Tag Archives: History

MCLA Lacrosse: Stanford Men’s Lacrosse Is Celebrating 50th Anniversary As A Program In 2013


Stanford Header

The precursor to the Stanford lacrosse team was the Palo Alto Lacrosse Club, which consisted of mostly Stanford players, some of them graduate students.

“We had a three-time All-American from Harvard named Brady Watts,” Enersen said. “He was in the Stanford business school. He was an amazing player.”

Players wore hand-me-down football jerseys, scheduling games with whomever would play them. One of the first matches for Stanford was an excursion to Camp Pendleton in Southern California to play a Marine side.

Stanford men’s lacrosse coach Drew Virk recently unearthed an old San Francisco Examiner dated May 4, 1963. The story, written by Don Selby, tells of the sport of lacrosse making its debut on The Farm.

“Several young men down at Stanford are dashing about in football helmets and carrying sticks,” Selby wrote. “They aren’t gridders gone beserk; they’re playing lacrosse. Lacrosse? At Stanford?”

Believe it or not, 50 years later, lacrosse is still ticking at the school. Virk is marking the golden anniversary when Stanford hosts Cal in a match on April 27 at 1 p.m.

“There is a lot of history with this program,” defender Malcolm McGregor said. “We’ve had a lot of support from the alumni and parents alike. We have something special going, having the opportunity to play high-level lacrosse at an elite university.”

Virk has an alumni list 650 names long. Former players and coaches will be present when the Cardinal entertains the Golden Bears.

For more:  http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_23010034/stanford-mens-lacrosse-celebrates-50-years

NCAA Lacrosse: Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Celebrates 100th Year As A College Program (Video)


When the Penn State men’s lacrosse team took the field this season; they were playing for far more than themselves. They were playing for the legacy that built the longstanding tradition of Penn State lacrosse and the 100 years that came before them.

The Varsity ‘S’ Club spent months creating an event that recognized the thousands of alumni that came before this season. Saturday’s celebration of the 100th year of Penn State lacrosse started with a tailgate two hours before the game. Then at 1 p.m. the 13th ranked Nittany Lions took on 12th ranked Drexel with a half-time recognition, followed by a post-game reception and dinner for all to enjoy.

To start off the morning with team camaraderie, the lacrosse players and coaches had a team breakfast. Attending the breakfast was Scott McKeon from the class of 1987 who hoped to motivate the players for a win.  

“I just told them how proud we are of this team rebounding from the Notre Dame loss and now they’ve won five in a row,” McKeon said. “I told them how proud we are as alumni that they’ve learned how to win. After I spoke, Jeff [Tambroni] used the word team and team doesn’t stop at the lacrosse players. It extends to the alumni family and friends who are here to celebrate this moment and they really look at it as their future. Someday they will be doing what we’re doing as alumni.”

To start off the 100th season anniversary, a tailgate was set up for alumni ranging from the 1950s all the way to 2012 who had the chance to see their teammates, to meet those who came before them and to connect with those who came after them.

From the 1950s decade, Chip Henderson played lacrosse from 1956-1959 and rarely has the opportunity to reconnect with some of his teammates or other alumni. He enjoyed how well this event was planned to honor the legacy.

For more: http://www.gopsusports.com/blog/2013/04/mens-lacrosse-celebrates-100th-anniversary-season.html

History Of Lacrosse: ESPN Interview Of Dave Stout Of The Onondaga Nation (Video)


Dave Stout grew up on the Onondaga Nation and is living there still with his family. He played high school lacrosse as an attackman at New York state powerhouse Lafayette and is now a member of the Onondaga Redhawks. He supplied the photos of his son Brody accompanying this post, illustrating how much lacrosse means to his people.

ESPN associate producer Bryan Rourke spent time with the Onondaga, learning about their culture and the roots to the game of lacrosse.

Can you explain the passion for lacrosse and its history within the Onondaga Reservation? The game is older than the country. They say it goes back 900 years, maybe more. What is certain is the Native Americans in the Great Lakes and Upstate New York Regions invented lacrosse. It began as massive gatherings involving 100 to 1,000 men playing one game over several days with goals spread as far as two miles apart. But the ceremony known as Dehuntshigwa’es (To Bump Hips) was less a substitute for war than a way to honor the Creator. When an Iroquois dies, the first thing he does after crossing over is grab the stick laid in his coffin.

