September 2, 2010

Poland in the World Championships in Manchester - part II

Part II of the report from the World Games in Manchester! You’re invited to familiarize yourself with the opening ceremony as well as the Polish National Team’s group games.

We will remember the 15th of July till the end of our lives. The official opening of the World Lacrosse Championships! 29 teams from all over the world competing for one title. The Polish National Team was ready on the stadium pitch dressed in white polos and red game shorts. In front was the Polish flag. Other nations were standing next to us. Only the Iroquois were missing… Because of passport issues the creators of lacrosse couldn’t come and compete with other nations this year. Only four of them appeared carrying their flag but it was only symbolic. Due to their absence Germany moved to the Blue Division. They also became rivals of England in the opening match. After several speeches by the FIL president and other guests we went back to the dorm. An evening of relaxation;, thoughts and final equipment preparation. Tomorrow; first game against Bermuda!

The morning of July 16th looked normal, like every other morning in July. However, just after we opened our eyes we knew that it was special! First thought – today we’re playing against Bermuda! We gathered at 8AM in front of the dorm and set out as an organized formation heading to the field. In front as always the Polish flag. Our already high morale was intensified by Colin Jesien whose character wouldn’t let him be quiet even for a minute. A series of his war-cries motivated us so badly that we wanted to destroy our opponents. We were first on the pitch. We circled the pitch jogging with the flag in front. We had no idea at that moment that the tradition was born. Then dynamic warm-up, static warm-up, and some fast-break drills to get comfortable on the field during the first few moments.
The game was a one man show. The energy accumulated inside the Polish players exploded on the field. The final score was 16:2 for Poland! This game was a shooting spree for Josh Coveleski who scored 9 goals. Justin Rychlicki scored three times and Mike Szpiech twice. Colin Jesien and Joachim Pernal scored one goal each. None of us expected such a great result in our first game. We didn’t have much time to celebrate because we played against Denmark at 11:30AM the next day.
We repeated the ritual from the day before: organized formation, warm-up and… Another victory for our Poland! This time we beat Denmark 15:5. Josh Coveleski scored 7 times for Poland, Colin Jesien three times and Justin Rychlicki, Mike Szpiech, Derrek Ostrzyzek, Krystian Komar and Jedrzej Baginski- all of them one each. After the game we exchanged gifts with Denmark. We gave them traditional Polish vodka with bison grass inside. We came back to the dorm in glory. We were in first place in our group after that game. We were fighting with Finland over first place in the yellow group!
17th of July 3:30PM, it was Poland vs. Finland; the game that was going to determine the leader. Without any doubts Finland was our toughest opponent. The game was evenly matched, goal for goal and after 80 minutes of battle it was a tie 11:11. Overtime, real drama… Team Finland scored and won the whole game. Our loss meant that we didn’t qualify for the championship group fighting for the title. We played further though, to get the best final position we could.
In the third, final part of the report: Poland's games in the next stage of the Championships + summary of the whole event!
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