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Wilson draws in for Shamrocks after playing in NCAA Final Four

Victoria hosts Maple Ridge on Friday night
Casey Wilson will make his first appearance of the WLA season Friday night at The Q Centre. SUBMITTED

The Victoria Shamrocks, undefeated after five games in the Western Lacrosse Association, are about to get even better.

Casey Wilson, with the ­University of Denver in the NCAA Final Four last month at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and a prime ­candidate for the Canadian team when field lacrosse returns to the Olympics in 2028 at Los Angeles, draws in for the Shamrocks tonight when they meet the Maple Ridge Burrards.

“Casey is going to be a star in this sport and everybody in lacrosse is going to know about him,” said Shamrocks GM Chris Welch.

“He is a talented offensive player who is a load and battles and goes into the dirty areas.”

The six-foot-two Claremont Secondary Spartans graduate, who led Canada at the 2023 world U-21 championship and also a member of the senior national team, gives Shamrocks head coach Mike Simpson even more options: “Casey is super athletic, with an explosive first step, and is a welcome addition. It will take some of the pressure off our other scorers and spreads the wealth around.”

The first meeting this season between the Shamrocks and Burrards, a 6-5 decision for Victoria at Cam Neely Arena in Maple Ridge, belied the tight season ahead in the WLA. The Shamrocks are 5-0 but several games have been narrow wins with nobody anointing any team yet as the heir presumptive to represent the WLA in the Mann Cup national championship in September.

“There is a lot of parity with no easy wins,” said Welch.

“There is a lot of young talent that is spread around the league. But we’ve put ourselves in a good spot.”

Now the trick is to stay there.

“We have had to work super hard in every game to get this start that we have had,” said Simpson.

The Burrards are 2-3 but coming off a potential season-defining win in knocking the defending-champion New Westminster Salmonbellies from the ranks of the undefeated in the WLA.

“The Burrards play hard and anytime you don’t match their intensity it will be a long night for you,” said Simpson.

BOXLA BITS: In honour of Father’s Day this weekend, Lorne King will conduct the ceremonial opening face-off draw tonight. He is the father of veteran Shamrocks sniper Jesse King, the NCAA Ohio State Buckeyes grad out of Claremont Secondary, who leads Victoria in scoring with eight goals and 28 points, and Marshal King, who has six goals and 15 points in just three games since returning to the Shamrocks from the Las Vegas Desert Dogs of the pro NLL.

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