Club ready for competition with high-calibre roster
Agility, speed, and strength continue to be at the centre of lacrosse, one of Canada’s two national sports. With a growing interest among University of Ottawa students, a fourth-year engineering student Brett Parres and alumnus Jeremy Kearns have both headed a new Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) club that has been playing in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) against other universities.
Carleton University is the only major university in Canada’s capital that hosts a competitive and funded lacrosse team. Parres explained that when he applied for university, he gave Carleton some serious consideration purely based on its lacrosse team, or rather, the U of O’s lack of a lacrosse team. In the end, however, academics took precedence over his decision.
One of the few sports native to Canada, lacrosse was created by the Iroquois people and is often referred to as the fastest sport played on two feet. Field lacrosse is one of three major versions of lacrosse played internationally. It involves two teams, each competing to shoot a lacrosse ball into the opposing team’s goal. The other versions, women’s lacrosse and box lacrosse, are played under significantly different rules.
“Each team plays with 10 players on the field,” explained Parres. “A goalkeeper, three defenders in the defensive end, three midfielders free to roam the whole field, and three attackers attempting to score goals in the offensive end.”
Slated to be in the Eastern Conference of the CUFLA for next year, the Gee-Gees are hoping to have an immediate impact on the field. Playing as an exhibition team this year, Parres felt the Gees were able to perform at a high level and he wants to be competitive with their official standing next season.
With a new semester now underway, the team has ramped up its recruitment efforts in the hopes of getting the team prepared in time for late summer. Unlike other leagues, professional lacrosse players playing within the National Lacrosse League (NLL) are eligible to play in the CUFLA. Although the stick handling is the same, the significant differences in box lacrosse and field lacrosse have allowed players to be deemed eligible. Many alumni in the CUFLA also play professional field lacrosse and have won gold playing for Team Canada.
With a high calibre of players and interest amongst students, the team has been able to attract 50 different players but is always looking to recruit new players in the hopes of putting the best product on the field.