Trio of Parkites win Canadian national lacrosse title at McGill
November 9, 2012
They never won a high school state championship during their time at Park City, but as three freshmen at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Rufus Frost, Jake Gutman and Alec Roussos experienced a national title merely four months into their collegiate careers.
On Sunday in Peterborough, Ontario, the three former captains of the Park City High School boys’ lacrosse team stormed the field with the rest of their McGill teammates as the team in red and white — in uniforms nearly identical to those of the Miners — after McGill captain Jishon Sharples scored with 12 seconds remaining in the second overtime of the Baggataway Cup Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) Championship. It was the Redmen’s first Baggataway Cup title in school history.
"It was surreal," said Frost. "Even in high school, we had a great team but we never closed the deal on any of the big games or even a state championship."
To say the game was dramatic would be understating what happened when the two best collegiate lacrosse teams in Canada — McGill and Western — squared off for the right to hoist the Baggataway Cup.
Roussos said Western scored two goals late in the final quarter to tie the match at 6-6 and when the game went into the first of two four-minute overtime periods, the Redmen were nervous.
And nervous for good reason.
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"It was crazy because, before overtime, we were thinking we had it won with a minute left," Roussos said. "It was tough to grab that momentum back."
However, when Sharples scored the clinching goal, the three Parkites said they couldn’t contain their emotions. Gutman said he immediately thought of the team’s first few meetings and practices prior to the start of the season when team captains told their fellow Redmen that they’d be champions of Canada by the season’s end.
"Every one of the four captains stood up and said, ‘We are winning a national championship this year.’ All four of them stood up and said it’s our year," Gutman said. "It’s hard to believe them because every captain comes in saying that, and every coach is always saying that. But by practice two or three, you could see the talent."
Roussos said coming into the season as freshmen after headlining last year’s Park City team was difficult at first.
"We were running new things and to come into a new system and have to carry the balls and goals after practice, it’s totally different," he said.
But he said there was no level of seniority at McGill.
"It’s a purely talent-based system; it’s more practice-to-practice, and that’s one of the reasons why we made it to the championship," he said.
Frost said all three Parkites were able to get significant playing time for the Redmen this season, and being part of the McGill run toward the championship in the playoffs was sweeter than he’d ever imagined.
And they’re already looking forward to next season.
"We’re only going to get better, hopefully," Frost said.