Iroquois advance to the Gold Medal Game of the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship with a 17-10 win over Team USA.
The Iroquois Nationals earned a berth into the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships thanks to a 17-10 victory over the United States in front of a sold out Onondaga Arena on Friday.
“We’re really happy to get the victory,” head coach Rich Kilgour said. “We’re right where we want to be going to the gold medal game on Sunday.”
Unlike every game of the tournament, the Iroquois Nationals got off to a slow start, with Joe Walters scoring a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the game for the Americans.
Five minutes into the quarter, Brett Bucktooth got things going, with Craig Point adding two more. Lyle Thompson and Randy Staats pitched in with one each.
The Iroquois Nationals continued to roll in the second quarter, with Johnny Powless scoring twice, while Staats, Lyle Thompson, Adam Bomberry and Roger Vyse added to the lead.
Walters and Joe Resetarits responded for the United States.
Miles Thompson led the offence in the third quarter, scoring three times, with Staats adding one.
Garrett Thul, Joel White and Walters attempted to chip away at the Iroquois Nationals’ lead.
So did the students and staff at Onondaga Nation School.
With a rare off day during the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, the Iroquois Nationals players and staff visited the local school.
“It was really cool,” Iroquois Nationals goalie Mike Thompson said. “The kids were pretty pumped. We all got a kick out of it. Doing things like this is a lot of fun.”
The players went to different classrooms and got a chance to interact with the students, who were treated with a gift from the team that was able to get autographed.
“The kids are thrilled,” OSN principal Diane Elsworth said. “ As soon as the students heard the Iroquois Nationals are coming, they were so excited. They idolize these guys. I watch thechildren at this school. They’ll be outside and say how they just did a Lyle move, or a Miles move. You also hear the kids at school talking about their own games and saying how they tried something that they’ve seen these guys do. This is really special for these kids. It is something they’ll never forget.”
The school’s principal said by coming in and being with the students is a special experience for them.
Game day photos from the National’s win over the Czech Republic in their fourth game of the 2015 World International Lacrosse Championships.
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With the likes of veterans Sid Smith, Jeff Shattler and Brett Bucktooth leading the way, the newest wave of indigenous stars have been on full display. Wednesday was a perfect example in their 17-4 victory over the Czech Republic at Onondaga Arena.
Among those young guns are Johnny Powless, Randy Staats and Wenster Green.
The Iroquois Nationals are also boasting an even younger group, featuring Brier Jonathan, Miles Thompson, Lyle Thompson, and 17-year-old Austin Staats.
“It’s pretty unbelievable playing at this level at his age,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour said. “This (Tuesday’s win over England) was his first game in there. Austin proved he isn’t out of place. We didn’t bring him here for window dressing or to say we have a 17-year-old. We brought him here because of his skill and talent. I think anyone who watched the game will realize how good he is now, and that he has an even brighter future ahead of him.”
Playing in a sold out Onondaga Arena, the Iroquois Nationals played its first-ever international game on Haudenosaunee soil, beating England 20-6 in their third game of the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
“It was a great game for the Haudenosaunee,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour said. “This is the first international game on home soil. I think the guys showed how fired up they were in that first quarter. We kept playing hard, and they (England) showed lots of pride, playing a little rough to try and get back in it. But we stayed the course, took care of business and got out of here with a win.”
A fired up Iroquois squad scored 10 unanswered goals in the first quarter, with Jeff Shattler and Lyle Thompson leading the way with three goals each, while Roger Vyse added a pair. Brandon Goodwin and Miles Thompson pitched in with one apiece.
See game day photos from the National’s 20-6 win over England in their third game of the 2015 World International Lacrosse Championships.
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In front of another huge crowd at Syracuse War Memorial Arena, the Iroquois Nationals dropped a close 11-9 decision to Canada.
“It was a good game. We were right with them,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour said. “We had them down 8-4. All we had was a flat five minutes and they made us pay.”
With a 6-4 Iroquois lead at the half, Canada began to chip away, led by Mark Matthews’ five-goal effort, and Dan Dawson’s winning goal with seven minutes left to go in regulation time. “Every one of their players plays professionally and every one of their players has played box lacrosse since they were little kids,” Brett Bucktooth said. “If you take a minute off, or even a second, those five great players are going to take advantage. And that’s what they did to us. We just have to go out there and match their intensity for a full 60 minutes.”
But before Canada chipped away, it was all Iroquois to the delight of the crowd.
One mantra Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour has preached, is playing a team concept. And that was on full display Friday night in the opening game of the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
With Lyle Thompson and Jeff Shattler leading the way, scoring three goals each, the Iroquois Nationals kicked off their quest with a 13-9 win over the United States in front of a sold out crowd at the Syracuse War Memorial Arena.
“I’m happy with how we played,” Kilgour said. “There were some lapses, but that’s going to happen. It was our first game together. I really liked how we moved the ball. I liked how we brought that team concept. When we do that, I think we’ll be tough to beat.”
And the Iroquois Nationals showed that right off the start, with Johnny Powless scoring the first two goals before the game was seven minutes old.
Shattler and Miles Thompson also scored in the first quarter, while Joe Resetarits replied for the Americans.
Adam Bomberry and Miles Thompson replied to another Resetarits goal to open the second quarter, before Joe Walters and Blaze Riordan inched the United States closer.