Visiting Chiefs hold on to edge Brooklin Lacrosse Club

By Sam Laskaris 

Members of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club were unable to pick up a W in their Wednesday night contest against the visiting Six Nations Chiefs. But Brooklin head coach Jason Crosbie certainly was not complaining with the efforts of his charges in their 9-7 Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) loss. The game was held at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby. Other than a slow start, which saw Brooklin fall behind 3-0 before the game was five minutes old, the hosts more than held their own against the league-leading Chiefs, whose roster is stacked with numerous stars that also play professionally in the National Lacrosse League.

“I can’t say anything negative about anything, regardless of the loss because they busted their ass tonight,” Crosbie said of his players. “And we just came up two goals short. That’s all.” 

-photo by Sam Hossack as U13 Whitby Boys team help us celebrate Scott McMichael Minor Lacrosse Night

Crosbie added if you take away the opening five minutes, his Brooklin team outscored the Chiefs 7-6 during the remainder of the match.

“It was a pretty good game from five minutes on,” Crosbie said. “It was a pretty good game, just back and forth.”

With the victory the Chiefs improved their record to 9-2-0, good for top spot in the five-squad MSL. Brooklin’s mark is now 4-4-0. On paper, Wednesday’s game could probably have been viewed as a mismatch, considering the elite talent the Chiefs have assembled this season.

“There’s heart, there’s compete level, there’s no quit,” Crosbie said, stressing other attributes that can lead to success in the MSL. “We keep reiterating that to the guys and whoever there is in the lineup whether they are Senior B guys or junior guys. That’s the kind of mentality we have and we don’t quit. We just keep going.”

Crosbie also realizes it will take a few other things as well to be successful.

-photo by Sam Hossack

“We need good goaltending, we need a lot of things to go our way against teams like that and against Peterborough (the four-time defending national Mann Cup champs),” he said. “They’re professional teams. And they stand up and they take their licks and they keep going. I love that about them. I love that about this whole group and I wouldn’t want it any other way right now. I appreciate them. And there’s really nothing else to do. We just fell two goals short tonight.”

Brady Kearnan, who led the Brooklin offence by scoring three goals and adding two assists on Wednesday, said his teammates can’t be intimidated squaring off teams in the upper echelon of the MSL standings.

“With a team as talented as Six Nations if you go into it (thinking) we’re going to lose because of their talent or their stardom, then I think we’ve already lost the battle,” he said. “We have a good group of guys, we work hard, we’ve got a young team, we can run the floor. There should be no reason as to why we can’t compete with every team in this league. And that’s including Six Nations and Peterborough.”

But the youthful Brooklin side appeared a bit off to start their battle against Six Nations.

“We can’t shy away early,” Kearnan said. “We had a rough five minutes to start the game. We bounced back as a team and that’s what we’re about. I guess that’s how we’re supposed to play – those 55 remaining minutes of lacrosse.”

Kearnan said several factors likely contributed to his team’s slow start.

“There’s a lot of things that go on the floor,” he said. “Sometimes guys just miscommunicate with each other on offence. And same thing on defence. And that just kind of snowballs. It took a while for us to get our feet under us. Once we started going, we started settling into our offence and started playing the way we should.”

Sean Westley and Luke Pilcher were the other Brooklin scorers against the Chiefs, netting two goals each.

Brooklin is right back in action on Thursday night when the squad hits the road to square off
against the Brampton Excelsiors. That match, which has an opening faceoff scheduled for 8 p.m., will be staged at the Brampton Memorial Arena.