Were they open to the idea of ESPN’s cameras filming their culture? The Onondaga Nation community was very welcoming and accommodating to the ESPN crew during our two days of filming. Oren Lyons, Tadodaho Sid Hill & Neal Powless, all former Onondaga lacrosse greats and current community leaders, spent countless hours teaching us the historic meaning of the game, while also enriching us about the Onondaga culture and beliefs.

What was your personal experience being on the reservation and seeing a different way of life? When the decision was made to move forward with this project, I made it my goal to learn the Onondaga culture first-hand. I wanted to interact with the community face-to-face and spend time watching the game being taught and played amongst generations. Seeing the game thru their eyes became a priority. Over the span of three months, I made four trips to the Reservation — making friends, listening to countless stories and ultimately learning that lacrosse to the Onondaga is just not a sport, it’s a ceremony, a ritual, a medicine, a way of life.

What made ESPN want to honor the game’s origins now? We thought it was interesting how lacrosse has really started to grow over the last few years —  with television coverage and youth participation to name a few —  and it is actually the oldest sport in America. It is engrained in Native American history and an integral part of the Onondaga culture and spirit. The fact that there have been so many players to come out of the Onandagan reservation made it more compelling — despite the fact there are no players in this weekend’s championship.

The voices in the feature sounds full of wisdom, how was it interacting with them? It was an honor to work with former Syracuse greats, Oren Lyons and Tadodaho Sid Hill. As strong figures within the Native American community, both have a presence and aura about them. Each is soft spoken and selective with his words. Their knowledge and insight is powerful. They’ve seen the game evolve before their eyes, as technology and equipment have changed. Gone are the days of wooden sticks and deer-skin balls but both say one thing will always remain unchanged: “The Onondaga’s spirit runs through it.”

For more:  http://frontrow.espn.go.com/2012/05/behind-the-onondaga-nations-appearances-in-espn-lax-campaign/

Lacrosse Books: “Lacrosse: The Ancient Game” Presents The Culture And History Of The Game


"The reason why we wanted to put this book out was that it's very important for the newcomers to the game to understand the culture and history of the game," publisher and co-author Jim Calder said to a crowd in the museum that included, among others, US Lacrosse employees, members of the Johns Hopkins' men's and women's lacrosse teams and Georgetown coach Dave Urick, who coached Calder as a player in the 1970s at Hobart. The 95-page book includes an informative and easily digestible 24-page version of the oral tradition of "the Creator's Game," provided by Jacobs, a Faithkeeper and member of the Cayuga Nation, part of the Six Nations Confederacy. Another section of the book explores the growth and change of the game after European contact, and the final section provides insight on 'The Stickmaker' and the relationship and ritual of the stick.Throughout, the book includes brilliant, original illustrations by David Craig, one of Canada's premier illustrators, and Arnold Jacobs, an Onondaga Nation Hereditary Chief, that provide an effective visual context.Throughout, the book includes brilliant, original illustrations by David Craig, one of Canada's premier illustrators, and Arnold Jacobs, an Onondaga Nation Hereditary Chief, that provide an effective visual context.

Throughout, the book includes brilliant, original illustrations by David Craig, one of Canada's premier illustrators, and Arnold Jacobs, an Onondaga Nation Hereditary Chief, that provide an effective visual context.

History Of Lacrosse: Onondaga “Stick Makers” Make Lacrosse Sticks The “Traditional Way” (Video)


An Onondaga father and son make lacrosse sticks in the traditional way. Filmmaker Jack Ofield writes “Lacrosse Stick Maker features Alfie Jacques and his father, Lou Jacques. Alfie was in his early 20s when I filmed him. He is seen actually making the stick. His father is seen lacing up the leather thongs.

A Video History Of Lacrosse In Victoria, Canada


A history of field lacrosse in Canada.

Lacrosse In The 1970′s: The 1971-72 Virginia Men’s Lacrosse Team Featured Goalie Rodney “Roddy” Rullman Who Was “The Anchor” Of The Overachieving Cavaliers (Sports Illustrated April 16, 1973)


Virginia's Cavaliers, last year's national champions, could win again, mostly because of the spectacular reflexes of their sophomore goalie.

