Brooklin Begins Busy Week With Road Loss In Oakville

By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club hit the road on Monday to begin one of its busiest stretches of the season.   And it wasn’t the best start for Brooklin, which will play three games in four nights.  

As it has done all season Brooklin proved it can play with any squad in its league. But that once again did not result in a win.

That’s because Brooklin was downed 8-5 by the host Oakville Rock in its Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) contest. The match was held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.  With the loss, Brooklin, which has three regular season games remaining, saw its record fall to 2-13. Brooklin was officially eliminated from post-season contention last Wednesday.

With the win Oakville improved its record to 8-7. The Rock also moved into a tie for third place in the MSL standings with the Brampton Excelsiors. Brampton, however, which is sporting an 8-8 mark, has played one game more than Oakville.

The top four finishers following regular season action will advance to the playoffs. Despite the loss, Brooklin’s head coach Brad MacArthur was relatively pleased with his effort from his charges Monday.

“My guys worked hard tonight,” said MacArthur, who also serves as the general manager of the Brooklin squad. “But there were some mistakes we made in the second period and Oakville put a couple past us.”

Oakville held a slim 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes of Monday’s outing. The Rock then extended its lead to 6-3 following the second frame. MacArthur is expecting his club to also play hard for the remainder of its campaign. And he said there’s no issues with getting players motivated for its upcoming contests.  “Absolutely not,” he said if it’s challenging to remain upbeat. “It’s fun. And for the staff and the players it’s a process to see who is dedicated.”

The Brooklin organization was anticipating a rebuilding 2019 campaign with its relatively youthful lineup.
“At the same time the big picture is in perspective,” MacArthur said of the franchise’s anticipated bright future.

Monday’s contest provided a couple of firsts for the Brooklin team.  For starters, John Wagner, who was playing in his third game for the club, scored his first MSL goal. “It was a great feeling,” Wagner said of his first goal in the league.
Wagner also had another first this past Saturday. He suited up for his first game with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL), an American-based pro field lacrosse circuit. Wagner, a midfielder, earned a pair of assists in his MLL debut in the Bayhawks’ 14-10 loss versus the New York Lizards.

“That was exciting as well,” Wagner said. Wagner, who lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, said he’s trying to remain positive in Brooklin’s last few matches this season.

“I’m just looking to get better every game,” said Wagner, who wrapped up his collegiate career earlier this year with Wisconsin’s Marquette University. “And there’s always something to play for.”  Meanwhile, Brady Kearnan played his first MSL contest with Brooklin on Monday. Kearnan, who spent the season with the Toronto Beaches’ Junior A squad, is the younger brother of Brooklin’s assistant captain Connor Kearnan.

“Playing in his first game in this league, and against Oakville which has a number of National Lacrosse League stars, I thought he did well,” MacArthur said of the younger Kearnan.  The elder Kearnan and Jake Fox provided the rest of the scoring for Brooklin, netting a pair of goals apiece.

Brooklin’s next game will be on Wednesday at home. The Cobourg Kodiaks will provide the opposition for that match, which will begin at 8 p.m. at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.  Brooklin will then travel to Brampton on Thursday to square off against the Excelsiors. That contest also has an 8 p.m. start.