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2016 Euro Lacrosse Championships - Day 5

2016 European Championships: Day 5

Bruce Pirie reports from day five of the 2016 Euro Championships, the final day of pool play.

With the 2016 Euro Championships heading into day five, the game circled on almost everyone’s schedule was the Germany vs Latvia match-up. With two very powerful teams who embrace the physical game, a blood bath was expected, and the two squads certainly delivered!

2016 Euro Lacrosse Championships - Day 5


Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix

Latvia drew first blood taking an early (2-0) lead which in previous matches foreshadowed a victory…not in this case. The German’s showed no signs of losing composure and if anything, only played better as they went down in the score.

Overheard at the 2016 Euro Championships:

Groundballs win games”

2016 Euro Lacrosse Championships - Day 5It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with, and the Germans embodied that ideology by absolutely dominating play on the ground. Latvia embraced the “goon” mentality with heavy stick and body checks in 50-50 scraps, a tactic that’d helped them garner momentum in previous games. However, that was not the case here.

When the going got tough, the Germans reverted back to their training and kept their mental edge. Playing each ground ball methodically, swarming the ball faster than that Latvian’s, and consistently “goosing” it to open space set the tempo for the rest of the game. They certainly took a beating, but as a wise man once told me, “it pays to be a winner”.

As each quarter came to its end, the score slowing yet surely shifted in favor of Germany. The game came down to the wire. Dominating the play at the “X” while solidifying their dominance on the ground, the Germans took it showing no remorse.

2016 Euro Lacrosse Championships - Day 5

Netherlands vs Poland: 4-2

Yes, you read that final score above correct! This bout between Netherlands and Poland was the lowest scoring game of the tournament. For a team that’s averaging 18.4 goals a game, the Dutch squad struggled to find the back of the net against a stifling Polish defensive unit led by the Christian Dzwilewski (no. 33) in goal.

Dzwilewski stood on his head finishing the game with 20+ saves! Literally and figuratively, he made one acrobatic save after another and even stole a few from the Dutch that no other keeper in the world would have any business taking.

Taking Dzwilewski out of the equation, it was puzzling to see the squad from Netherlands struggle the way they did. The team has offensive fire power and some of the most dominant play down the middle of the field. James Van de Veerdonk, a middie on the team, has certainly been one of the most dominate players at the Euro Championships. Starting with his strong play at the “X”, Van de Veerdonk has taken every draw for the Dutch. In my opinion, he was the best short-stick defenseman on the field in this game.

You don’t get style-points for winning games, but it certainly was a squirrelly game! The Polish squad has made steady improvements since arriving in Hungary. While 4-2 might have felt more like a hockey score than a lacrosse score, a win is a win and the boys from Netherlands now exit pool play undefeated and on a mission to shock the Euro Championships.


Day 5 Results

2016 Euro Championships - Day 5 Results

2016 Euro Championships - Day 5 Results

Day 5 Highlights

Day 5 Photos

Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix

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