As the summer rolls on here in the old US of A, club lax season is in full tilt mode down in Western Australia. The Wembley Wolves continued to dominate the WA Smokefree State League and dismantled the Phoenix Lacrosse Club in their latest game.
They started out pretty tight with Wembley leading 4-3 after the first quarter but things got ugly soon after as Wembley took an 11-5 lead into halftime and really poured it on in the second half with a final score of 30-6. Yes, 30 to 6, I did not e-stutter.
Great photo mashup shot by Mick Waddell taken from facebook. Hope you don’t mind, Mick!
Some of the younger guys played for Wembley as their usual goalie, Sam Williams, sat in favor of Steve Stojkos. Additionally, Wembley had TWO ten point scorers in Matt Diver who had 8 goals and 2 assists while Alex Brown had 6 goals and 4 assists. Adam Sear notched 5 goals of his own and added 3 helpers for 8 points. Lachlan Bunbury dominated the faceoff square for Wembley while John Casey added a hat trick, Jaxon Hall went 2g and 3a and Sam Ramsay (son of the legendary Aussie laxer Bob “Tractor” Ramsay) notched 2 goals of his own and adding a helper. Even one of the defensive minded Bentley brothers added a goal when Morgan scored in the 3rd period. Phoenix has been led all season by the Roost brothers, Nathan and Travis who have both played in the US at one point or another. Travis has also been on Australia’s national team in the past. Other solid players for Phoenix include Warner, Toner and Kittle.
Phoenix was on the brink of dissolution when I was down in Perth in 2001 (playing for a then struggling Wembley) so it is GREAT to see Phoenix with a full A-league team as well as Wembley back on top. Lax in Western Australia (WA) seems to be experiencing some positive growth and continued expansion of lax around the world is great for the future of the sport. If Phoenix can continue to grow its youth teams they will be in a solid position for the near future.
Bunbury tearing it up time and time again at the faceoff square. Courtesy of Mick Waddell’s Facebook, again!
In other news, Bayswater clings to the second spot for now after losing to East Fremantle last week 11-9. Subiaco barely got by Wanneroo. In that contest, Blair Coggan and Gareth Allen supplied a majority of the offense for Wanneroo as they came up a little short.
This was the last game before the midseason break in WA. The season is cut in half there because of the National tournament where all of the State teams compete for the national championship. A number of Wembley players will make the State team and WA will have competition from South Australia and Victoria for the Championship. Those have been the top 3 states in Australia for quite some time with the navy and white of Victoria winning many of the championships over the last decade. The championships will be held in Adelaide, the home of many national sporting events.
There will also be a camp held for the players who still have a shot at the national team. I believe Adam Sear, two of the Bentley brothers and Alex Brown are still in contention for spots on the final 23 man roster.
There is also a rumor that the NLL will be playing a showcase in Adelaide in October. Box lacrosse has been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years in Australia and the NLL seems to be taking notice. As this story develops, we will keep the LaxNation posted but in the meantime, you can get all of the existing info on the NLL All Star Series here. We will be keeping our eyes on this event because it could be a cool venture that has the possibility to help expand lacrosse around the world.
As always, if you’re a Septic Tank Yank or Canucklehead and you want to play lax down under let me know! The trip is amazing and well worth the 36 hour flight. The lax guys are friendly, the beer flows like wine (or something like that) and the people are tan and scantily dressed. It’s like vacation ALL THE TIME! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get yourself started on a Lacrossetralia journey…
As usual, many thanks to Jake Cutler for the slideshow of pictures. Jake, you are the man but it looks like Mick is giving you a run for your money with the lax photos! Keep up the good work of spreading the gospel that is lacrosse.