In a stunning opening game, the Iroquois Nationals soundly beat Team England 24-2 in their first game of competition at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Turku, Finland on July 13.
As the Nationals walked into the arena for their first game tonight, there was thunderous applause and cheering from the crowd. Many lacrosse fans remember that the Nationals were not allowed to play for gold in 2010 due to passport issues, and were delighted to see the team back playing in this international tournament against the teams from around the world.
The Nationals wasted no time showing spectators and competitors their speed and skills, scoring four goals in the first five minutes of the game. The team played fast, tight and hard against Team England, scoring 14 goals by the second period. By half-time the score was 16-0.
England finally scored a goal in the third period, but was no match for the power and skill of the Nationals. Head Coach Freeman Bucktooth calls the Iroquois Nationals U19 team “one of the best we’ve had in recent years.”
General Manager Gewas Schindler said he felt confident going in that the team would do well, given the cohesiveness of the team, their stellar stick technique and their desire to win.
“We are ready, we are strong,” he said. “We know what it means to be Native and the great gift we are about to share. We play for the Creator and we’ll do our best.”
The Nationals never let up, using their exceptional defense to hold England to only 2 goals by the end of the game. Team England suffered a shellacking with the Nationals scoring a total of 24 goals.
Near the end of the half, an English spectator commented to Nationals fans, “Oh my, I think this may be over.”
Tia Schindler, wife of Nationals General Manager Gewas Schindler, smiled sweetly and said “It was over five minutes into the game.”
The Iroquois Nationals play Canada on Sunday in what will be an exciting match. Fans can follow the team on Facebook by joining Iroquois Nationals Finland and going to their website here.
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