Saving best for Canadian team

The last line of defence for Canada's national team at the upcoming 2012 World under-19 field lacrosse championships will be a New Westminster goalie.

New Westminster Secondary School grad Ross Bowman was named to the 24-player roster following a successful final selection camp in Oshawa, Ont. on Nov. 27.

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Bowman was one of just five players from B.C. to make the national junior team and one of only three who have not yet committed to a U.S. school on scholarship.

The Canadian team will look to unseat the undefeated Americans, who have fashioned an unprecedented 36-0 record at the previous six world championships, winning every international title since the u-19 division was first created in 1986.

Finland will host the championships in Europe for the first time in July.

"It was the most intense thing I've every done," said Bowman, who turns 18 on Dec. 27. "Being committed would definitely have given me an advantage, but they've been looking at us for a couple of years."

Prior to the final camp in Oshawa, where 50 of the more than 200 players who initially applied took part, Bowman earned his spot at the November sessions after a Western Canadian camp that followed the national u-19 club championships.

"I thought it was a disadvantage being the only goalie from out west since there were four (goalies) from Ontario," said Bowman. "I didn't think it (making the team) was in the cards."

However, despite being in goal for B.C.'s loss to Team Ontario in the final of the Canadian club championships, Bowman went into the camp confident of his chances.

"I think it's the agility we need to save the ball and also the adrenaline that's pumping through us. It feels good to stop a shot on the crease. Those are the saves I'm craving," Bowman said.

Joining Bowman on the national squad from B.C. are Langley's Reegan Comeault and Jesse King of Victoria from Ohio State; University of Denver's Wesley Berg from Coquitlam and Richmond's Danny MacDermott from New York Institute of Technology.

Team Canada head coach Brodie Merrill said the final selection camp was extremely competitive and made for some difficult decisions.

"I think it is a reflection of how important the national program is to young Canadian lacrosse players," said Merrill in a Canadian Lacrosse Association press release. "We are confident in the team we have selected and confident in the process we went through to get to this point. The focus will now quickly shift to preparing the team for Finland."

With the bulk of the national squad living back east, Bowman expects to stay active at home playing community ball and working out with some of his Royal City teammates when they return home from university for the holidays.

Although Bowman chose to put off university for a year, he fully expects to make a decision in the new year.

"It's always been a goal of mine to gp down to the States," he said, adding the important thing is to find the school that is the right fit.

"Kids think it's all about lacrosse, but it's all about the marks and knowing what you want to do later in life."

tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

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