Inside Lacrosse was in Denver for the 2014 World Championships and was able to gather some emotional postgame interviews with the top 4 teams in the world including Australia, Iroquois, the United States and Canada. Check out interviews with the following players:
The sounds of Canada's championship celebration echoed down a hallway at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and around the corner to the quiet United States chamber. It was stunned silence for Team USA in the moments after an 8-5 gold-medal game decision in favor of the Canadians on Saturday night, the end of a two-week tournament and year-plus effort in earnest to win a world title.
You've never heard of your hero. Perhaps that only adds to his mystique, his myth. He's not this conspicuous sports specimen. He's seldom on the sports page — he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. But meet Garrett Thul. In fact, have a seat with him here, in his quiet dorm room. You'll learn all about him — you'll even learn a little something about yourself. And you'll get a new hero out of the deal.
Canada goalkeeper - fresh off helping backstop his team to its third FIL World Championship and first since 2006, was named MVP of this year's tournament, an honor last earned by the late Chris Sanderson in 2010, also for Canada.
United States had the other three position winners, as Rob Pannell was named Outstanding Attackman, Paul Rabil outstanding midfielder, and Tucker Durkin Outstanding Defenseman. The honors were the first for all but Rabil, who was both outstanding midfielder and Most Outstanding Player four years ago when the United States took gold in Manchester, England.
Behind four points each from Miles (3G, 1A) and Lyle (2G, 2A) and a 11 save afternoon from goalie Warren Hill, the Iroquois National Team ran away with a 16-5 win over Australia, securing its first-ever medal at a senior world championship and breaking the Sharks' streak of a podium finish at every event dating back to 1967.
Miles Thompson (LaFayette) and Randy Staats (OCC/Syracuse) each posted hat tricks while Lyle Thompson (LaFayette) posted two goals and two assists. Zach Miller (Steamburg) and Mike Lazore (Carthage) chipped in a pair of scores as well.
I can’t help but appreciate the fact he wasn’t falling over his feet to schmooze with some of the stars, though his mom did capture a pic of him and fellow nominee Jameis Winston. Lyle didn’t win the award; it went to basketball player Doug McDermott from Creighton. (And Lyle’s yet to receive the gift basket that was promised to all the nominees.) But the fact he was even nominated and attended the event is just another page in the incredible story that this special group of Iroquois lacrosse players have been writing these past few years.
In what is a surprise to no one, once again the lacrosse world will be watching the U.S. and Canada duke it out for a championship. For the fifth consecutive tournament and eighth time overall, the two biggest international lacrosse powers will meet Saturday in the title match of the World Lacrosse Championships at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
A dominating performance across the board saw Team USA jump out to a 7-0 lead after one quarter and never look back, stunning Australia with a 22-3 win to advance to the finals of the FIL World Championship.
LM Photos |
Denver Post Photos
Lyle Thompson was ready to walk off the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, helmet on, sticks in hand and already gazing toward the locker room. But then he paused for a moment. Soon after, what has become a normality after a lacrosse game involving a Thompson, continued. Lyle, his brother Miles, along with Syracuse rising senior Randy Staats and incoming Orange goalie Warren Hill, were some of the last players to leave the field, signing autographs and taking pictures for about 15 minutes for young fans who stuck around.
"Even though I was a little upset I didn't want to leave the fans upset, with kids standing around," Lyle Thompson said. "They've waited all week to get my autograph. I'd like to give that to them, at least."
Vinc, 32, again demonstrated amazing versatility playing long pole defense on a vast field when he's best known for stopping shots in close quarters as a box lacrosse goalie for the National Lacrosse League's Rochester Knighthawks.
Kevin Leveille's (Delmar) journey to the World Lacrosse Championships was tumultuous. He tried out for Team USA four times in 12 years. It wasn't until his fourth attempt, which came this year, that he made the final 23-man roster.
In 2013, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) selected Hill as a player of the year and defensive player of the year. Hill also played on the 2012 All-World Team as a member of the Nationals’s U19 squad. That year, he helped the team take home the bronze. Hill, 22, who played for the Lazers at Onondaga Community College is headed to Syracuse University in the fall.
Syracuse and Iroquois attackman Randy Staats (OCC/Syracuse) talks about the Nationals' 10-8 World Championships Quarterfinal win over Scotland, advancing them to the FIL Semifinals against Team Canada.
