Story courtesy of David McLaughlin of the Minnesota Stingers
The Minnesota Stingers took "Minnesota Nice" to a whole new level in Oshawa, Ontario this past weekend. Minnesota’s entry into the decade-old Fann Cup tournament resulted in the acquisition of the event’s only remaining trophy – The Fann Cup Spirit Award.
The Minnesota squad is made up of players with limited lacrosse experience, and even after three years of Fann Cup participation, the majority of the Minnesota players have less than 20 lacrosse games under their belts. But what the team lacks in lacrosse experience, it more than makes up for it with its heart. Team members make new friends quickly, learn from their mistakes and generally have a good time without regard to on-field results. This has made the Stingers the team to join for players from other NLL cities who are unable to participate on their hometown team.
“I really enjoy it when they say they want to join us because we are such a fun, laid-back team,” Stingers captain Heather McLaughlin said.
Another reason the Stingers seem to be a popular destination for lacrosse players without a Fann Cup team is the level of sportsmanship that is exhibited toward each other. Cheering and encouraging instruction are highly valued. This has allowed the team to go from a group made solely of newbies into a core group of lacrosse players who are willing to accept help from players from other cities and to introduce new players from the Twin Cities area to the joy of playing lacrosse.
The Fann Cup Spirit Award was introduced to the Fann Cup by the family of the late Louise Caprioti during the 2010 tournament in Philadelphia. The trophy is a silver and gold cup attached to a wooden base.
The Lacrossetitutes, hailing from the host city of Toronto, were the initial winners of the Fann Spirit Award at the 2010 Fann Cup. The honor of receiving this great reward comes with great responsibility. In this case, that responsibility was to evaluate the 2011 entrants of this year’s tournament and name the next winning team.
Members of the Minnesota Stingers holding the 2011 Fann Spirit Award