Burnaby, B.C.) and he has a staff of five assistant coaches to get the job done, including Merrick Thomson of Stoney Creek and Dan Coates and Randy Mearns of St. Catharines.

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