With a trip to the Championship on the line, the 2016 European Championship Semifinals kicked off with intensity from the very first whistle. Our first semi-final match-up between England and Finland took place. With high hopes for the Finish heading into this semi-final (and coming off of one of the most exciting performances against Scotland in the quarter finals), the boys from Finland rode their momentum into the match, only to be met by the brick wall known as the English National team.
Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix
European Championship Semifinals: England vs. Finland
The red hot Finish offense and championships leading point scorer, Roope Jokela, met their match going up against a disciplined yet aggressive English defense in the European Championship Semifinals. Did I mention England has one of the best goalies at the tournament? Held to only one goal the entire game – a feat that no team had been able to accomplish – the Finish struggled to find their offensive mojo throughout this European Championship Semifinals matchup.
Accompanied by standout play at the face-off X and down the middle in the heart of the defense, the English managed to dictate the pace of play, eliminating the high octane Finish transition game and crafty six-on- six settled offense.
All cylinders firing at max capacity, the English offense pepper the goal on the offensive side of the ball, netting a total of fourteen goals against one of the top five goalies in the Championships, Lauri Uusitalo.
Hat’s off to the squad from Finland. These fellas battled through adverse conditions out here in Hungary, winning many of their game sin fashionable style and providing us spectators with some unforgettable memories.
Cheers boys, you had a great run!
European Championship Semifinals: Israel vs. Wales
Riding the momentum from some stellar play-off performances, both squads looked to silence the critics and prove to the world that they belong in the finals. Israel did just that. Smothering the play down the middle, the Israeli draw-men dictated the possession battle at the “X”.
Accompanied with a stellar performance by goalie Andrew Landsman, Israel appeared to have control of this game from the very start shutting out the Welsh offense in the first half.
As the second half began, the hope for a comeback resonated in the air as the Welsh fans gave all they had to help motivate their boys, but such efforts fell short. Israel only got stronger as the game clock counted down towards the end of regulation. A final score of 10-3 secured the Israel senior men’s squad their slot in the finals on Saturday against the heavy favorite England.
This is sure to be a heck of a match up, one that the entire tournament staff, players and spectators are excited to watch!
Top Performers by Position – 2016 European Championships
All Important Goalies
For this ranking we looked not just at save percentages because with teams having multiple goalies, some percentages just do not accurately provide a valid ranking.
1. Lauri Uusitalo – Finland – An accomplished box lacrosse goalie, Lauri proved that whether his stick is inverted (box) or upright (field) he is a beast when it comes to tracking the ball and keeping the ball out of the back of the net.
2. Darin Eakins – Germany – His counterpart in goal, Phillipp Maas has played nearly just as many minutes as Eakins. If there was a 2 and 2a ranking, the German goaltenders easily take those positions.
3. Andrew Landsman – Israel – Landsman, appearance wise is one of the smallest goalies in the tournament but plays like a giant between the pipes anchoring the Israeli defense and playing a critical role in the continued success of Israel.
4. Christian Dzwilewski – Poland – The Polish goalie has stood out from their very first game. Tallying 20+ saves in their pool play match against the Netherlands, Dzwilewski plays with a tenacity second to none in the crease.
5. Christopher Doktor – Latvia – Doktor, an actual giant in the cage, standing 6’ plus, takes up most of the cage and takes away shooting angles like some of the best we have every watched.
EC16 Apple Pickers
Scoring is one thing, but many times it isn’t the player who scored that deserves all the credit. We aimed to shout out the top distributors of the European Championships.
2. 14 apples – Pavel Došly (No.10) – Czech Republic
3. 13 apples – Roope Jokela (No. 50) – Finland
4. 12 apples – Nicholas Watson (No.2) – England
5. 12 apples – Samuel Russell (No. 6) – England
EC16 Goal Scorers
Of course we had to give love to the boys depositing the ball in the back of the net!
1. 31 goals – Kevin Powers (No. 20) – Sweden
2. 30 goals – Daniel Christopher De La Casa Abelenda (No. 7) – Spain
3. 25 goals – Cole Paciejewski (No. 8) – Scotland
4. 24 goals – Kyle Baker (No. 10) – Belgium
5. 23 goals – Ilajs (Eli) Lasda (No. 42) – Latvia
The 2016 European Lacrosse Championships Final match up will be England vs Israel , and the third place match-up between the Finland and Wales takes place on Saturday, August 6th on the big stage, field 1.
Best of luck to all four squads!
Day 8 Results
Day 8 Highlights
Day 8 Photos
Photos by Oskar Polak, Sniper Pix