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Lacrosse World Championships 2002

World Championships report, 12th July 2002

This text is provided by the official website www.lacrosse2002.com, with the text converted into plain HTML rather than multiple large pdf files. The original files, including photographs, are available under bulletin2.

[ActivityWorkshop note: Asking for a stick check is not bizarre, is not unsportsmanlike and is neither a "tactic" nor a "ploy". A team should not be criticised for requesting one, particularly if the claim is proved by the referees to be well-founded.]

LAX Herald Friday - July 12, 2002
The official publication of the 2002 World Lacrosse Championship

Japan unable to topple Iroquois

By Ben Spencer

A BIZZARE ploy by Japan just minutes from time could not prevent Iroquois recording a heart-stopping win in blustery conditions yesterday. The play-off, to determine who would meet the US in the next round, saw the first overtime of the championship so far, but it was Japan's tactics, labelled by some Grand Masters' players in the press box as unsportsmanlike, that received the most attention. Late in the final period Iroquois midfielder JD Jones scored a crucial goal from close range to give his side a 15-13 advantage. Seeing that time was running out, Japan called for the referee to check the legality of Jones' stick by ensuring that the ball fell evenly out of the net. Jones received a hefty three-minute penalty, as well as the goal being disallowed. Japan again tried this tactic after Iroquois scored the first goal of overtime but, on this occasion the stick was legal and Iroquois ran away with the match. The speed of Japanese 21-year-old Naoki Oyoshi provided headaches for the Iroquios defence as he opened the scoring three minutes in. Some undisciplined Japanese penalties late in the first term opened the door for the Iroquois to peg back an early Japanese lead, and with Jamie Kirby scoring just before quarter-time, the match was tied at three-all. Iroquois jumped out of the blocks in the second quarter to take a 6-4 lead courtesy of some strong work up front from Alan Jones. But an abundance of possessions saw Iroquois become over-confident, highlighted by a wild shot from Gewas Schindler late in the half. Japan lifted at the start of the second half, Yoshiro Suzumra reducing Iroquois' three goal half-time lead with an unassisted goal that saw him land flat on his face, sending the vocal Japanese supporters into a frenzy. Japan maintained their forward pressure and reduced the margin to one by three-quarter time, a result of the brilliant reflexes of Takeshi Yoshida in goal and Hideyuki Kanda's magnificent flick two seconds from the break. The momentum Japan had gathered carried them into the final period where they were able to peg back a 14-11 lead to finish normal time at fourteen-all, courtesy of the aforementioned tactics. But Iroquois' power in attack and skill through the midfield saw them run away with one of the games of the tournament.

Excitement not limited to Stadium

By Jason Dattilo

IF YOU are one of those people who have neglected watching some of the ancillary events at this World Championship, you have missed some exciting lacrosse. The Under-17s in particular have showcased some of the most exciting up-andcoming lacrosse players the world has to offer. Players from both the Baltimore and the US All-Stars took the field early yesterday and displayed the type of passion and skill that would make professionals proud. The US All Stars comprises players from 12 states who attend training camps, while the Baltimore side is made up of a group of friends who play together regularly and have flown to Perth to gain some valuable experience and "have fun". And fun is what they had as they dished out a comprehensive 25-12 defeat of the All Stars to remain undefeated. The teams made no secret of their intense rivalry, highlighted by All-Star Kevin Russell being left motionless for 10 minutes after he received a whack across the face from an opponent's stray stick. Despite the spiteful and at times ugly encounter there is no doubt we may very well see some of these players don the senior US guernsey in the future and continue the USA's international dominance of lacrosse. Kevin Huntley in particular looks like he could be a future US attacker after an impressive nine goals against the All-Stars to follow his eight against Victoria.