Rodney David Rullman’s room in the Zeta Psi house at the University of Virginia seems standard in all respects: unmade bunk beds, a cluttered desk, clothes strewn about and piled high on the floor of the closet. But hiding behind the curtains at the front window is a curious artifact. It is a statue of the head of a lacrosse player set in a heavy marble base and, although it says so nowhere on the award, it was presented to Rullman three weeks ago when the Cavaliers’ star goalie unanimously was voted the most valuable player in the Hero’s Invitational Lacrosse Tournament in Baltimore.

“I’ve got it there so no one will see it and steal it,” Rullman says with characteristic disregard for the hallowed honor code of Thomas Jefferson‘s university. Moments later, however, while locking his door, he admits, “I get a lot of grief about that thing.”

Notoriety can indeed be a burden to a 19-year-old sophomore, particularly one as outwardly unassuming as Rullman. Brief mention in one national magazine last spring was sufficient fuel for his fraternity brothers. They delight in embarrassing Rullman every time he enters a room by proclaiming in stentorian tones, “I’m Roddy Rullman.” Not even offering up his lacrosse stick for the late-night rat kills in the basement of Zeta Psi can redeem him. How distressing then that Virginia‘s surprising victory in the Hero’s tournament, which sent the Cavaliers into second place in the national rankings, has been attributed largely to goaltending. How exasperating that Virginia‘s chance of repeating as national champion appears to rest largely with its 5’9″ left-handed goaltender.

But if self-confidence is not allowed to blossom in the social world of Zeta Psi, it is carefully cultivated on the lacrosse field. “A goalie has to have self-confidence bordering on cockiness,” says senior Attackman Tom Duquette. “If you’re gonna get in there and let balls be thrown at you, you gotta be confident that you can stop them.”

Confidence grows as slowly in lacrosse goalies as it does elsewhere in life, yet no one at Virginia hesitates to pinpoint the moment when Roddy Rullman got CONFIDENCE.

Virginia opened the 1972 season as the favorite for the NCAA title, but the team developed an apparent Achilles’ heel in its two freshman goalies, Rullman and Scott Howe, whom Coach Glenn Thiel alternated with little success. The Cavaliers dropped all three of their divisional games—to Johns Hopkins, Navy and Maryland—and reached the final game of the regular season against Washington and Lee needing a victory to win an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. That day Thiel handed the starting job to Rullman.

Early in the second half W&L opened a 7-3 lead and moved in for the kill. Three times in a five-second span the Generals fired point-blank shots at Rullman. The first two he blocked, the third he held onto. “Otherwise we’d have been there all day,” he says, smiling now at the memory of his ordeal. He quickly cleared that save to put sudden life into Virginia, and the Cavaliers rallied for a 10-9 victory.

“I’ve watched a lot of goalies,” says senior Defenseman Bruce Mangels, “but that sequence was incredible. He’s the quickest person I ever saw.”

1972 National Champion Virginia Men's Lacrosse Team

Underdog Virginia drew Army in the first round of the NCAAs and routed the Cadets 10-3. Rullman shut them out for the final 29 minutes, and in the midst of that stretch Cavalier Defenseman Boo Smith was shocked to hear him taunting an Army midfielder. ” ‘Shoot, you sucker,’ he yelled,” says Smith, “and the guy got so irritated he did shoot. Roddy nonchalantly saved it and ran out of the crease laughing.”

With Rullman in the goal, the Cavaliers went on to win the NCAA tournament, taking the title game from Hopkins 13-12. This year, despite losing the majority of their offense, they have opened with six straight victories, following the Hero’s tournament with easy wins at Towson State and Duke. Since Rullman gained a starting role, the Cavaliers have won 10 straight.

“I was really disappointed in myself early last year,” Rullman says now. “I was getting bombed. If you let it get to you, you might as well get out of the net. You have two choices. You can walk in the locker room and say, ‘Bad day.’ Or you can mull it over. Last year I did a lot of mulling.”

Thiel understands the problem. “A goalie needs special treatment,” he says. “He’s the last line of defense. Last year Roddy relied too heavily on his reflexes. Positioning is still the weakest part of his game, but he moves so quickly that he can compensate. And last year he didn’t run the clears the way he does now. He’s really directing the defense for us.”

Roddy’s father, who never played the game but has watched it a lot, spotted his son’s potential for the position early. “Roddy had real quick hands as a little boy,” Charles Rullman said after the Towson State game.” He was a catcher in baseball and right from the start he never blinked. He was as much at home behind the plate as he was in the living room. That’s when I began to think he might make a good goalie.”