Four goals and two assists from Miles Thompson (LaFayette/SUNY Albany) helped the Iroquois Nationals hold off a game Scotland team gunning for a huge upset to advance to Thursday's FIL World Championship semifinals against Canada, 10-8. Goalkeeper Warren Hill (OCC/Syracuse) also had a starring role in the contest, making 12 saves.
Between the auxiliary fields and the stadium at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, massive tents house convention-type booths at the World Lacrosse Championship. Everything about the game is supplied, sold or sponsored. It's a smorgasbord of lacrosse. What's missing is a lesson on the birth of the game — and the value of single-piece wooden lacrosse sticks produced by its founding people.
Indeed, the Syracuse-bound Hill, fresh from community college titles at Onondaga, stopped a Rob Pannell shot from his knees, turned away a low attempt by Kevin Leveille, and caught Max Siebald's high whipped shot, but had no answer for numerous cat-quick shots by Pannell nor the laser perimeter shots by Paul Rabil.
Monday turned out to gorgeous day in the afternoon, so I was happy to be invited to join some of the Iroquois Nationals on a trip out to Red Rocks Park, which is about 20 minutes west of Denver. So I piled into a 12-passenger van with Brett Bucktooth, Travis Hill, Tom Montour, Junior Bucktooth, Taylor Smoke, Jerome Thompson Sr. and his wife, Deloris, and Iroquois assistant Cam Bomberry. Assistant Mark Burnam, who played at Syracuse in 1980s, took the wheel, entertaining/scaring us on the highway with some behind-the-wheel antics as we drove up into the colorful, jagged hills of the park.
From arranging for personalized dorm nameplates once the final roster was named just ahead of the competition, to starting a tradition of passing around a symbolic cowboy hat, named the USAward, to a player of the game after each contest, Leveille, the oldest player on the team at 32 and Major League Lacrosse's all-time leading goal scorer, has provided timely and diligent leadership.
Team USA head coach Richie Meade gathered his group after its 18-5 dismantling of the Iroquois Nationals and said, "That's the way we want to play." Start with the faceoffs, and work your way around the field: the U.S. defense squashed the Thompson-led offense, goalie Jesse Schwartzman made timely stops, two-way midfielders controlled possession and the offense lit it up, with Rob Pannell and Paul Rabil combining for 10 goals and four assists.
As we await another lightning stoppage in play here on the FIL World Championship final night of Blue Division pool play, we have time to wonder – what are the tiebreaker scenarios that would roll out depending on tonight's results?
After a two-hour weather delay, the Iroquois Nationals were able to outscore Australia 4-2 late Monday night to earn a 12-10 win and improve to 3-1 in the Blue Division at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships. Tied 8-8 with about two minutes and thirty seconds remaining in the third quarter, a thunderstorm rolled into Denver and led to a delay, that forced the Iroquois, the Australians and the fans in attendance to seek shelter in the main stadium while the rain came pouring down.
Among the sequence of young men, and wearing a backwards purple snapback, stands Zach Miller (Steamburg), a Seneca who grew up on the Allegany Indian Reservation in western New York with a stick in his hand since age 3. A product of The Hill Academy in Ontario, the 19-year-old is just off his first season at the University of Denver, a breakout 57-point (38 goals, 19 assists) campaign that garnered him Division I Freshman of the Year accolades in helping guide the Pioneers back to the Final Four for the third time in four seasons.
Zach Miller video piece from KMGH-TV
The United States won its fourth straight game of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship on Monday afternoon, coasting past England 20-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Seven different players scored at least two goals and Kevin Leveille and Marcus Holman each posted hat tricks. Rob Pannell finished with two goals and two assists.
I still haven’t had a chance to sit down with him and talk at length, but it certainly felt like a special opportunity to stand alongside Chief Oren Lyons during the Iroquois’ bushwhacking of Japan. Watching Warren Hill in the cage, I couldn't help but wonder what type of impact the Six Nations product could have next year at Syracuse University. Knowing the answer, I asked Lyons who the last Native American goalie was to start at Syracuse.
On a turf field in Denver, under the Sunday night lights and in front of a crowd of more than 6,000 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Team Canada's Brodie Merrill chased Iroquois attackman Lyle Thompson around for 80 minutes in a matchup that brought the 32-year-old defenseman's mind back 10 years ago, when his college self at Georgetown marked Syracuse superstar Mikey Powell.
Rob Pannell had a goal and five assists in the victory to anchor the offensive effort, while Chris Eck and Greg Gurenlian were near-perfect on draws, going a combined 23-for-26. Jesse Schwartzman earned the win in net, making four saves and allowing just the one goal, making way for Drew Adams after being hit by a shot in the third quarter. Adams made six saves and allowed two.
