Deep Dish Lax: Child’s Play

The Purple Turtles get ready to war. Goalie War.

Editor’s Note: This is Chris Weed’s second post for LAS.  Chris will be keeping tabs on Lacrosse in the Midwest, specifically Chicago.  Let’s see what’s happening in the Windy City area this week…

This past Sunday marked the final fall ball day for the True Lacrosse Fall League in the Western Suburbs.  I’ve been fortunate enough to coach both the 5th/6th and the 7th/8th grade groups for this league for the past 7 weeks and let me tell ya, coaching youth is a blast. Jake Deane (UMass ’06) has been growing the sport in the Chicagoland area for 4 years now and has really brought a surge of players into the sport.

Jake scoring in the national championship game. No big whoop.

True Lacrosse is run by Jake and former Chicago Machine teammate Mike Gabel (Vermont ’05).  If you get a chance to come through the Windy City and see some lacrosse, no doubt one of these two fellas will be part of your experience.

So the final day of the league has traditionally been a day of “competitions”.  Of the competitions that went on Sunday morning, the crowd favorites were the javeline toss and goalie wars.  While I had heard of both games before, I had never seen goalie wars in person.  What a fantastic game for a group of young lax bros.

The premise of the game is, split a large group of young dudes into two teams.  Throw a couple goalies in front of the cage.  Then, set about 20 balls on the midfield line (like dodgeball), set the remaining field players on GLE (like dodgeball) and blow the whistle and have everybody run to the balls (like dodgeball).  The difference is, instead of trying to eliminate the other team, you’re trying to score goals.

The Purple Turtles get ready to war. Goalie War.

The game I oversaw was a matchup between the Purple Turtles and the Goon Squad.  Each game was played to five goals.  The Purple Turtles quickly overpowered the Goon Squad in the first game, winning 5-1 in a matter of 20 seconds. But the Goon Squad quickly turned the tides using brain power, ironically enough.  They started to collect the balls as the Turtles lofted them over until they had most in their possession. Then, out of the crowd you hear a shrill voice yell “1… 2… 3!!!!” and the Squad unleashed a barrage of white rubbery death from the sky.

Way to represent Illinois red gloves, good 1 handed technique!

Game 2 proved a little more balanced, with a final score of 5-4 in favor of the Goons. Game 3 was more of a slug fest. I bore witness to a number of players getting dome scoped and while the Turtles hoped to overpower once again, the Goons prevailed with tactics at a score of 5-3.

Goons celebrating their recent victory

The game was a blast.  You couldn’t help but chuckle as little 7th and 8th graders took rubber shrapnel off the head, arms and legs.

Minor gear change, but a follow up to last week’s post:  The MCLC had their annual tournament this past weekend.  The tournament was played in South Barrington, IL on Saturday, 10/23. Lincoln Park played Windy City in the play-in game.  It was a good, close game throughout, with great goalie play on both sides.  Windy City was down by 3 going into the 4th, but managed to pull out a 1 goal victory, gaining them birth to the rest of the playoffs.

Chicago played the Minnesota Lakers in a close game at 10:30, winning by only 1 goal after storming back from a deficit. At 12:00, Windy City took the field again against Cleveland and looked like a shell of their former selves from the morning, losing decisively.

The championship game was held at 3:00 between Cleveland and Chicago. This was an exciting game, both teams having a small bench but playing with big emotion. Chicago trailed by 2 going into the 4th, but found some extra getup and finished the game, winning by 1.  Congratulations to Chicago Lacrosse for their 4th MCLC title in a row!  The dynasty continues…