World Lacrosse Championships 22 (everything)

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Postby Banija » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:37 am

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What Next? Future for the national team after semifinal loss to Abanhfleft

Aleksa Bibic walks off the field after 19-8 semifinal loss against Abanhfleft

ST.JOHNS- Banija, for the third and final time of this tournament, has fallen to Abanhfleft, this time losing 19-8 against the tournament's #1 team. Abanhfleft has been steamrolling through the tournament, and not only did they go 2-0 in Istria in the group stages, they were able to beat them for a 3rd time in the tournament semifinals, with Banija bowing out of the semifinal 19-8 against Abanhfleft. While many expected a close game, especially since this was the 4th matchup between the two teams at the WLCs, this turned out to be more of the same. Abanhfleft has been steadily improving during the entire tournament, and they have been flat-out dominating teams as of late. They go to the final against hosts New West Guiana as the early favorite, despite the home field advantage of playing a final at home.

After knocking on the door twice in a row, but not getting the tournament trophy, the question must be asked. What's next for Banijan lacrosse? But that question can't be answered without the story of Banijan lacrosse.

In their first ever tournament in the 21st WLCs in the Star United States, the team took the nation and the world by the storm, and they shocked lacrosse observers all over when they reached the final. They did get a favorable group draw, and they used that to their advantage, getting maximum points in their first two games and, despite a loss to then world #2 Nassau-Hessen, were able to get to the knockout stages. That's where the team turned from surprise upstart team to get out of the tournament's weakest group, to the tournament's "Cinderella team", trying to win the entire thing.

They beat New West Guiana, the hosts of this year's tournament, in the Round of 16. Then, they faced their rematch against Nassau-Hessen. Even though they lost the first one, the team was able to regroup, and used their momentum from the New West Guiana game to power themselves through to the tournament semifinals. There, they played tournament hosts, the Star United States. They played probably their best lacrosse game ever in that semifinal, taking the game by the horns and dominating the entirety of the matchup from start to finish, winning that game 13-4 and reaching the final. Even though they lost the final to world #1 Cosumar, who was not going to be denied their 2nd straight title, things were bright for Banijan lacrosse.

Many Banijan sports commentators and fans believed that this was Banija's time to win the title. They had the players, they had everybody they needed, and then with the announcement of the tournament schedule, Banija would have more than a fighting chance of winning it all. Banija would get to host home games in the tournament, and they came out on the favorable side of an unbalanced schedule- they would get 5 home games, while group rivals Electrum and Abanhfleft both only had 4. They had the advantage in the group schedule, and with most of the team coming back, they would be able to get back.

The sirens were on after the tournament's first game. They lost their home opener to Electrum, a shocker to Banijan fans. It was supposed to be the kickoff celebration night of Banijan lacrosse. The captain of the 21st WLC team, Xavier Grobbel, was having his jersey retired in front of the fans, and even His Majesty King Matthias was there in support of the team. The 10-7 loss surprised many observers, but when they beat Patistan in game 2, many believed that the game was a one-off. The first game was far too big a spectacle, and Banija would be able to recover. The sirens were sounding very loud however, after Abanhfleft beat them 12-8 on their own field. It was their 2nd straight loss, and the Banijan team would struggle mightily throughout the tournament.

Then, Banija was able to go on a 5 game winning streak in the group stage, their longest winning streak in lacrosse ever. Banija started it with a dominating road win against Electrum, and followed it with victories home to Patistan, away to Abanhfleft, home to Electrum, and then away to Patistan. However, while they won 5 games in a row, it was not a dominating streak, nowhere close to the dominance that the Abanhfleft lacrosse team is showing the world right now. While they beat Patistan three times, they struggled to victory in all 3 games against Patistan, including their 9-7 home victory and their 9-8 OT victory on the road against them. It was not the kind of showing that champions give against teams like Patistan, and people were blinded because they still found ways to win.

They were brought down to Earth by none other than Abanhfleft, who embarrassed them 24-12 on their own field. No matter what Banija seemed to do, they found ways to win against other opponents, but they couldn't do anything right against the ladies of Abanhfleft. Banija was able to get strong victories against Kaboomlandia and San Llera in the knockout stages, 13-3 and 13-6 respectively, but once again, it came down to their game against Abanhfleft, and Abanhfleft did not pull out a tight game. For the 2nd time in a row against Banija, Abanhfleft dominated the game from start to finish, and Banijan title dreams were lost after the first quarter of this one.

The question is, what's next for Banijan lacrosse?

Well, the tournament isn't technically over. Even though Banijan championship dreams have been dashed by Abanhfleft, who has been the most dominant team at a WLC tournament in recently memory, they still have one more game against Vangaziland, for 3rd place. They have already traveled to Rock City for that game Head Coach Dejan Polek will have to find a way to get his players motivated for that game, and while he said that he plans to use players who haven't seen much playing time, he still made clear that he had full intention of winning that bronze medal.

In the future, next summer, Banijan lacrosse is registered for the Multiverse Games in Electrum. It will be a familiar place for Banija to travel to, as they went once in this very tournament to Electrum, and won 13-3 against that team. It is an Olympic-style event with non-Olympic sports, and Dejan Polek's contract has been renewed through that tournament. Many people are wondering whether it is time for him to retire, after his team arguably did not improve, and could not get over the hump called Abanhfleft, who not only beat Banija 3 times, but dominated the two most important games against Banija. One at home with the group on the line, and the other in the semifinals, with a Final berth on the line.

He will be looking for players to play in that tournament. While players from this team will be in that tournament, it is unknown who will play there. Players like Kerryzovic and starting goalie Van Pierce are retiring, and it is unclear whether star player Marko Babic will indeed be playing in that tournament, as all those minutes between the domestic league and the international setting have to be taking some sort of wear & tear on his legs.

