International Men



 
June 25, 2014

FIL 2014 Preview: Grey Division Breakdown

by Brett Amadon | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter


In 2010, the Czech Republic finished 13th by topping Poland in its final contest to finish 5-2 overall. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

With plenty of attention on the Blue Division and favorites like Team USA and Canada, Brett Amadon will be breaking down the other divisions in the lead-up to the FIL World Championships, kicking off next month in Commerce City, Co. Catch all the action by picking up your tickets today!

Teams listed in alphabetical order. View the full schedule of the event here.

Previous Breakdowns: Orange Division | Plum Division 

Costa Rica

2010 Results: First Time Competitor
Head Coach: Jim Palmer

Names Worth Knowing

D - Austin Colish (DeSalles University)
A - Peter Collins (Charleston, Huriacanes)
A - Daniel Elizondo (Duendes, San Pedro)

Outlook

Like many of the nine new countries participating in Commerce City, CO., next month, the Ticos were only introduced to the sport recently, having first become organized seven years ago. Since then, Costa Rica has been attempting to grow the sport by hosting friendly competitions. One event of note was in 2012 when Princeton University traveled down to take on the the national squad, the first American college squad to play there. There was also a recent Costa Rica Lacrosse Classic, where teams from Denver, Costa Rica and the Adanacs from Canada played.

Czech Republic

2010 Results: 5-2 overall (3-0 group play), 13th place
Head coach: Bill Kaden

Names Worth Knowing

M - Dan Paur (St. John's University)
G - Tomas Kralovenec (Fairfield University)
A - Chet Koneczny (Colorado Mammoth)

Origin

First playing in the 1994 tournament - back when teams were split among the "Prime" (USA, Australia Canada, England, Japan and the Iroquois) and the "First" divisions (Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Wales) - and where the "first" division couldn't even compete for gold, this squad has the longest history among Gray Division members. After finishing in ninth place that first outing, the Czechs have continued to increase their position in the standings as the tournament has continued to grow, peaking in 2010 when they finished in 13th out of 29 countries.

Outlook

Group play in 2010 posed no problems for the Czech Republic. Rolling through Italy and Mexico by a combined 34 goals, they finished off a perfect record through group play and earned a spot in the upper bracket with a narrow 9-6 win over Sweden. However, contests in the upper bracket proved to be too much as the Czech Republic lost to Scotland in a high-scoring affair 17-14 before losing its rematch to Sweden, 15-8. Falling into the 13th-16th place bracket, the Czech Republic bounced back to oust New Zealand in the semi-finals before rolling to a 21-3 win over Poland in the finals to garner 13th place.

Poland

Poland surprised with a 14th-place finish in 2010. Can they continue to improve? (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

2010 Results: 5-3 overall (2-1 group play), 14th place
Head Coach: Greg Murawsky

Names Worth Knowing

M - Jan Rydzak (Kosynierzy Wroclaw)
D/LSM - Daniel Rydzak (Kosynierzy Wroclaw)
G - Dawid Zajac (Spartans Oswiecim)

Origin

Poland was a surprise success story in Manchester 2010, finishing in 14th place, which is not bad for a country where lacrosse wasn't even introduced until 2008. First gaining recognition in Wroclaw and then Poznan, those cities club teams (Kosynierzy Wroclaw and Poznan Hussars) are the top teams in the country. Poland's players proudly wear the White Eagle to represent their country and will be looking to improve upon its ranking ahead of the World Games which are set to take place in Wroclaw in 2017.

Outlook

In its first appearance at the world championship, Poland opened group play with two convincing wins over Bermuda and Denmark (winning by a combined score of 31-7). However, in a battle with Finland for a spot in the upper bracket, Finland prevailed in overtime 12-11, forcing Poland into the middle bracket for the knockout stage. Poland would have a rematch with Bermuda in the semi-finals, again coming out on top, before taking out Slovakia to give themselves a second shot at Finland. However, Finland prevailed 13-7, placing themselves in the 9th-12th place bracket and leaving Poland back in the 13th-16th place bracket. A semi-final win over Spain paved the way for a Poland/Czech Republic final. In the end, the Czech Republic proved to be too strong, overpowering Poland 21-3 as the Poles finished 14th.

Turkey

2010 Results: First Time Competitor
Head Coach: Thomas Moore

Names Worth Knowing

D - Bertan Unal (Bethesda, Md.)
M - Dean Pohlman (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
A - Tunahan Sonat (Istanbul, Turkey)

Origin

Patrick Dougherty is the founding father of lacrosse in Turkey and continues to be a driving force in its development today. Starting a little more than four years ago - he was active at the 2010 World Games in Manchester to drum up support for his dream - Dougherty obtained the equipment necessary to jump start the sport in Istanbul. Since that time, Dougherty has also successfully launched programs in Ankara and Izmir.

Outlook

One of two teams in the Grey Division who are new to the world championship in 2014 (Costa Rica), Turkey comes in with a mix of both homegrown and American players. Turkey's first international tournament did not take place until 2011. In preparation for Denver, Turkey traveled to fellow first-time competitor Israel in 2013. In an attempt to grow the sport's popularity, the Turkish Lacrosse Association has hosted the Turkey Lacrosse Open in Alanya for the last two years. This international venue has featured 11 teams of both male and female players.


comments powered by Disqus