"Oren Lyons is set to watch the country's most elite American Indian sports team play in the semifinals of the 2008 Under-19 World Lacrosse Championship
The Iroquois Nationals
, representing the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, are scheduled to play Canada as both teams vie for a shot at the championship, which will be played on Saturday. The Iroquois, the only internationally sanctioned indigenous U.S. team, is competing against 12 nations at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, B.C.
“Win, lose or draw it doesn't matter, as long as the game is played,” said Lyons, the team's founder and an internationally respected Native spokesman from the Onondaga Nation in New York.
On Wednesday, the Iroquois Nationals were ranked third in the International Lacrosse Federation tournament behind the United States and Canada. Team USA has a 5-0 record, while Canada is 4-1. Those teams dished up the Iroquois' only losses for a 3-2 showing.
“We had four- and five-goal runs on both teams within five to six minutes, but we didn't maintain the intensity,” said 19-year-old Aaron Printup, a midfielder. “We relaxed and let the other team get the ball.”
Tony Gray, head coach for the Iroquois, said his team stayed with Canada and the United States right up until the fourth quarter. “We have a young team, so we're figuring out how to finish games,” he said. “Physically, we match up well with every team in our division.”
The Nationals moved into the semifinals after a 28-2 victory over Scotland on Tuesday."
Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Iroquois lacrosse team rolls into semis
(The Missoulian 7/10)
Jodi Rave: Good luck to Iroquois Nationals team!