By Molly Shunney | 7/14/14 3:30 PM
With the completion of 114 games involving a record 38 nations in only four days, the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championship is well under way. The Blue Division teams will be fighting today and tomorrow for the top four spots in the division. All four teams will advance to the quarterfinals, while the top two advance straight to the semis. This past Sunday, the other eight divisions completed pool play, with the top team in each division moving forward to compete for the opportunity to advance to the quarterfinals.
The United States is in first place for the Blue Division, winning all three games played so far. Team USA faced Team Canada in the FIL home opener, a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game in which USA beat Canada 12-10. Team USA had comfortable leads against both Australia and Japan, winning 16-7 and 21-3, respectively.
In three games, nearly half of the USA players found the net four or more times. Leading the team with seven goals is Boston Cannon’s veteran midfielder Paul Rabil. USA, eager to claim their 10th title and determined to prove they are the team to beat once again, will play England tonight at 7:00PM ET on ESPNU.
The Iroquois Nationals sit right behind the U.S. with two wins and one loss. The Nationals started with a boom, conquering England and Japan with over a ten-point lead in both games. Trailing just one goal behind, Canada handed the Iroquois their first loss yesterday. You can watch the Iroquois Nationals go head to head with Australia at 10:00PM ET on ESPN3.com.
Based on goal differential, the Canadians come in third place with two wins and one loss. After the initial loss to Team USA, Canada picked up the pace with a smooth 23-3 win over England and the impressive 9-8 win over Iroquois. Canada will play Japan this afternoon at 4:00PM ET also on ESPN3.com
It is going to be a tenacious fight to the finish for USA, Canada, and the Nationals; they are all elite teams that possess great talent and competitiveness on the field. Australia sits comfortably in fourth place with two wins and one loss. England and Japan both have a 0-3 record so far.
As of last night, the top teams for the other eight divisions have been determined. Due to goal differential, the Netherlands took ownership of the Green Division. New Zealand took hold of the Plum Division with a 13-5 win over Wales. Germany won all three games in the Red Division, including a 21-2 win over Hong Kong and thanks to stellar play by Florida’s Chris Mattes at the X. Ireland beat Bermuda 14-5 to win the Yellow Division.
TheCzech Republic nailed the top spot in the Grey Division. They fought ferociously against Poland down to the very last second. Poland appeared to tie the game at 9-9 with only 16 seconds left. The goal did not count due to an illegal stick and the Czech Republic was able to hold them off until the end.
This is Israel’s first FIL World Lacrosse Championship experience and they are certainly making their mark. Casey Cittadino has been working hard to make his dream a reality, and it looks like the hard work is paying off. Israel didn’t let any of their opponents walk away with less than a 15-goal deficit in the Orange Division.
Finland was able to crush their opponents in the Turquoise Division, walking away with three wins and 55 goals. However, the team had a rude awakening once they stepped outside of their division. Earlier today, Scotland handed Finland their first loss.
Scotland soared through the White Division with a 3-0 run that has guaranteed them placement in the quarterfinals. Scotland ended each game with at least a 10-point lead over their opponents. Scotland showed no sign of slowing down with their 9-6 victory over Finland.
For more schedule and standings information please visit the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships website.