Day 6 of the Euro Lacrosse Championships kicked off with a scrappy battle between the Czech Republic vs Germany. Much to nearly everyone’s surprise, the Czechs came out on fire. This was a very unexpected when one factors in the team’s previous games. Traditionally, the Czechs have been known to come out of the gates slow, picking up their pace of play as tournaments go on and finding ways to win.
Through the eyes of a spectator, it was obvious the Czechs caught the Germans off guard. The Czech Republic might have snagged the early lead, but the Germans never let the score differential grow larger than a two-goal deficit. The Czechs led 6-5 going into the half.
Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix
Germany dominated at the “X” leaving no room for the Czechs to go on scoring run’s or build much momentum. Dominic Schüler lead the attack at the “X.” His dominant play forced to the Czechs to double pole the face-off and even then, Germany retained most possessions off of the draws, conceding the fast break, exiting the tie-ups with a defensive mind set moving the ball back to their goalie and clearing the ball at a high percentage. As the clock ran down the Germans held onto a 2 goal lead and took the “W,” 9-7.
As the afternoon games began, the LAS crew headed over to Field 1 to catch the Wales vs Scotland game. This game held serious Euro Lacrosse Championships playoff implications as Ireland, Wales and Norway all battled for their spots to move on. Scotland had already secured its path to the playoffs, but now it was time to solidify that No. 1 seed.
Welsh experience against Scottish youth was a theme of the game here. Any time you play in a rivalry match-up, mindset and emotions play a critical role, and the edge went to the Welsh experience.
One questions we’ve asked ourselves is, “Has this week taken a toll on teams like Scotland and Sweden?”
Going into this game, our predictions had Scotland on top due to superior midfield play. But in the end that became neutralized by the lack of possessions, and the Welsh elders won.
One thing’s for sure: Yesterday, Scotland seemed to be missing the same energy they’d normally displayed.
Overheard at the Euro Lacrosse Championships:
Win the quarter, win the game.”
The score went back and forth the entire game and remained a tight match until the start of the fourth. Game was tied going into the fourth….“win the quarter, win the game” and Wales did so by depositing 5 in the fourth and holding the Scotts to 2 goals that once netted, had little effect on the outcome.
Wales killed the last 8 minutes of the game taking advantage of the controversial international stall rules (no side line for the restraining box…turns the field into a 30 by 55 yrd 1/3 of the field which isn’t much of a hard task what so ever to keep it in such a large area). Scotland caused a couple turnovers but mishandled the clearing opportunities and at that point it was just too late.
Wales won the face-off battle (13– 9) and dominated the play down the middle of the field, which gave them the edge in the possession game in return. The Welsh goalie play elevated as the game went on, but I will say the shot selection from the Scottish was not very sharp as time ran down and frustration ensued.
What also hurt Scotland was a couple silly penalties, which gave the Welsh even more extra possessions. Meanwhile, Scotland’s keeper seemed a little down in the dumps. Some of us just have those days! Even at the Euro Lacrosse Championships, unfortunately.
Finland absolutely took it to the Netherlands… and I mean TOOK IT TO THEM. From the very first whistle through the final buzzer, the Finish dominated the match between their Dutch counterparts.
Netherlands still isn’t scoring goals against higher competition which has many of us puzzled. Also a note worth mentioning, Netherland’s Van de Veerdonk (No. 6) did not seem to play too much. He was limited to taking draws and a few midfield runs per quarter, so his dominant presence was not felt during this match-up.
Finland’s tick-tack-toe passing led to some beautiful fast break goals. Combined with a lock-down defense, the Finish squad put a stranglehold on the game and won with ease 11-2.
Norway vs Ireland was another game that had major playoff implications. With the score tied at the end of regulation Norway had possession with under one minute left but seeming did not go for the win.
In order for Norway to advance, Scotland would need to win its game and Norway needed to defeat Ireland by at least two goals. With about one minute left in regulation, it became clear there’d be no chance of a two-goal victory in four quarters of play. Instead of pursuing the win by a 1-goal margin, the Norwegians held onto the ball to force overtime. At the end of two 4-minute overtime periods, Norway came out on top 10-8. Wales’ victory over Scotland, however, nullified Norway’s chance of nabbing a second seed at the Euro Lacrosse Championships.
Ireland finished 4th in their group, which no one really saw coming. Thus again proving that rosters and stats on paper are near meaningless. There is a game to played and when all is said and done, this sport’s parity is one of its greatest assets. Pool play has wrapped up and the quarterfinals begin tomorrow, let the real fun begin!
Day 6 Results
Day 6 Highlights
Day 6 Photos
Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix