SYRACUSE, NY – After defeating Team England 20–6 on Tuesday night, the Iroquois Nationals went head to head with Team Canada, falling short 12–8 on Sunday, September 26 at the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
With a record crowd of over 10,000 at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome and the majority known to be Haudenosaunee, massive cheers came from the stands as the Iroquois Nationals were awarded silver medals.
The win gave Team Canada their fifth consecutive gold medal for an indoor lacrosse championship, and the Iroquois Nationals their fourth silver medal. Chief Oren Lyons awarded Lyle Thompson with the Best Forward Award, Sid Smith the Best Defence Award and Jeff Shattler the Best Transition Award for the game.
Chief Oren Lyons said it was an “honour” to host the WILC 2015.
“This team,” Lyons motioned to the Nationals. “Is a great team of Onkwehonwe and hosting this event will go into the memory of our people. Bring it back to us again.”
Nearly the entire game had fans on the edge of their seats as in the first two quarters each goal was returned by the Iroquois Nationals. Jeff Shattler and Randy Staats scored singles, while Johnny Powless, and Miles, Lyle and Jerome Thompson scored two each throughout the game.
Fighting hard for the ball and making smart moves in re–possession held the Nationals in the game, as the first goal by Team Canada was returned with two. By the end of the second quarter; Randy Staats nearly tied up the game again to make the score 6–5.
However, the beginning of the fourth quarter had massive upheaval in the stands as a referee called an “in the crease” call on a goal by the Nationals, with video footage on a mega screen showing a Canadian player in the crease. A call said to have been made by the same referee that called back another goal in the Nationals previous bout against Team Canada.
Coach Rick Kilgour said the call was “questionable.”
“We’re not supposed to say anything bad about the refs,” said Kilgour, “It went in, they looked around, called it a goal, then one refs came running in, I don’t know what he saw and why he made that call. It was a big call, I don’t know if it was the right call.”
Kilgour explained that the loss was “a tough one.”
“I’m disappointed. I’m definitely not disappointed in us, I’m just disappointed that we came up a goal or two short. I really think we had the team to do it this year, but you have to give Canada credit. They’re a great team and they beat us in a really good lacrosse game,” he said.
During the press conference Team Canada seemed to admire the Iroquois Nationals Team; as many Canadian players have played with or against some of the Nationals players in the NLL.
“With this Iroquois Team we knew we were going to have our hands full,” said Canadian Coach Eddie Comeau, as the Canadian Team said the Iroquois Nationals were an “excellent team,” and appreciated the gift of lacrosse from the Haudenosaunee people.
At half–time and for the closing ceremonies, Haudenosaunee dancers and singers in full regalia brought life to the floor with colour and showed how alive Haudenosaunee culture continues to be.