Former Delaware Lacrosse Standouts Continue to Shine; Smith, Grant Capture MLL Title, Dickson Leads Team Canada
September 13, 2012
Photos Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Hawks; Major League Lacrosse
NEWARK, Del. -- Former University of Delaware All-American lacrosse players John Grant and Alex Smith continue to make big news in the lacrosse world at the professional level.
And they aren’t the only former Blue Hens making headlines on the field in their post-Delaware careers.
Grant (below at left), the national Player of the Year while a Blue Hen in 1999, and Smith, an All-American who set virtually every NCAA faceoff record during his stellar career that included a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2007, led the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a 16-6 victory over the Denver Outlaws to capture the Major League Lacrosse championship back on Aug. 27 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.
The title was the Bayhawks’ fourth in franchise history and gave them the rights to hold the coveted Steinfeld Cup for another year.
Smith, the league’s premier faceoff specialist who battled back from Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss all but one regular season game, won 17 of 25 faceoffs in the title game while Grant scored two goals in the championship, capping another outstanding season that saw him score 32 points on 20 goals and 11 assists in 10 games.
“We felt like we had the greatest face-off guy in the league and we would have been stupid putting him on the bench,” said Bayhawks head coach Dave Cottle on using Smith for the title game. “He made that decision a good one.”
And Smith and Grant were not the only former Blue Hens who contributed to the success of the Bayhawks this past season. Midfielder John Austin, who capped his career with the Blue Hens this past spring, was activated but did not play in the championship game; attackman Grant Kaleikau, who also finished his career for the Hens last May, was inactive; and defending Pat Dowling, who capped his outstanding career following the 2011 campaign, was on the injured reserve list and did not compete.
Smith (at right) recently finished up his sixth season in the MLL while Grant finished his 10th season in the outdoor league despite battling injuries for much of the last few seasons.
Grant, a native of Peterborough, Canada, played in the championship game as part of a string where he played six games in eight days, balancing Peterborough Mann Cup duties with the MLL. Cottle praised Grant Jr. all season for his commitment to the Bayhawks given his other duties. Grant spent much of the season commuting back and forth to games from Canada to the United States.
“As long as I can contribute, I'll find a way to do that,” Grant Jr. said, noting he would love to be back in a Bayhawks uniform. “We have so many threats but everyone's been extremely unselfish and in it to be as successful as we can.”
In addition to the Bayhawks players, former 2010 Blue Hen national Player of the Year finalist and All-American Curtis Dickson (at left) is also making noise at the next level. Dickson, a native of British Columbia, was the leading scorer for the Duel in Denver game this past Saturday, Sept. 8, playing for Team Canada.
He led all scorers with four goals, including two in the final quarter, in leading Team Canada to an 11-9 exhibition win over Team USA. Grant was also on the team and had a goal and an assist in the victory.
The Duel in Denver was the first game between Canada and the U.S. since the U.S. beat the Canadians 12-10 in the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship game in Manchester, England. The U.S. has an all-time record of 15-3 against Canada in FIL World Championship competition, but Canada has now won three of the last four meetings between the two nations.