Age no barrier for veteran

By Peter Law

A 79-YEAR-OLD Australian will carry the flag as one of the oldest competitors in the 2002 Festival of Lacrosse. Not that Noel Jeffrey will take part in the sharp end of the competition. He will be among the host of former champions - roughly 100 in all - to compete in an ancillary of the championship for veterans. Eighteen teams compete in the over 35, over 40 and over 45 competitions, which has run alongside the main event. For the senior competitions, each team has a maximum of 23 players. Ten players a side are on the field at all times and ample off-field breaks in the one-hour matches allow the former champions to recuperate. Noel Jeffrey, travelled from Seattle for the tournament, extending his lacrosse career to eight decades. He took up lacrosse in 1935, at age 13, with the Molvern Lacrosse Club in Victoria. In his time with Molvern he was a member of 10 consecutive premierships, which was considered a world record at the time. He was also named in the Victorian State team for 10 consecutive years. His efforts were rewarded in 1953 and 1956 when he was named in the All-Australian side as a centreman. A career highlight came when he was selected to travel to America as a part of Australia's first ever overseas tour in 1962. Australia won two and tied one of its matches in its 11 game tour, but the lasting impact of the tour was the strong bonds forged between the lacrosse-playing nations. The tour was the end of his playing career for Australia, however he toured again in 1967 in the role of Australian Lacrosse Council international liasion officer. The 2002 Championship will be Noel's fifth and final, and he finished a champion with his team The Blue Veins winning the Aussie Masters Modcrosse Tournament. Noel was 25 years older than some of his younger opponents, but he said despite his aging body the tournament was a fantastic experience. "The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak," he said. "It's great getting together every four years to meet with past players and opponents." Noel played his last game of his illustrious lacrosse career yesterday, and in a kind act of generosity typical of the man, gave away his Championship medal to an injured team-mate whose position in The Blue Veins team he took before the tournament. Noel used an original hickory lacrosse stick in the competition. The stick was given to him by his lacrosse mentor in 1985 and had never been used until a couple of days ago when it caused a great deal of interest among players and supporters. "A young boy came up to me and asked where he could buy one of these things," he said. Noel says lacrosse has developed dramatically since his representative days. "They play a different sport out there today. It's a lot faster and more skilful, endurance was important in my day because we didn't even have substitutes," he said.

Park Buzz

THREE species of wild animals have been identified at this Championship, the goat, the horse and the lacrosse goalie. The question must be asked - who's higher on the food chain? The goat stuck in a pen; the horse, a beast of burden; or the goalie who volunteers to be pelted by lacrosse balls? [JV & BO'S]
Lost in the translation? A BROADCASTER feeling sorry for Japan's inability to find the back of the net encouraged the crowd to "Give it up for Japan'. Unfortunately the Japanese supporters thought she said "Give it up Japan." Top marks though for their dedication in creating the 1000 cranes (pictured left) but they may need to work on their comprehension. [JT & BA]

Former stars showcase talent in wet

By Gemma Criddle

CANADA West's face-off dominance helped secure a 9-7 defeat of the USA Eagles in the Grand Masters Division yesterday. In a good-natured contest that saw supporters from both sides brave the wintry conditions, the West came out all guns blazing and took advantage of their face-off supremacy to score five goals to nil in the first period. The Eagles regrouped in the second quarter with goals from Dave Burns, Chip Veise and Jock McGuirk while restricting West to just one, giving them some momentum leading into half-time. In heavy showers the Canadians stepped up a gear with strong attacking runs by former World All-Star Jim Aitchison. Bobby Tasker and Ken McDonald were both impressive for the Canadians through the midfield, sharing some tough contests with Eagles' midfielders Bill Erb and John Zlatos. But West had the upper hand for most of the match taking full advantage of its control of play to convert possession into goals. Spirits were high as the Canadians went into the final period leading 8-4 in heavy rain. A valiant three-goal comeback in the fourth period from the Eagles was not enough to overpower the West's forceful attacking style. Many of the Grand Masters players have been involved in lacrosse for over 30 years, with Perth-based Eagles player Bill Erb a 45-year veteran of the sport. Canada West trainer Kerry Jack said one of her biggest challenges was trying to keep the players injury free. The Grand Masters tournament has been evenly contested with Canada Wests having won three games and lost two while the Eagles have four wins from six games.

Young stars of the future battle it out

By Tessa Heal

THEY may only be 14, but the Under 15s lacrosse players in this year's tournament are serious about winning. The Eastside Kings and Southern Crosse both hail from Victoria and as expected, there is a fierce rivalry between the two clubs. The first half of yesterday's game was a scrappy affair, with Eastside scoring their only goal through Michael Todor and Southern Crosse scoring through Jake Egan (two goals) and Robert Chamberlain. Down by two goals at half-time, Eastside Kings coaches John Hadden and Ross Melville gave a rousing speech imploring their players to focus, play their own game and support each other. Before yesterday's match, Eastside had lost their previous two games by one goal and the team was determined not to let it happen again. Hadden told the team they deserved to win and to do it for each other. The inspirational speech worked wonders for the Eastside team and they dominated the third quarter, piling on five goals to one in a rain-delayed contest. Eastside big man Tallon Tulloch scored two goals and Michael Todor controlled the midfield play. Tulloch was a part of the Southern Crosse team that won last year's national championship and has continued his dominant form since moving to Eastside. The three-quarter time score saw Eastside up 6-4 and both teams were determined to play a big last quarter. But rainy and blustery conditions prevented either team from taking hold of the game and Eastside's Lachlan Graf sealed his team's 7-4 win with his second goal of the match. Southern Crosse's Sam Maunder was awarded MVP for the game. His performance, along with Robert Chamberlain's goal and two assists, was encouraging despite his side losing the game.

