International Men



 
July 8, 2014

FIL 2014 Preview: White Division Breakdown

By Brett Amadon | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | World Lacrosse 2014

With a seventh place finish in 2010, Scotland has big expectations in Denver as they honor their fallen teammate Robert Hetherington, who passed away in April 2013 while serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland of the British Army in Afghanistan. (John Strohsacker)

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:
Green Division | Grey Division | Orange Division | Plum Division | Red Division | Turquoise Division

Latvia 

2010 Results: 2-5 overall (1-2 group play), 20th place

Head Coach: Paul Dzintars Kalnins

Names Worth Knowing

G - Gints Gutmanis (Druva Dynamite)

M - Riley Lasda (Albany)

M - Eli Lasda (Albany)

Origin

In 2003, Aigars Grinbergs founded the Latvian Lacrosse Federation after he discovered the game while studying in England. Over time, lacrosse continued to grow and ultimately faced its largest period of development from 2008 to 2012, during which the number of club teams competing for the national championship increased from three to seven. This past spring, five men's club teams competed for the championship. Currently, the hotbed of Latvian lacrosse lies in Druva, Latvia, where the club team Druva Dynamite has won three of the last four men's championships.

Outlook

Kicking things off in 2010, Latvia took on current White Division opponent Scotland, where Latvia struggled to keep up, losing 20-4. After rebounding to beat France in its next game, Latvia dropped its second game of group play to New Zealand, but still managed to advance to the middle bracket. With a narrow 12-10 win over Hong Kong, Latvia earned a rematch with New Zealand. However, New Zealand jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back, rolling past Latvia 16-3. The loss relegated Latvia into the 17th-20th place bracket, where they dropped a tough one-goal contest to Bermuda before losing its third straight in the tournament to Italy, resulting in a 20th-place finish.

Scotland 

2010 Results: 6-2 overall (3-0 group play), 7th place

Head Coach: John Kenney

Names Worth Knowing

M - Jesse Fehr (Duke/Harvard)

D - Matt MacGrotty (Bryant University)

A - Luke Laszkiewicz (Robert Morris)

Outlook

While players will honor their fallen teammate Robert Hetherington, who died in April 2013 while serving with the Royal Regiment of Scotland of the British Army in Afghanistan, they will do so with big expectations after a strong showing in 2010. Scotland cruised to a perfect record in group play four years ago, taking down Latvia, New Zealand and France, with its closest contest being a 10-goal win over New Zealand, 18-8. Advancing to the upper bracket, Scotland continued its winning ways, edging the Czech Republic before downing Ireland 15-9, which resulted in the chance to take on Australia out of the powerful Blue Division. However, the Aussies proved to be too strong, as they handed Scotland its first loss of the tournament, falling 20-11. The loss placed Scotland into the 5th-8th place bracket, where ir faced another Blue Division opponent in England, who, like Australia, proved to be too much, easing to a 23-9 victory. However, Scotland recovered from its two-game losing streak to top the Netherlands 11-10 to finish the tournament in seventh place.

As Swiss Lacrosse continues to grow the game, the Switzerland team prepared for Denver by playing Austria in Davos. (John Strohsacker)

Switzerland 

2010 Results: 3-5 overall (1-2 group play), 23rd place

Head Coach: Eamon Thornton

Names Worth Knowing

A - Emmanuel Moser (Wettingen Wild)

M - Dominik Kaiser (Zurich Lions)

D - Hans Fluhmann (Zurich Lions)

Notes

Tasked with the responsibility of growing the sport of lacrosse, Swiss Lacrosse manages the Swiss Lacrosse League (SLL) as well as the formation of a U19 team, which was created six months ago. Before there was a U19 team, younger players were forced to compete against more polished opponents due to the SLL ranging in age from 15 to 32. Committed to the development of its players, Switzerland will set itself apart from most other European teams in the upcoming FIL World Championship, as its team is comprised entirely of players from the SLL. In addition, the Swiss were busy before taking off for Denver. Playing a tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Switzerland then took on Austria in Davos, Switzerland, to prepare for the altitude of Denver, before making an appearance in the Berlin Open.

Outlook

Switzerland had an up-and-down group play performance in 2010, beginning with a 10-4 loss to Slovakia. Rebounding to take down The Republic of Korea 10-6, Switzerland lost its scoring touch, as division winner Ireland defeated it 16-3. Advancing to the middle bracket, Switzerland struggled to score once again, losing to New Zealand 11-3, but recovered to bounce Hong Kong 11-7. The Swiss followed up the win by dropping a 7-6 heartbreaker to Italy, which forced them into the 21st-24th place bracket. In the semifinals, Hong Kong got its revenge against Switzerland, but the Swiss ended the tournament on a high note, shutting out Norway 2-0 to take home 23rd place.

Thailand 

2010 Results: N/A (first-time competitor in 2014)

Head Coach: Dylan Sheridan

Names Worth Knowing

G - Pongrapat Suriyodorn (Tropic Thunder)

M - Tham Tironsakkul (Franklin & Marshall)

A - Reed Barbe (Gettysburg)

Origin

In preparation for its first FIL World Championship, coach Dylan Sheridan and his Thailand squad have been competing in a number of friendly games and tournaments. Last year, Thailand took part in the sixth-annual Asia Pacific Championships (ASPAC) alongside fellow FIL teams Hong Kong and The Republic of Korea, as well as Japan and Australia's U23 squads. Despite playing in the 2013 ASPAC games for the first time, Thailand had a strong showing, taking home third place in the eight-team tournament. Adding to the excitement, the Thailand Lacrosse Association (TLA) formally announced in February that it submitted a bid to host the 2015 ASPAC games in Bangkok. Currently, Thailand is working on development projects with the help of Singapore Lacrosse. With equipment donations by the TLA, regional development efforts are set to take place in Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Bhutan. Domestically, the TLA is pushing for the creation of a club men's league named the Bangkok Lacrosse League, which would feature four teams, expanding lacrosse at the college level beyond Chula University, while setting up and preparing for box lacrosse training in Bangkok for the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.


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