Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/14/09
From Press Releases
Taylor Wray, a defenseman on the Philadelphia Wings and a Lehigh men’s lacrosse assistant coach, competed in the Canadian National Team tryouts Oct. 9-12 in Toronto and is awaiting word for the announcement of the final team roster.
Team Canada will compete in the Federation of Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England during the summer of 2010.
Wray was joined by nearly 60 other players as they competed in five games in just three days in a tough, competitive tryout. Also trying out from the Wings were Merrick Thomson, Geoff Snider, Kevin Huntley. The squad is coached by Wings coaches Dave Huntley and Chris Sanderson. Announcement of the 2010 Canadian National Team will take place later this week.
“The group of players invited to the tryouts was a good mix of former national team members along with current collegiate players,” Wray said. “We played two games on Saturday at St. Michael’s College and then on Sunday we drove to Buffalo to scrimmage against Notre Dame for two games.
“The tryout group played very well and competed in two close games versus Notre Dame. Following those games we drove back to Toronto where we had an intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday evening and one final game on Monday morning before heading home.”
Wray noted the level of competition at the tryouts.
“The talent was very good,” he said. “It’s probably as strong if not stronger than it’s ever been. It’s great to see how far field lacrosse has come in Canada.
“Back in 1978 when Canada won its first world championship there was only a handful of guys on the team that were playing collegiate lacrosse. Fast-forward to 2006 when Canada won another title, and the majority of guys were playing collegiately.
“The same held true at these tryouts with a large number of guys being current collegiate players which raised the competition level.”
From here the coaching staff and select administrators will choose a team of 23 players along with several alternates that will comprise the Canadian national team. “I don’t envy the coaching staff,” Wray said. “They have a very tough job ahead of them in selecting this team.”
Wray has previous international experience having been a member of the Under-19 Field Lacrosse World Championship silver medal winning squad in 1999, as well as the gold medal winning Canadian national team in 2006. In addition to his international experience Wray has been a mainstay on the professional circuit as well.
“From a fitness perspective it helps to be playing lacrosse year-round,” Wray said. “A lot of guys trying out for the national team are playing year-round now and it showed.
“This was more competitive than any national team tryout I’ve been to. Previously there were several top-notch guys along with some unproven players, but this year there were lots of new faces and loads of talent.”
Wray began his National Lacrosse League career in 2004 with the Calgary Roughnecks, who won the NLL Championship that year. Wray was named both Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. In July 2007, Wray was traded to the Wings in a three-team deal.
Prior to the 2008 NCAA season, Wray was named assistant coach at Lehigh under head coach Kevin Cassese. Prior to this, Wray had served as assistant coach for Queens University of Charlotte.