North American Invitational: Day One

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Team Jamaica at the Lacrosse All Stars North American Invitational - Day One

I’ve been sitting here in the hotel for thirty damn minutes and I can’t figure out how to start this article. I don’t have a catchy hook sentence or something flashy. What I lack in enthusiasm for an attractive opening sentence, I more than make up for in excitement for how awesome this first day turned out. The inaugural Lax All-Star North American Invitational didn’t disappoint from the first whistle to the last today, and there’s plenty more to come.

lasnai ticketsI won’t be recapping all the scores or highlighting every single game, but I’ll be recapping my personal highlights that I witnessed over the course of the day.

First and foremost, let it be known: Team Jamaica won its first ever international lacrosse game at the LaxAllStars North American Invitational on Thursday, September 29, at 2016. A mixed bag of guys who didn’t know each other before showing up at the rink this morning were able to gel instantly. I had originally predicted the Brooklyn Dodgers over Jamaica, but the boys from Jamaica were able to keep the ball on the offensive end for the majority of the game.

The start of the Jamaica/Brooklyn matchup had your text-book rookie box player running down the alley taking impossible shots. By the end of the game, the Jamaicans were playing the correct sides and running some pretty slick pick and rolls.

Who’s going to walk away champion? Not sure. I have a guess, but I’m not sure. Regardless, what I am sure about is that the Jamaica Box Lacrosse Team is walking away a winning team after this weekend.

Team Jamaica at the Lacrosse All Stars North American InvitationalThat was one of two games that ruined my perfect bracket for the day. The second bracket buster came when the LaxALlStars House Team toppled the Goldstar Tel-Aviv team in a closely contested upset early in the afternoon.

As I mentioned in my North American Invitational Preview, “House” teams are often synonymous with the guys that don’t have a team, and sometimes that’s for a reason. When you have a high caliber tournament like the LASNAI, that attracts big time players, even if they can’t find a traditional team to latch on with. Some Can-Am veterans, as well as the goaltending of USA’s David Mather propelled the hodge-podge of strangers to put together a complete game and upset Goldstar.

I like being wrong. If I was always right, I’d probably have a real job or something. The first day’s schedule looked pretty predictable, but I’m glad I have the pleasure of being wrong on a couple of occasions.

Personally, I had a riot running with Nova Scotia for the first time since a pickup game against Malesice in 2014. I made mistakes, don’t you worry about that. There are some admitted jitters when you’re one of only two Americans on a roster of Canadians who grew up playing box lacrosse. Even though I’ve sort of figured out how box lacrosse works during a game, I’m still a lost puppy with basic warm-up drills and practice progressions that every Canadian has been doing since they were four.

We dropped our first game against LCC, and rebounded to beat Caughnawaga in a low scoring 3-1 affair. We’ve aligned with the third place team out of the C pool, which wound up being Goldstar Tel-Aviv. It should prove to be a solid game. The Israeli boys are getting better every whistle, but I’ve got my fictitious money on the hardened Canadian boys out of Nova Scotia to take the win.

Other notable on-field occurrences were some short-lived glory days. Both the other teams in Pool C were capable of giving Onondaga tight games for the beginnings of each game. Once the Redhawks woke up, it was definitely a different story, but Goldstar and LaxAllStars were both able to match scores and even make some lead changes in the opening minutes.

Next up at the North American Invitational

Looking forward, one of this tournament’s highest caliber games first thing tomorrow morning. Vermont makes it’s LASNAI debut against the hands-down favorite, Thompson Brothers Lacrosse.

TBL is dressed to impress from head to toe, and they’ve got the talent to match. The Syracuse Stingers by no means are a weak team, but the TBL firepower was just impossible to handle for the Stingers. I’m predicting a much closer game with Vermont, but if this fictitious money I have ever became real, I’d have to put it on the Thompsons by a margin of five.

Check us out! If you can’t make it down to the rink for the brilliant live atmosphere, be sure to catch some games as we stream them LIVE on the Lax All Stars YouTube Channel FOR FREE. You know all those six dollar streams in the Spring and Summer you’re too cheap to spring for? This one even I can afford.

MAKE IT HAPPEN. WATCH BOX LACROSSE.

I don’t know how to write a conclusion either. Have a nice day.

Recording booth at the Team Jamaica at the Lacrosse All Stars North American Invitational
Jeff Melnik’s view from the recording booth in the arena