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Nationals Pride

July 30, 2012
July 30, 2012

Table of Contents
July 30, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
PENN STATE
GOLF
PRO BASKETBALL
  • Just five months after Jeremy Lin became an overnight global icon in New York City, the Knicks decided not to keep him, clearing the way for him to go back to Houston—where things promise to be significantly more relaxed

PRO FOOTBALL
THE BUNDY PROJECT
  • THE ORIOLES HAVE THE GAME'S BEST PITCHING PROSPECT, A 19-YEAR-OLD NATURAL WITH THE STUFF—AND THE WORK ETHIC—TO WEAKEN THE KNEES. NOW COMES THE HARD PART: TURNING DYLAN BUNDY INTO AN ACE, AND KEEPING HIM HEALTHY ENOUGH TO STAY ONE

POINT AFTER
Departments

Nationals Pride

Team USA gets a history lesson from the game's creators

By Julia Morrill

For decades the U.S. has dominated international lacrosse, and Native Americans—the people who invented the sport—have struggled to keep up as a separate entity. The U.S. has money and some 150,000 players to draw from; only 86 players showed up at the Iroquois Nationals' U-19 tryouts in September.

This is an article from the July 30, 2012 issue

So imagine the shock when, on July 17, the Nationals beat Team USA for the first time in international field competition. In pool play at the U-19 world championships in Turku, Finland, the Iroquois (above, in white) erased a two-goal halftime deficit to edge the U.S. 15--13. "This opened the eyes of the rest of the world: We can play lacrosse," says Nationals coach Freeman Bucktooth.

Alas, the Iroquois fell 12--7 to Team USA in the semis two days later. (They thrashed England 18--1 to win bronze last Saturday.) But beating the mighty U.S., which had never lost to any team but Canada, was a milestone for the Nationals only two years after they missed the world championships in England over a passport dispute.

"I have four sons, and all of them had lacrosse sticks from their day of birth," says Bucktooth. "We are a small community, and the players have a sense of history. It's important that we carry the tradition on."

PHOTOMIKKO VARJO (LACROSSE)