ILWT Feature: In conversation with Dillon Ward

Dillon Ward. Georgia Swarm at Colorado Mammoth 02.16.19 (Photo credit: Jack Dempsey/National Lacrosse League)


Nah, we’re just kidding. Why anyone would want to trade one of the best goaltenders in the world, we have no idea. In addition to being a great keeper, Dillon Ward (not Dylan) is a truly decent person.

You’d be hard pressed to find an accolade Ward hasn’t earned at any level of lacrosse, indoor or outdoor. Most recently he helped Canada capture the gold medal at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.

Tracey Happold-Brown caught up with the NLL’s All-League second team member earlier this spring to talk about his career in goaltending and how he’s keeping himself busy during quarantine.


THB: How have you kept yourself occupied during the worldwide shutdown due to COVID-19?

DW: I’m fortunate to have a gym set up in my garage so I’m able to stay ready for when we eventually get the call to come back and play. I’ve also been binge watching a lot of shows and trying out cooking quite a bit.

: What advice would you give a young player stuck in quarantine with no camps or clinics this summer?

DW: Do what you can to get better. If you have the opportunity to get your stick in your hands and at least throw the ball around, do it. This is also a great opportunity to watch film on not just yourself, but other goalies and see what makes them successful.

: Switching away from COVID talk, why did you decide to leave Major League Lacrosse for the Premier Lacrosse League?

DW: It was a really hard decision. The Denver Outlaws have been first class through and through and I will be forever grateful for how they treated me. At the end of the day, the PLL drew my attention and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

: What have been some of your favourite pro lacrosse memories?

DW: Playing in the Lacrosse Out Cancer games with the Mammoth with family member’s names on my jerseys has always been special to me. Winning the 2018 MLL Championship with the Denver Outlaws.

: What made you want to be a goalie?

DW: My first year of lacrosse our goalie quit midseason and my coach threw me in there. I caught on quick and the rest is history.

: What allows you to successfully goal tend in both the indoor and outdoor games?

DW: I think just putting the time in both indoors and outdoors. I have put in a lot of work to get where I’m at, and always wanted to get to the highest level of the sport.

: Did the late Chris Sanderson or Kyle Miller have any influence on your game?

DW: Legends of the game. Chris taught me how to properly play the outdoor position, at his camps back in our hometown of Orangeville. He is a massive reason why I am where I am today. I remember watching him play live, in the 2006 world championships in London, Ontario and thinking, ‘I want to be in his position one day!’ In 2014, I got my first chance. Kyle was another great from my hometown. He was an incredible goalie and a great coach as well. I also got to learn from him at Chris’ camps in Orangeville. His story is incredibly motivating of what he overcame to play at Cornell. [He was] someone I really looked up to growing up.

: Is it hard living in the shadow of those two lacrosse legends or do you pride yourself on forging your own destiny?

DW: I’m not living in their shadows. I think I’m creating my own legacy and also part of an incredible history of great goaltenders from Orangeville.

You can catch Ward next suiting up for the PLL’s Chaos during their championship series which begins July 25 on NBC.