In a game for the ages, Curtis Dickson scored a game-winning goal with 19 seconds remaining on the clock, lifting Canada to a 9-8 win over the Iroquois Nationals in front of a capacity crowd on Sunday night in FIL World Championship group play.
Midfielder Kyle Harrison left the Australia game with a leg injury and did not return. He and Callum Robinson collided and it appeared as if the big koala's knee impacted with Harrison's quad. Harrison limped off the field on Saturday after running shifts on offense and defense.
For Australia, the sight of yellow flags flying into the twilight sky was exactly what they wanted to see Saturday. It started almost immediately, when goony-looking Callum Robinson nailed Team USA's Max Seibald with a late hit after Seibald scored and then baited Team USA's Brendan Mundorf into a shoving match less than two minutes into the game.
"We're just the roadies," Iroquois assistant coach Marc Van Arsdale said walking from the field at Dick's Sporting Goods Park with head coach Steve Beville and fellow assistant Chris Doktor after the Nationals beat Japan 24-9 in blue division pool play Saturday afternoon. The headline attractions are the Thompsons. Beville surmised it's the lacrosse equivalent of traveling with the Beatles, and he's not far off.
The Iroquois Nationals dismantled Japan 24-9 Saturday afternoon at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Denver to improve to 2-0 in the Blue Division. After opening up the tournament Friday night with a strong defensive showing in a 15-4 win over England, the Iroquois offense exploded after what seemed like a slow start.
Some stars wilt under the spotlight and seek solitude. Thompson used to be that way, but he seems now to have fully embraced his role as an ambassador for the sport. It's amazing to think that just a year ago, this kid, who will turn 22 in September, had braces. It's amazing to think Thompson, who set the NCAA single-season scoring record this year at Albany, has another year of college lacrosse left to possibly challenge Rob Pannell's career scoring mark.
The Syracuse alum has had an excellent MLL career. Jeremy, the eldest of the Thompson brothers, is in his third season with the Edmonton Rush and was acquired by the Hamilton Nationals in the first round, going sixth overall in 2011.
Iroquois Nationals coach Steve Beville said the offense — comprised largely of guys who’ve been playing box all summer — took a little time to adjust, but then quickly found their groove. “It’s a matter of getting these guys out of the box and their limited reps on the field. Every day we’re on the field they get better. Every day we’re on the field their timing is better, their spacing is better.”
Lacrosse Magazine Photos |
Thanks to Taylor Smoke and his willingness to let me take over his room for the better part of an hour, I was able to photograph just about all of the Iroquois Nationals gear for the event, which includes a mountain of custom Vapor gear, the Nike Fast Break uniforms and tons of apparel and accessories from Nike, as well as two custom Cascade R helmets, including an awesome matte black one-off look featuring the seal that is on the back of the Iroquois passport (decals done by Zima Gear).
On Thursday, I had to switch hotels and take care of some stuff for Inside Lacrosse at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, including cruise the vendor lot and check out all the different companies and products on display. I had a chance to catch up with Jerome Thompson Jr., aka Hiana, who is one of the best stories on the Iroquois Nationals roster.
Next up for the U.S. will be 2010 bronze medalist Australia, featuring Stevenson University defenseman Callum Robinson, at 7 p.m. July 12. The game will be broadcast on ESPU. Here are five things to expect from the Americans during the matchup.
Eight straight goals helped the United States open the 2014 FIL World Championship, presented by Trusted Choice, with a big win over Canada, its championship game opponent in each tournament since 1998. Flipping a 3-0 deficit early in the second quarter to an 8-3 lead deep in the third, the run powered an eventual 10-7 victory for the defending world champion.
Paul Rabil and Rob Pannell might be rivals in the race for alpha dog of American lacrosse, but they sure looked good as teammates Thursday, leading Team USA to a 10-7 victory over Canada in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship opener before 11,447 fans at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Denver's American Indian community welcomed the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team to Colorado this week with burning sage, eagle feathers and a traditional song honoring heroes.
"You guys represent our warriors. You are our role models," said Francis Sherwood, celebrating the world's only indigenous team competing internationally as a sovereign nation for the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver.