Toyota shoot for perfect swansong

By Ben Anderson

TEAM Toyota ran over Masters opponent Crease Monkeys 10-6, keeping intact their perfect record in what is probably the team's final tournament. Team Toyota's Marc Hoffman said the tournament would be the finale for many of the team members. "We won the Masters tournament in 1998 as Team LAXWorld and we want to win it again," he said. "Four or five guys are old enough to play in the Grand Masters but we stayed together for one last championship." First quarter honours were shared with both teams scoring three goals. Team Toyota were two goals up by halftime as rain sent players and officials running for cover. Crease Monkeys failed to score after the main break. Amix-up on the scoreboard during the third quarter left spectators scratching their heads. When the mistake was rectified Team Toyota was a goal ahead and weren't troubled for the rest of the match. The Crease Monkeys are an invitational team with players from a dozen different states including Hawaii, Maryland and Florida. This is the second time the Monkeys have played in Australia. They won the Paradise Indy Lacrosse Tourney in 1999. Crease Monkey manager Harry Mazaheri said the team's aim was to have fun.

Italian stallions extend winning run

By Braden Quartermaine and Vanessa Frzop

LACROSSE is relatively unknown in Italy, but players from all over the world with Italian backgrounds have come together to compete here in the International Open Tournament during the week. Forming the team through e-mail, the players met for the first time last Friday and spent the night getting to know each other and talking tactics. Italy United captain-coach Robert Corna, from Rome, is the side's only Italian resident. Americans and Australians of Italian descent make up most of the team, with one player from Argentina. Yesterday United took on the Australian Under 19 side in a game which was neckand- neck until the end, with Italy United's Francesco Castello scoring the late winner in his side's 6-5 victory. Tempers flared in the last quarter as a dispute erupted between players, coaches and officials over the legality of an United timeout call. The tight defences of both sides left little room for goal manoeuvring and at the main break the Australian under-19's led 4-3. Near the end of the game with both sides seemingly going nowhere, and with the coaches sensing this, both teams used the last of their time-outs to regroup and discuss player substitutions. United's unbeaten record was kept in tact when Castello scored with three minutes on the clock. Captain-coach Corna is the driving force behind Italian Lacrosse and dreams of starting a competition there. He is promoting indoor five-a-side games on small courts as a way of increasing interest in lacrosse among Italians. Corna said more players from Italy wanted to make the trip but flight costs were a major barrier. "It broke my heart that they couldn't come but we're here anyway," he said. Although United is not an official national team, their participation is an important step towards promoting lacrosse in Italy.

Wales crisis talks produce big win

Story and photos by Peter Law

AFTER five losses Wales called a crisis meeting late Wednesday night in an attempt to turn around their disappointing form and avert any danger of being demoted in the divisional play-off against Korea. The initiative worked as the Welshmen finally displayed some pride in a 19-10 thumping of Korea yesterday. Korea opened the scoring in a fascinating first quarter, but this sparked Wales into action as they piled on six unanswered goals. The Welsh attackers took advantage of the rain-soaked astro turf surface by firing long range bounce-shots at the helpless Korean goalie, Edward Young-sul Chung. As the match threatend to turn into a onesided contest, Korean coach John Haus called a time-out to settle his players and reinforce the importance of controlling possession in the tough conditions. The pep-talk worked, as Korea pegged back the deficit to be within two goals of Wales midway through the second quarter. But the Koreans soon returned to their bad habits, giving away costly penalties and unforced turnovers. Welsh attacker Gavin Chamberlain capitalised on the mistakes to score two quick goals, giving his side a 10-5 lead at the break. The Welsh continued the onslaught in the second half with two goals in two minutes. The contest was all but over when Craig Caputo whipped a spectacular shot round the back of his head past three Korean defenders to give Wales an unattainable eight goal lead. Korea displayed great team spirit in the last quarter as they dominated possesion for the entire term but failed to make a significant impression on the scoreboard. Sung-uk Hwang was Korea's best, finishing with three goals and one assist. John Haus said Korea still had a lot of work to do to compete with the experienced lacrosse playing nations but indicated Korea would be a force to be reckoned with at the next World Championship. Wales finished with an amazing 12 individual goal scorers in great team performance. Welsh coach Ray Nash said he hoped the victory would turn around his team's fortunes. "We were in a position to lose today and finish twelfth, but the win means we can move up the table to ninth, which is the best that Wales has ever achieved," he said.