Is Drexel the Most Underrated Canadian Outpost in College Lacrosse?

(Photo Courtesy of Drexel Athletics)

Most are well aware of how many great players have come to the United States from Canada to play college lacrosse over the years, and the programs that have benefitted the most from those great players. Syracuse, Denver, Stony Brook, Canisius, Robert Morris, Bellarmine, and plenty of other DI programs have seen some of the greatest Canadian players walk through their doors over the years. 

While the Drexel Dragons have had plenty of Canadian’s suit up for them over the years and had success with Canadian’s leading the way, they haven’t seemed to gain as much attention as some other DI programs that draw plenty of Canadian talent. 

And much of that Canadian talent has come to Drexel during Brian Voelker’s reign. Voelker took over as the head coach of the Dragons prior to the 2010 season in the fall of 2009. And while the Dragons had two Canadians on that 2009 team in Garret McIntosh and Kyle Bergman, by Voelker’s fourth season (2013) the Dragons boasted a roster that featured seven Canadians. And five of those guys were from British Columbia. 

In 2013, Drexel went 11-4 and lost 11-8 in the CAA semifinals against Towson. And Canadian’s accounted for 122 of the Dragons 300 points that season, which is roughly 40% of their entire offense. Robert Church (33G/24A) and Ben McIntosh (38G/18A), did most of the heavy lifting. 

But 2013 was just the tip of the iceberg for Drexel, especially in terms of Canadian led offenses. In 2014, the Dragons sent shocked the lacrosse world when they upset Penn in the first round of the NCAA tournament. And that Canadian led offense was a huge factor in the Dragons’ success that season. 

They saw 41.2% of their scoring come from Canadians, and Ben McIntosh led the charge with 65 points (48G/17A). Cole Schafer (35G/18A) also contributed heavily to the Dragons’ offensive output in 2014. 

In addition to the Dragons’ overall success on the field and amount of Canadian’s on the roster, their overall team shooing percentage either went up or hovered around the 30% range during those early years in Voelker’s tenure. This can also be attributed to the sheer number of Canadians on the roster because they do tend to have better shooting percentages due to their predominately box background.

A Canadian has either led or been in the top three in scoring for Drexel every single year since 2010. 

The most recent crop of Canadian players to make their mark at Drexel include Marshal King and Reid Bowering. The two helped the Dragons’ offense shred through defenses over the past few seasons. In this shortened season, Bowering had 23 points (20G/3A) in six games, which included a five-goal performance against Robert Morris. 

While we will never get to see if Bowering will get to help lead the Dragons to a CAA title in 2020, which they looked fully capable of doing, Drexel does have some more Canadians in the pipeline already. 

Current sophomore midfielder Lucas Snider has the potential to step up in the future after playing limited minutes as a freshman and sophomore. In the 2020 recruiting class, Drexel has signed two Canadians in St. Michael’s College (Ont.) attackman Carter Begley, who is rated as a four-star by Inside Lacrosse, and Hill Academy (Ont.) and goalie Drew McGill. He is rated as a three-star by Inside Lacrosse. 

The Canadian pipeline at Drexel doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, and while it might not be at its strongest at the moment, in terms of the sheer number of players, Drexel certainly has been one of the mid-major programs who have benefitted the most from talented Canadian players over the years. And that will certainly continue to be a part of the fabric of their program and history. 

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