Duncan’s Mathieu Jung reaches lacrosse’s biggest international stage

Cowichan product suits up for China at World Lacrosse Championships in Israel

Duncan’s Mathieu Jung suited up for China at the World Lacrosse Championships in Israel last month. (Submitted)

Duncan’s Mathieu Jung suited up for China at the World Lacrosse Championships in Israel last month. (Submitted)

Representing China at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship in Netanya, Israel last month, Duncan’s Mathieu Jung found himself playing at the same level as some of his idols, players like Paul Rabil and Kyle Hartzell.

Although China — which finished 42nd of 46 teams — wasn’t in the same category as the top teams, like Canada, the U.S. and the Iroquois Nationals, it was still the same tournament.

“To see guys like that and realize you’re playing on the same stage is really cool,” Jung said. “It took me a while to soak it in.”

Jung, who was born and raised in Duncan and is eligible to play for China because his grandmother was born there, was a go-to guy and a leader for China, playing all 80 minutes of every game, and getting heavily involved in the scoring despite being a defender.

“It felt like I was playing offence with a long pole,” Jung said.

Staying on the field constantly was a challenge as the temperature soared into the high 30s, and tournament organizers implemented mandatory hydration breaks during games. It still wasn’t as humid, Jung noted, as it was in China, where the team gathered before the tournament to play exhibition games in Shanghai, Wuhan and Beijing.

China started the tournament in a pool with Ireland and Denmark, losing to both teams, 18-3 and 14-4, respectively, although Jung had four goals and five ground balls in the two games.

That put China into the lower bracket for the playoffs, where they had a pair of heartbreaking losses to Turkey (13-12) and Mexico (15-14). Jung had a goal and two assists against Turkey and two goals and three assists against Mexico, with a pair of ground balls in each game.

China’s fortunes improved significantly in the classification round as they defeated Colombia 14-6 and Croatia 15-10. Jung scored twice and had six ground balls against Colombia, then had two goals, one assist and four ground balls against Croatia.

That put China in the 41st-place game, which they lost 8-7 to Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei took a late lead, and although they had chances to score again, China couldn’t finish.

“It wasn’t our best performance, but we definitely shouldn’t have lost,” said Jung. “One placement didn’t make or break, but it would have been nice to finish with a win.”

Jung finished the tournament with 11 goals, six assists and 23 ground balls. His scoring totals were the highest among defenders at the tournament.

The 2022 World Lacrosse Championships will take place in Coquitlam, and Jung would like to play again, although China will have to improve its position in the world rankings as the field is expected to be limited to the top 30 teams.

“If I got the opportunity, I’d love to put on the red and yellow stripes again,” Jung said.

Since returning to Canada, Jung won a provincial box lacrosse championship with the junior B Tier 2 Cowichan Valley Thunder. He is returning to Lindenwood University in Missouri this fall for his third year of NCAA Div. II field lacrosse.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

North Cowichan has heated exchange over timelines of its official community plan review. (File photo)
North Cowichan’s OCP review divides council

Tight timelines leads to heated debate

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Mom still hopeful for Island man who left care six months ago, hasn’t been seen since

Support from community, police keeps search alive for Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

Most Read