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Home Sports Attack eager to take advantage of home field at provincial lacrosse championships

Attack eager to take advantage of home field at provincial lacrosse championships

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Attack eager to take advantage of home field at provincial lacrosse championships
Prince Albert Attack defender Thomas Ratt (centre-left) prepares to scoop up a ball while midfielder Hayden Ulrickson (far-left) looks on during an exhibition game against Regina on July 10. -- Photo by Maurice LaPrairie.

Prince Albert 18U Attack head coach Javan Bexson said he’s expecting some nerves, but no rust when his club takes the field at the Saskatchewan Field Lacrosse Provincial Championships.

The Attack are the hometown favourites heading into the tournament, and Bexson said he’s expecting the team to play like it when the games begin at Max Clunie Field on Friday.

“It’s been a really long wait, to be honest, but we’re excited to get out there and compete for a chance to win gold,” Bexson said during an interview on Tuesday.

“For the 18U’s, it’s our tournament to take…. We feel we’re in a position where we can win it at home.”

The Attack take on the Saskatoon Guardians in their opening match Friday evening, then play the Sturgis Trojans and Regina Reign Saturday afternoon. All games are at Max Clunie Field.

Bexson said there’s a bit of uncertainty heading into the opening matchup, since the Attack haven’t played Saskatoon since before the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We know some of the names, but we haven’t played this complete group,” he explained. “It’s going to be a complete unknown, which is going to be tough going in. All we can do is prepare the best we can.”

The Attack played two exhibition games with Regina to prepare for the tournament, but the last one was at the end of July. Bexson said many players have also kept busy with box lacrosse, so he’s not worried about starting slow.

“I don’t think they’ll be any rust,” he said. “They’ll definitely be some game nerves, but I think they’ll settle five minutes into the first game.”

The Prince Albert club will look to defender Thomas Ratt, and midfielders Hayden Ulriksen and Bauer Swystun for leadership over the weekend. Bexson said Ratt brings experience to the defence, while Swystun—who is bound for the NCAA’s Westcliff University Warriors this fall—and the speedy Ulriksen can control the play.

“We need them to control the ball and really set the pace when we need to pick up the speed of the game,” Bexson said. “Defensively from Thomas in the back end, we’ll need a lot of communication, and a lot of leadership to really set the tone and keep things settled.”

The Prince Albert 15U and 13U Field Lacrosse Clubs are also in action at provincials this weekend. The 15U team opens their tournament at 12:30 p.m. on Friday when they take on the Saskatoon Generals at Max Clunie Field, while the 13U squad takes on the Saskatoon Watchmen at 4 p.m. At 13U games are at the Prime Ministers’ Park Soccer Field No. 1.

All teams will attend an official drum ceremony scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday at Max Clunie Field.