Team Australia Day 3 at the WILC

Posted: September 21, 2015 by Paul Rai in General Lacrosse

The third day of the tournament brought us a match up against the Swiss team. Switzerland had not won a game yet and were giving up goals. When I watched them play they played hard and were a scrappy team. Their stick skills were not great and they did not have structure in their game. This is to be expected from a new team in the FIL with very little influx of North American players on their roster. We rested a few of our players that had played a lot of minutes over the past two games. This is always a concern because you never want to take any team for granted. Before the games started both teams sang their national anthems. That was a lot of fun. I do think it may be time for Tristan to learn the Australian anthem, that may be a fine to the team fund.

The game started off tough for us as we tried to find some offensive rhythm, but when we finally found the back of the net the flood gates opened and we scored easily on them. It helped that the Swiss took numerous undisciplined penalties giving our power play unit several chances.  We were very good on the power play and created chance after chance. We even scored on the hidden ball trick as I think only a few people in the rink knew where the ball was.  Jeff Joy was very good for the team scoring four goals and four assists.  Rodney Maher and Peter Kwas each had three goals each. It was a great day where we had contributions from different players. Spreading the scoring around will benefit this team as we move forward and we need to get offensive contributions from all players. Keith Nyberg scored a nice pick and roll goal with Dave Gal assisting, so even the defensive guys were getting into the action.

The end result put us in the perfect spot. We won the pool and now will take on Ireland later today. The games now pick up in intensity and we will have to raise our game. The team is happy with what they accomplished in the first three games, but this is now a different round and the expectations and pressure will be higher. The team has worked hard to get here and I believe they will be mentally prepared for today’s game.

The day ended yesterday with most of the team heading to watch Canada take on Iroquois at the War Memorial Arena. Another great crowd, that definitely was pro Iroquois, was on hand for this affair.  Iroquois was in control of most of the game as they had the lead 8 – 4. Canada was out of sync and Iroquois’ ball movement was exceptional. They were fluid and were executing at a very high tempo. They caught Canada flat footed at the start of the game. Mark Matthews, from Canada, kept his team in the game scoring five goals. He was the reason Canada was hanging around and the Canada made the run to tie the game and then take the lead. Also Aaron Bold shut the door on the Iroquois late in the game and the experience and defense of Canada was able to secure the win.

It was a phenomenal game of skill and speed. The way the game is suppose to be played. It was fast, clean and physical. It is a lot of fun to watch the two teams go at it. The best players in the world playing in front of appreciative fans. It was great to be a part of it and I look forward to more games like it this week. Oh and by the way I got fined today for not knowing what a Joey was.

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