The USA Box Lacrosse team held their 31-man training camp at the Westminster School in Simsbury, CT this past weekend. Players were put through practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, and on Saturday night, they scrimmaged the Vermont Voyageurs. USA Box Lacrosse also scrimmaged Vermont on Sunday morning, but I only caught the Saturday night game.
(For more on the weekend, check out my interview with USA Box Lacrosse Head Coach, Tony Resch.)
On Saturday, USA Box Lacrosse won the game handily, and dominated from the get go. There was no official box score kept, but at the end of the game, the US 31-man team was up by at least 10 goals. An off-the-cuff guess put the score at 16-5. Kevin Buchanan started the night off right and notched a bunch of early goals, some of them being pretty spectacular. Joe Walters scored at least three goals, and assisted on at least three more for Team USA. Ethan Farrell led the way for Vermont, and notched a hat trick of his own. Each of his goals was assisted, and two of them ended with diving efforts.
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Watch the video highlights of the scrimmage below, there are some awesome goals in there, and some really good American box lacrosse!
USA Box Lacrosse Vs. Vermont Voyageurs[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=u87YveHM4NA” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/u87YveHM4NA/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”USA Box Lacrosse Vs. Vermont Voyageurs”]
For more great lacrosse video, head on over to the LaxAllStars YouTube Channel!
Although I don’t have video proof of Sunday’s game, I did get some reports back on the action, and then end result might just surprise you! Vermont came out hard, and behind top notch goaltending from Joe Evans, the Voyageurs were able to pull out a 10-6 win (again, that is an approximate score, as no box score, or even official score, was kept). USA Box Lacrosse had been through a LONG weekend of action already, and won game 1 easily, but the WILC is a LONG tournament, and losing to a team you beat badly the night before raises some concerns.
Of course all of the above MUST be taken with a grain of salt. These were NOT official games, and the team on the floor for USA Box Lacrosse was NOT their final team. This isn’t an excuse, but it is reality.
So what will the US Box Lacrosse team look like at the WILC?
Here are some general, and way-too-early, observations on USA Box Lacrosse:
- The offensive guys can shoot the ball very well. Good form, good timing, and usually off some back and forth passing to get the goalie moving on his line. The lefties really had a good showing on Saturday night, and there is plenty of experience on that side of the ball on O for Team USA. While Team USA shot the ball well, when they met up with a hot goalie in Joe Evans on Sunday, they scored far fewer goals… which brings me to my next point:
- The offense does not have a strong inside presence right NOW. Joe Resetarits moved well through the middle, and was often open in space, but didn’t get the ball inside nearly enough. Jeff Ratcliffe was also good on loose balls and finishing inside, so there is definitely potential there. Team USA will need to work on their inside game though if they want to press Canada or the Iroquois.
- The defense is big, tough, and athletic, but this isn’t a goon squad that will rack up a ton of penalties either. The defense was heavily ball focused, and while they play good, physical D, when the ball was on the carpet USA Box Lacrosse really went after it hard. There were less crushing hits, but US Box Lacrosse got plenty of extra possessions from this maniacal approach to loose balls. Joel White was an absolute LB monster.
- Draws went heavily to USA Box Lacrosse, but it wasn’t pinch and pop style, like it is in the field game. The ball was most often shot out, and then Team USA won the loose ball. The US draw guys did control the path of the ball often, but their success really came from their tenacious loose ball play.
- Goaltending was solid on Saturday night, but it didn’t blow me away. I still think this is an area where the US is behind Canada and the Iroquois, and that could hurt the nation at the upcoming WILC. Jake Henhawk is a very capable goalie though, and if he has a great tourney, the US could be OK. Looking to the future, there is some younger talent out there, and I’m hearing the U19 USA Box Lacrosse goalies are looking really good.
Overall, USA Box Lacrosse looked good. They were athletic, and every single one of the guys out there looked comfortable on a box lacrosse floor. They played a real Senior B box lacrosse team, and looked good doing so.
The Vermont Voyageurs put up a great fight, and made USA Box Lacrosse work for everything they got. The next day, Vermont showed up ready to play, and won. I wish I had video from that! USA Box Lacrosse is still forming, and even though it’s late in the game (the WILC is only a month away!) this team still has a lot of potential. USA Box Lacrosse now hits the home stretch, and the intensity only picks up from here!