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The Toronto Nationals are a men's field lacrosse team based in Torontomarker, Canadamarker, which began play in the 2009 Major League Lacrosse season, becoming the first-ever Canadian team in MLL history. They will play their home games at BMO Fieldmarker, which is also home to Major League Soccer's Toronto FC. On August 23, 2009, the Nationals defeated the Denver Outlaws 10-9 to win their first Steinfeld Cup in their inaugural season.

Franchise history

The Nationals have their roots in the MLL's charter franchise the Rochester Rattlers. Based in Rochester, New Yorkmarker, in 2001 and 2002 the team played home games at Frontier Fieldmarker. They played at Bishop Kearney Field from 2003 to 2005, and moved into the new PAETEC Parkmarker in 2006. The Rattlers made the playoffs in 2001 and 2005 as a wildcard. They were the National Division champions in 2004. On June 16, 2007, the Rochester Rattlers won a 27-26 (in overtime) game over the Denver Outlaws in the highest scoring game in MLL history at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

In 2008, the Rattlers won their first MLL championship by defeating the Philadelphia Barrage 16-15(OT) in the semifinals and the Denver Outlaws 16-6 in the championship game.

For the 2009 season, part of the Rattlers' roster was transferred to the new Nationals' team; however, the name, colours, and history are staying behind in Rochester to be potentially used by a future MLL team.

The Nationals started play in the MLL on May 15 2009 and won against Washington Bayhawks 17-16. They won their first home game over the Chicago Machine 15-11. The Nationals qualified for the playoffs as the second seed with a 7-5 record and the best offense in MLL with 184 goals for. The Nationals played their first playoff game against the Long Island Lizards at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadiummarker in Annapolis, Marylandmarker. Toronto won their semi-final matchup 14-13 thanks to a strong game by Merrick Thomson scoring 4 goals. Toronto went on to face the Denver Outlaws in the Steinfeld Cup Final. The Nationals were tied with the Outlaws 9-9 with over a minute to go in the game. Nationals head coach Dave Huntley called a time-out to draw out a strategy. With 45 seconds left to go, Joe Walters passed to Shawn Williams and Williams scored the winning goal to give the Toronto Nationals their first championship victory 10-9 over the Denver Outlaws. Merrick Thomson was named Playoff MVP and Brodie Merrill won the Major League Lacrosse Defensive player of the Year Award.

Current season

2009 roster

Season-by-season

Toronto Nationals
Year W L Regular season finish Playoffs
2009 7 5 2nd in League Won semifinal 14-13 over Lizards
Won championship 10-9 Over Outlaws
Totals 7 5 Regular Season Win % = .583 Total Playoff Record 2 - 0
Playoff Win % = 1.000


References

  1. http://www.majorleaguelacrosse.com/news/pressreleases/index.html?article_id=1273
  2. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20090220/SPORTS04/902200323/1007/SPORTS


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