Jon Grieg wanted to make a difference in his second-year with the Western Mustangs and he wasn’t kidding.
The defender from Tsawwassen earned tournament all-star honours as the Mustangs captured their fourth consecutive Baggataway Cup as Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association champions with an 8-5 win over the Trent Excalibur in Montreal.
“I was more of a depth guy in my first-year,” explained Greig. “It’s a big jump to university where you are playing against men. I needed to be stronger, better prepared and worked hard in the off-season. It really paid off.”
Despite being the defending champions, the Mustangs weren’t considered the favourites of the six-team event.
They finished 7-3-0 in regular season play and had to play an extra quarter-final game en route to the title.
Western defeated Nipissing 12-5, then came through with a huge 6-5 win over Eastern Conference champion McGill Redmen — handing the hosts their first loss of the season. The Mustangs erased a 4-0 second quarter deficit and scored three unanswered goals in the final quarter to cap the comeback.
The Redman were captained by Liam McDonald who was teammates this past season with Greig on the Delta Islanders in the B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League.
The gold medal game saw another second half comeback by Western to erase a 5-4 deficit.
Greig was one of four Mustangs named to the All-Baggataway Cup Team. The Vancouver College graduate is joined by two other B.C. players on the Western roster — Brady Sprague (Vancouver) and Mack Burns (Burnaby). He is studying kinesiology at the London, Ont. school.
The Baggataway Cup culminated a season that began with two-a-day training sessions back in August followed by two months of conference play.
“I really wanted to keep playing field lacrosse (at the university level) and the only option back at home was Simon Fraser but it wasn’t the right fit for the courses I wanted to study,” explained Greig.
“I knew Western had an excellent program and the coaches are great. When I got there it didn’t take long to realize I was playing at a level I had never seen before.”
Greig’s twin brother James is playing football as a linebacker at the University of Toronto. The pair are part of an outstanding 2000-born age group that enjoyed plenty of success coming through Delta Minor Lacrosse — highlighted by becoming the first team to ever win the Midget A1 provincial championship.
The brothers are looking forward to re-uniting with the Islanders again this spring for the box season.