"The Iroquois Nationals
, the only American Indian team sanctioned to compete in an international sport, was prepared for battle Thursday in the team's first game of the 2008 World Lacrosse Championships in Canada.
“We have great expectations for our young boys,” said Gewas Schindler, the team's assistant coach, who was walking onto the tournament field in Coquitlam, British Columbia. “We're playing Team USA, which is undefeated in under-19 play, and we're looking to knock them off.”
The 2008 Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships runs through July 12. The outdoor tournament is played every four years.
The Iroquois Nationals consists of 23 players representing the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy. This year, more than 130 Native athletes in the United States and Canada tried out for the team. The Nationals have been part of the International Lacrosse Federation since 1990.
“This is the pinnacle of what we wanted,” said Kevin Sandy, an Iroquois Nationals board member, who traveled with the team. “We're playing the best team in the world. It doesn't get any tougher than that. It's our first game. We have to come in there with high intensity, high tempo. Hopefully, we can keep that up for the whole tournament.”
With four minutes and 30 seconds on the clock in the first period, the score was 4-5, with Team USA leading. The tournament schedule and period scores for all games are available at www.2008worldlax.com
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Jodi Rave: Iroquois team takes field at World Lacrosse Championships
(The Missoulian 7/4)