Most lacrosse players show understandable reluctance to play in the goal. The fact that a lacrosse ball is made of rubber is no solace to anyone who has ever been hit by one. As Mangels puts it, “If I played there, I’d have bruises all over my back. Goalies are sick.” Rullman broke an eardrum blocking a shot with the side of his head in high school and in the Hero’s tournament saved a 100-mph bad-bounce scoring attempt by getting his face in front of it. (An official had to call time and pry the ball out of his mask with his stick.)

In lacrosse the goalie operates in a theater-in-the-round. The playing field extends 15 yards beyond the goal, and the least defensible scoring shot in the game comes from an opponent cutting right in front of the goal mouth and taking a feed from the area behind the goal. Since defenses are usually man-for-man, the goalie must keep constant watch on the ball while shouting its location to teammates who anticipate their men setting picks and breaking for the goal. “Roddy has a lousy Long Island accent that we kid him about,” says Mangels, “but I love to hear it during a game.”

Once a save is made, the goalie becomes an offensive player, since the clear that he initiates is supposed to move the ball to the far end of the field. Against Maryland in the finals of the Hero’s tournament, Roddy made 22 saves, 10 of them in the fourth quarter, and Virginia successfully cleared the ball 20 of 29 times. On one clearing attempt, however, Roddy dashed all the way to mid-field where he got himself trapped and suffered a blow to the back that was still bothering him the following week at Towson State. One of these days, Roddy says, he is going to go all the way downfield and score a goal.

Roddy admits that he did not actively lobby for the job as goaltender. “I got sorta suckered into it. My brother [Charles, a second-team All-America midfielder at Virginia in 1970] used to practice shooting at me when I was a kid. Then he told the junior high school coach that’s the position I wanted to play. I never said that.”

But he played goalie anyhow—well enough to make All-America at Garden City High School on Long Island. “Goals scored on him were like a personal affront,” remembers his high school coach, Julio Silvestri. “In one losing game in his senior year he got so uptight that he came out of the cage with his stick flailing.” Here he might have done well to pay heed for a change to Thomas Jefferson, who said, “When angry, count ten…; if very angry, an hundred.” But alas, as anyone within hearing range of a Virginia game can attest, he lives instead by the words of Mark Twain: “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”

“He’s a real competitor,” says Duquette. “Like at paddle ball. He suggested we play once and all the week before he was trying to psych me up. He wanted to give me points or play a test game to see if I really wanted to take him on, you know, so I wouldn’t have to hurt my pride if he was too good. Anyhow I took him easily. But as far as he’s concerned, I never beat him, not at anything. He just let himself be beaten, that’s all. So I still have to put up with his grief. He says I’m lucky and it won’t happen again. I guess goalies have to be that way.”

Rullman is going to have to stop almost everything if Virginia wants to repeat as national champion. Graduation cost the Cavalier offense 122 goals-and 87 assists from last season’s totals of 213 and 145, and this season several other clubs boast excellent goalies, including No. 1-ranked Johns Hopkins, whose Les Matthews was last year’s All-America. Bill O’Donnell of Maryland, Mike Emmerich of Cornell, Peter Graham of Cortland State, Skeet Chadwick of W&L, Robert Bryan of Rutgers and Joe Zaffuto of Hofstra are all superior performers.

“A lot of people have already taken the pressure of defending our title off us,” says Duquette. “They say that even though we won it last year, we graduated all those guys and there’s no way we can do it again. People really don’t know what we have here.”

What they have is Rullman and some fine players who trust him. As Smith says, “I go after attackmen now when they step back to feed, knowing that if I’m over-aggressive and lose my man Roddy will be there.”

Roddy Rullman, in short, is the anchor for his team, no mean feat under Thiel’s relaxed rule at Virginia where the Cavaliers are their own people. “We have no strict training rules,” says Rullman. “There’s nothing rigid about the coach. He tells us, ‘It’s up to you—you know what we’re shooting for.’ Some of the coaches around this place are really strict. You’d think you’re playing for ROTC or something.”

Most days Roddy is one of the last to leave the locker room after practice. The excuse is always the same: a game of soap hockey in the shower with Boo Smith. And who won the last contest? “I did,” says Smith. “Of course Roddy says he did, but he didn’t.”

For more:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1135581/index.htm