Ward Has Hand in Iroquois Lacrosse History
Moccasin head men's lacrosse coach Marty Ward was part of lacrosse history recently as the Iroquois Nationals defeated a United States Lacrosse team for the first time in international field outdoor competition. Ward serves as an assistant coach with the Iroquois under-19 team which beat the US, 15-13, in a pool play game at the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships Tuesday in Turku, Finland.
The loss dropped the US team into the quarterfinal round of the championships for the first time since sanctioned international U19 play in 1988. It was just the second loss for the US in 40 games this season.
Ward, representing the Cherokees, was the starting goalkeeper for the Iroquois Nationals in 2010, but an unresolvable passport issue with the British government caused the Nationals to withdraw from the World Lacrosse Championship tournament.
The Iroquois Nationals is the only indigenous sports team in the world that is playing in international competitions. Lacrosse is central to the social, spiritual and cultural heritage of the Iroquois (or Haudenosaunee) Confederacy, which includes the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras. While each nation is a separate entity, they share a collective identity as Haudenosaunee and travel on Haudenosaunee passports, rather than individual nation passports. Players from all six nations are competing in Finland.
For more information on the Iroquois Nationals U19 Team visit their website.