Lacrosse the Pond

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Copa de España

  Friday 14th October saw me rise early to catch a flight from Manchester to Madrid for my first trip as Head Coach of the Spain Men’s National Lacrosse Team, attending the Copa de España. Held in Cuenca, a beautiful city 100 miles outside of Madrid set in the hills of Castilla-La Mancha, the Copa de España is the pre-eminent tournament in Spanish lacrosse which sees teams from all over the country assemble to battle it out for the honour of becoming the much-coveted national tournament champions. With 7 men’s teams made up from major cities including Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cuenca, Gijon, Madrid, Salamanca and Sevilla, the tournament was a display of Spanish passion, pride and potential and the games were hard-fought and fast-paced throughout. Arriving early morning in Madrid, I met with the Team Spain Captain and one of the team’s defenders and was given a whistle-stop walking tour[…]

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European Championships Day 5 Overview and Pool Play Preview

Monday saw the penultimate day of the pool play rounds of the tournament and with everything to play for with all teams pushing for the top two spots in their group which will take them through to the fabled finals, the fans were treated to some huge displays and big performances across the day. Ireland opened the day up in style, racking up a 17-5 win against Denmark with Switzerland quickly following suit on the opposing pitch with a 15-5 rout against Belgium. Israel kept a clean sheet in a 12-0 win against Slovenia while Scotland continued with their 100% win record with a dominant 16-1 defeat of Austria. England kicked the afternoon games off in blistering fashion, rocketing to a 27-1 mauling of tournament hosts Hungary with Finland also keeping their opposition down to 1 goal with a 21-1 victory against Russia. Despite a brave Spanish rally with La[…]

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European Championships Day 1 Overview

WHAT A DAY! The 2016 European Championships opened with a bang today – unfortunately for the players the bang came from the thunder and lightning brought into town in the form of a huge storm which massively affected the opening day’s battles across the board. Thankfully, the organisers were on hand working hard to get the tournament back on track and after shifting the games around and switching pitches, all of the games were played and as expected, there was some HUGE results from all corners of Europe. Starting with our predicted game of the day, England set about sending a message to the rest of the competition that they were here and that they meant business and despite taking their foot of the gas in the second half, racked up a statement result with a 16-6 drubbing of old rivals and tournament challengers Germany. This was a timely reminder[…]

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A Unique Perspective

My name is Andrew Zehr and I am from Jackson, Mississippi, USA, and am attending Newcastle University this year to (hopefully) receive my Master’s in Engineering Geology. I currently play for Newcastle University’s lacrosse team and for the Newcastle Knights Men’s lacrosse club. Now, I don’t have the most extensive lacrosse background, coming from a state where there was only one other team to play against (the rest of our games required travel to neighboring states) and playing on a team that, for the most part, only had enough guys to fill the positions on the field. But, I quickly fell in love with the sport and taught myself how to play. This was not enough, as I found out when I went to college, as the talent there was on a much higher level than I was accustomed to playing on. So I was quickly cut from the varsity squad, but made the[…]

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LTP Hits the American East Coast

Lacrosse The Pond travelled to the American east coast recently and attended the 2014 Northeast Classic – Face off against Cancer for the 3rd year running. This year LTP founder Sam Russell, and LTP mentor, Ravi K. Sitlani made the trip. The purpose, to attend and support the Face Off, spread the LTP word, attend meetings with high profile university lacrosse programs, and to form some good allies to help us promote LTP in the USA. On a wet and windy Manchester morning the LTP roadshow began. We checked in for our Lufthansa flight, this was not a logistics error on LTPs part, but was the most suitable flight to give us maximum time in the USA. However, heading east before we went west was a little soul destroying to see on the inflight screen display. We reached Boston and as we had imagined, we hit post work rush hour traffic. After eventually getting[…]

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Start Fast, Play Fast

Well it’s been 6 weeks now since my arrival to the UK, more specifically, Manchester. As the title suggests, things over here hit the ground running, except for day 1 which was sluggish. Upon arrival at the Manchester airport, I was greeted by Sam and Chris Russell and my flat-mate (flat = apartment) Jack and his father. Immediately I could tell I was somewhere else because as I stepped off the curb, looked the wrong way to cross the street and almost got hit by a cab. Learned that lesson really quick. Later on in the week, our third flat-mate, Drew, arrived and we hit the city center for a quick bite and a pint. A quick background on myself: I am from Long Island, NY and was fortunate enough to play my college ball at DII Saint Leo University near Tampa, Florida. Leading up to and upon arrival to[…]

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The Poynton Skydome

It’s a well known fact that it rains a lot in England, but it actually isn’t a big issue…until you see the pitch you have to play on after a week of rain. Two weeks ago, I thought there was no way we could have been playing but after a last minute field switch to the skydome in Higher Poynton, the game was on. And no… it’s not indoors… no idea why it’s called the skydome. There’s no way to describe the state of this pitch but I’ll give it a go. The field might as well have been on a 45 degree angle with half of the field covered in ankle deep puddles. How did the lines look you ask? No lines… well, actually there were lines, they were just made of mud. Ohhh I forgot to mention scanning the field pregame to pick up dog poop… have to[…]

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