At 2 a.m. this morning, former Canadian goalie Chris Sanderson passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer but his impact on the game of lacrosse will be remembered by all. Sanderson was diagnosed with a grade IV malignant tumor called Glioblastoma Multiforme in December 2008.
Sanderson, an Ontario native, attended the University of Virginia from 1995-98. As goalkeeper, he led them to two NCAA Final Fours. Sanderson started 46 games in his career and is currently fifth in Virginia history in saves.
Following his graduation, Sanderson continued his success in field lacrosse with the Canadian national team. He played in four consecutive World Lacrosse Championships beginning in 1998 and was named Goaltender of the Tournament three times. In 2006, Sanderson led Canada to an upset victory over the United States to win the World Championships for the first time in 28 years.
After being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009, Sanderson made a miraculous comeback from ongoing brain cancer surgeries to secure a starting spot on the Canadian national team in 2010. He led them to the championship game where they eventually lost to the Americans 12-10.
In his professional career, Sanderson played four seasons in the NLL, winning a title in 2001 with the Philadelphia Wings. He only played briefly in Major League Lacrosse with the Toronto Nationals in 2010 but left a lasting impression.
“Everyone at Major League Lacrosse is saddened by the passing of Chris Sanderson,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross. “His friends and family are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Sanderson is survived by his wife, Brogann and their two young daughters: Stevie and Clementine.
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