Former Mustang bolsters Dutch

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Andrew Dowdell has only flirted with professional lacrosse but he's not gone wanting for action.

Yesterday at the North London Athletic Fields the 28-year-old goalie was beaten 15 times as his Netherlands team was defeated 15-9 by Germany in world field lacrosse championships play.

But it was a gutsy Dutch effort that everyone was proud of considering the short background of the Netherlands program.

London fields are familiar territory for the native of Barrie who still lives there.

Dowdell learned box lacrosse in Barrie and played junior there before "I honed my field lacrosse at Western."

Taking political science at Kings University College, Dowdell played four years of field for Western and helped backstop the team to a national championship in 2001.

He was scouted enough to win a contract signing with the National Lacrosse League Calgary Roughnecks but he left for another pro opportunity after just one exhibition game with the Roughnecks. He went to Australia but the team there folded and Dowdell was left in lacrosse limbo for a year.

Returning to Canada, he joined the St. Clair Storm Senior B box lacrosse team and then moved to the NLL Columbus Landsharks, which moved their franchise to Arizona. Dowdell was released and returned to London.

It was while in Australia that someone recommended him to the developing Netherlands field lacrosse program. His mother's heritage qualifies him to play for the Netherlands, he said. He played in the 2003 European championships in which the Netherlands placed ninth.

He likes the program.

"They are growing the sport there drastically," said Dowdell. "We don't have a superstar, just a lot of guys playing their hearts out."

Dowdell, a Toronto firefighter, lives in Barrie and still plays for London's Molly Blooms senior team. He began playing for Molly Blooms while at Western and was with them as they won provincial titles in 2004 and 2005.


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