Amsterdam 2012 is now in the history books with a huge turn out and participation from all across Europe. The Slovak team, going in to this huge tournament amongst well established leagues and teams ,started an uphill battle against Israel, Wales, France, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic to place 12th out of 17 teams competing for the Championship spot. This is up two positions from the last National Championship standings.
With an 18 man team, 10 on the field to play, we had minimal substitution and room for injuries or exhaustion. With 3 players joining from North America to join the squad, we went into the 1st game against the United States of Israel, with a score of 8:11 in favor of the Israel team in a tough opening match for the Slovaks. The 2nd game against Wales proved to be much better than in the 2010 World with a much narrower point spread of only 12:6 for the Welsh. Slovakia in the 3rd game against France proved to be a competitor with a narrow victory of 11:10. The 4th game was also a battle of two evenly matched teams with another victory to go to Slovakia with a single goal to lead them to the win 9:10. The next matchup was between the 3rd place team in a blue bracket, Ireland, whom took 2nd in the Championship against England. It was a very tough game with a 15:3 win for Ireland but in Lacrosse this is not a high scoring game when the teams are not evenly matched by level and team size. The next three matches against Wales, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic proved to be too much for the small Slovak team, this was a long 10 days of matches against the best in Europe. This may not be North American competition, but with many players joining from the US and Canada to each and every team, there was a high level of skill and competitiveness amongst all the teams.
With an early injury to the starting goalie in game 2 and a substitution with a much younger Goaltender, proved to be a challenge with 130+ shots on goal and an impressive 43% save average for this young player. Our hats are off to the willingness and ability of this player to stand in and defend our goal with pride and dedication. A total of 48 personal penalties equaling 65.5 minutes of man down was average for the tournament, but the 29 technical penalties allowing turnovers proved to be a key factor in some of the goals obtained by the opponents. Topping the points spread sheet for Slovakia was Bradley Vrecko with 12 goals, closely followed by Ivan Cernak with 11 goals. Tomas Lichtner scoring from behind the goal with 9 and Martin Kramar with 7 from the top of the crease buried into the back of the net. Noah Holsten ended the tournament with 4 goals but had to retire early due to a shoulder injury in game 8. Miroslav Samo, Boris Seversky, Jozef Tomenga and Jaroslav Gregor all collecting one goal each to add to the points spread sheet.
With the team now back in Slovakia and the tournament behind them they will set their sights on the 2014 World Championship in Denver, Colorado. The National team will have two years to prepare for the largest Lacrosse tournament in the world.
As all things have a beggining and an end, the all-time top scorer and one of the individuals responsible for helping to build this National team will say goodbye to International play. Mr. Tomas Lichtner, #21 starting attack, has announced his final season with the team after the final battle against the Czech Republic. As a celebration for his commitment and outstanding contribution to the team we would like to all say a special thanks and hope he will support the team even if not on the field. Lifted into the air by all the members of the team with a Hip Hip Horary we will retire the #21 and always remember Tomas and his skills as an attack in the Blue, White and Red for Slovakia!
We would like to thank all the support from fans all across the globe for their outstanding backing of this National team. We are looking forward to new beginnings and the start of training this September for fall and then onto the box lacrosse league in the winter.
If you are interested in joining the team and participating in one of the fastest growing sports in the world please visit our web sites for further information and practice schedules. http://www.lacrosse.sk/slf/bleskovky/?lang=en & http://www.tricksters.sk/uvod/?lang=en
By Daniel Logan
What about that that comment, “United States of Israel” (2nd paragraph, line 9).
Did that country have more U.S. respresentation than Slovakia and the other teams..or is every team bound by the same Federation rules governing the composition of teams? Or, was it a political “dig”? I hope not, as that wouldn’t be classy for our sport. After all, if it wasn’t for “United States of…” you’d find Chinese MIGs parked comfortably @ Heathrow, Bratislava,Orly, Vancouver,
and many other airports worldwide.BTW-nothin’ against the Chinese…I respect their contribultions to civilization, their culture, their arts, the work ethic, et. al. Just saying, without the U.S., you’re all just dominoes!
Indian Chief ‘Two Eagles’ was asked by an American government official, “You have observed the white man for 90 years. You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances. You’ve seen his progress, and the damage he’s done.”
The Chief nodded in agreement.
The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the American white man go wrong?”
The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. “When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.”
Then the chief leaned back and smiled. “Only white American man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”
Great job by the Slovak team!
And while the article suggests every team was filled with North Americans, it was refreshing to see teams like Norway and Switzerland going with a home grown team and only a couple imports (similar to Slovakia).
Israel and Ireland are on the opposite side of the spectrum so their national teams don’t accurately reflect the level of lacrosse being playing in their countries right now, but hopefully in future competitions we’ll see this change and the playing field will level out a bit.
England is still the standard in Europe and they were dominant in all aspects of the game, in each of their matches. Every European country can look to England on how to build a successful lacrosse program, but they’ve been at it for a number of years so it does take time. From what I say however, each country is working hard at developing the game and the competition will only get better and better. 🙂
Hmm, I actually think the Irish team gave a relatively accurate depiction of their domestic lacrosse…
Starting mids: Paddy O’Leary (8g, Dublin Bay Prawns), Zak Jordan (2g, top face off man, Dublin Bay Prawns), Sean Gibson (4g, Dublin Lacrosse Club), attack: Matt Walsh (14g, Dublin Lacrosse Club), Paul Murran (2g, DBP), defense: Conor Walsh & Andy Sloane (DPB), goalie: Kevin Quinn (12 saves, 3ga vs Slovakia :-), DBP).
Of course they have Americans as well but contrast this team with ‘Ireland’ teams of the past and they are very different. Hopefully this trend continues and in the near future you see an Ireland team again in the final with all homegrown as opposed to just mostly.
Hot weather I’m back in the UK nothing hot here just very wet:(
well they didn’t come last and it was their first attempt.
I think the hot weather has got to Ian ….they came 12th from 17 mate .
Well done to Slovak team first championships tough matches and busy schedule. Good effort 🙂
Every game the Slovakian Lacrosse team goes into is a battle! We are a very new team with new players going up against well established teams in most of the western countries. If you want to rub it in… England topped the Championship with little effort!
ENG IRL 15:5 (4:0, 4:1, 4:1, 3:3)
NED SWE 10:11 (2:5, 3:1, 2:4, 3:1)
GER SCO 19:13 (6:2, 5:1, 5:5, 3:5)
FIN ISR 16:6 (2:2, 2:4, 6:0, 6:0)
Group 9th – 12th Place
1. CZE 3 3 0 45:17 3
2. WAL 3 2 1 32:24 2
3. SUI 3 1 2 27:27 1
4. SVK 3 0 3 10:46 0
Group 13th – 17th Place
1. ITA 4 4 0 45:17 4
2. NOR 4 3 1 44:18 3
3. BEL 4 2 2 36:51 2
4. FRA 4 1 3 29:57 1
5. ESP 4 0 4 29:40 0
I give it to the Slovak team for going and giving it a chance, they didn’t quit! 9 games in 10 days against some very good teams and very skilled players is a lot! They will take all this with them in the World Championships in 2014! There is only up from here!
~~~National Lacrosse Team Battles 12th Place in European Championship~~
Oh come on you battle for places 1 to 4 not 12th !
BTW . Who actually won this Euro Championship 1,2,3 ???
Congratulations guys, I know it was not an easy schedule and it was certainly difficult with such a small squad. All I can say is to practice harder and get ready for the big one in 2014 in Colorado! Do TOHO Slovansko! Fan for life!