This week, the Iroquois Nationals are preparing for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Denver with what many believe is their strongest team ever, stacked with current NLL and NCAA stars, and with the memory of the 2010 debacle burning strong in the minds of the Iroquois staff and players. This Inside Lacrosse writer was fortunate to be invited to join the Iroquois Nationals for the length of the tournament as an embedded writer to help share the team’s story and progress throughout the event.
What does it mean to play a game for Team USA is a question we've posed many of the hopefuls for the U.S. Men's National Team throughout the past several months on the way to the FIL World Championships. But the final episode of The Lacrosse Network's "Road to the Rockies" takes it one step further, looking at what it means to play in the biggest rivalry in international lacrosse - the USA vs. Canada.
Team USA, Canada and the Iroquois are the clear top dogs in the FIL World Championships. But each team has its own set of questions and decisions to be made. The IL asked the biggest ones heading into the tournament. First up: Team USA.
The Iroquois -- a group that includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora First Nations -- are also known as the Haudenosaunee or the Six Nations and are primarily located in New York, Ontario and Quebec. The Iroquois invented lacrosse centuries before Europeans arrived in North America and participate as their own team in all international events.
He's the elder statesman, yet a first-time world championship participant, and now Team USA captain.
Attackman Kevin Leveille (Delmar), Major League Lacrosse's all-time leading goal scorer who was a Team USA alternate in 2010, was voted solo captain of the U.S. men's national team on Tuesday night in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the group is finishing off a four-day training camp at the Air Force Academy ahead of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, which begins Thursday.
The 29 teams in Manchester were stunned when the Iroquois didn’t show up at the opening ceremony. “It was a bummer," said Randy Mearns, an assistant coach for Canada at the time. “You just knew they were going to be phenomenal.”
As the Iroquois Nationals get set for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championship which starts on July 10 in Denver, Colorado, ICTMN is profiling each of the 27 players during the tournament -- which ends on July 19 -- for lacrosse fans (and all fans) who want to know a little bit more about each player on the Nationals’s roster. Brett Bucktooth is today’s featured player.
With five episodes of its “Road to the Rockies” series on Team USA in the books, the Lacrosse Network just released No. 6 in the series, and it’s a great one. Centered around the final steps of the selection process, including the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game, its nine minutes of great insight into the men playing for their country starting this week.
“This was Ute country at one time,” Frost said. “Our people roamed the mountains.” Frost presented the team with two eagle feathers.
“This is a gift,” he said. “We’re making a presentation from the Ute Nation to the Iroquois Nation. The feathers are blessed… as you travel, they will continue to carry the good will and the good words.”
"We take tremendous pride in this game and this tournament and who we are and our heritage and our culture. It's spiritual to us. We like to call it a way of life," general manager Gewas Schindler told 9NEWS.
The Blue Division is the elite group for the FIL World Championships, composed of the three favorites (Canada, Iroquois and United States) as well as the more experienced squads from around the world. Click the links to see the rosters, schedules and TV info for each team as you follow along online and on television. Also, click the numbers at the bottom of the page to scroll team by team.
The 2014 Iroquois National team heads to the World Lacrosse Championship as one of the favorites to knock off the reigning champion United States. With five players and one assistant coach on the team, the Thompson family will look to lead the Nationals to the 2014 World Title. Check out Lax.com's preview of the Iroquois team, featuring the Thompson's explaining what it means to play on the World level as well as the importance of lacrosse in the Iroquois culture.
The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team began arriving in the Mile High City on July 3 to get acclimated and prepare for the 2014 Federal of International Lacrosse World Championship scheduled from July 10 to July 19 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Opening ceremonies begin at 5 p.m.
The 2014 World Lacrosse Championship is only a week away and Team USA has announced the final 23 men that will look to defend it's title from 2010. Check out who made the cut and get yourself ready for what is sure to be the biggest lacrosse event in history!
[Eastern Daylight Time]
Friday, July 11: 10PM England vs. Iroquois Stadium
Saturday, July 12: 4PM Japan vs. Iroquois Field 10
Sunday, July 13: 10PM Iroquois vs. Canada Field 10
Monday, July 14: 10PM Iroquois vs. Australia Field 10
Tuesday, July 15: 7PM United States vs. Iroquois Field 10
[Eastern Daylight Time]
Thursday, July 10: 9PM United States vs. Canada, Stadium
Saturday, July 12: 7PM Australia vs. United States Field 10
Sunday, July 13: 7PM United States vs. Japan Field 10
Monday, July 14: 7PM England vs. United States Field 10
Tuesday, July 15: 7PM United States vs. Iroquois Field 10