This game against Vangaziland will be an important determiner in how Banija moves forward from this loss, especially in the Multiverse Games, where the team will be fighting for a gold medal. Banija is a slight favorite, but Vangaziland is a team like Banija, making its first entry to this tournament and almost winning the gold. Banija, of all teams, should know not to underestimate newcomers, and we'll see if Banija can get over its crushing loss and be motivated enough to play well, and ultimately defeat, Vangaziland and secure itself 3rd place at this tournament.
Last edited by Banija on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Vangaziland » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:41 am

The last practice for the Royals was taking place at a West Guiana training facility. A big part of the session was spent reviewing film. Things didn't go quite their way during the last game.

The tape showed that the defense just wasn't as quick on the first step. West Guiana was getting cuts and making quick passes. The Vangazi could have done a better job getting their sticks out and swatting at some of those passes. A few tackles were also a little slow getting to the attackers.

The offense also hit a late wall in a way similar to the way other teams had lost to the Royals. The Vangazi had a few late chances for shots but missed. One shot was aimed at a top corner, a shot that most high school coaches would yell at their players for taking.

At this level, shooters usually have more privilege in taking their own kinds of shots, but when one didn't perform, they had to face the coach.

But after the tape was reviewed, the coach told his team it was time to move on from the loss. Middies, Attackers and Defenders split up to run their own drills.

Attackers went into shooting drills. Middies went over ground ball drills. Defense worked on long passing.

They had all done their conditioning earlier and done a few basic drills before watching the video. The Royals were going to keep things light. The main thing they had to do was find that motivation. They were trained by now. It was up to them to dig deep at game time and find that spark.

But overall, morale at the camp was high. Many had developed hopes of at least competing in the championship. But as the coach reminded them after the tape, the team had at least made a name for Vangaziland. They showed that one of our teams could compete and really take over a tournament.

The sections went over different drills. The coach and assistant coach rotated separately between the groups, focusing on what improvements could be made to form or motivating players who looked a little too content.

When the head coach was asked how he felt about losing the last game, he responded by saying that he had "thoroughly enjoyed the season" and that "he was already working on ways to make things better next season."

He also said that he and his boys were coming to the third place match aggressively. Banija was going to be another test for the Royals and possibly be an important game for international rankings. They were a team that was very orderly and played smart. They wouldn't make mistakes.

The teams got together after running a few more drills. They were going to run a few set plays, running through their strategy for the next game. They were going to keep things simple and try to look for good passes. Defense was going to need to stay consistent, avoid penalties and not let garbage goals slip by. They would take the time to practice their zone while the offense ran through plays.

The Royals would be tested on both sides of the field for sure in the third place match.
Last edited by Vangaziland on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby New West Guiana » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:13 pm

The Rundown

In his first edition as head coach Jim Ule, has been able to work some magic, he took a team that hadn't been able to finish the job when it came down to crunch time, under him team WG went 6-3 in group stage and was the 9th overall seed in the tournament. Now under the lights that will be a sold out crowd in Gemsbrook, what everyone in the nation had hoped for all these years, the championship game with West Guiana vying for the crown. The 75,000 seat Tiger Stadium in downtown Gemsbrook has been sold out for weeks, well before the WLC 22 finale, now that the day has come eager fans have slept outside all night in order to get inside first.

At the start of the 22nd World Lacrosse Championships, this game was but a pipe dream, many still thought that it could happen, but the drop WG lacrosse had taken after all these years, many didn't give much a chance, though the idea of 3rd place was common. But the day is indeed here and among the fans watching at the stadium will be Premier DeCader himself along with several Senators and other more liked politicians.

ME: Coach, at the start of this long run I had asked you the teams chances of chowing national pride and the chance of making it this far. Now here we are a few hours away, what is your thoughts?

JIM: My thoughts have been the same through out, we must remain focused through out the entire game, we can not let out minds wonder over to holding that trophy in the air. Our time is getting near and yes there is nothing more than I would want to do is hoist that tropy on home soil, in front of our people, and our countrymen. But we will prepare for this game like any other.

ME: Abanlflet is favoured by 4.5 points, are you letting that get to the players or not?

JIM: No, simply no. these are betting odds of those who love to gamble and waste their money. Betting odds and the real deal are two entirely different things. Each guy on the team has the ear plugs in and ignoring this. Hell I don't even watch tv or listen to the radio cause I know what will be on. Am I nervous,, yes, I am before each game, not because of our opponent, but because did I prepare everyone for the game.

ME: What about the game against Cosumar?

JIM: Oh god i love that win, because of several reasons, first off we knock out the heavily favoured two time defending champions. Hel I even on my fantasy bracket had them winning it all again. That win, my god I have never heard a stadium that loud in this country before, and if everything goes well tonight it will be even louder.

ME: Abanhfleft

JIM: Damn good team, only one loss and ouch beating Ko-oren 27-2. I have had my hands full, looking through everything, but as I said earlier we simply need to remain focused and if they hit us, hit them harder. Show them that you;re in our house and we wont take it. This is though a great match up, I know for many years the WLC had been struggling for that good match up to end it all and this is that one we've been looking for all these years. I know they've struggled to get out of the group stage many times and when they did they couldn't get through far enough to really show who they can be.

ME: Banija

JIM: I was stunned that they lost, I was sure they could make a run again, and if Cosumar couldn't win it I was sure they could. But their elephant they couldn't seem to find any way get through. They are all young but they want to prove themselves so bad. Well they have experienced growing pains and their loss is one of them, but I'm sure they'll get 3rd, they know how to regroup and put the past behind them, but they'll learn from it.

ME: Anything else you'd like to add?

JIM: Sure, everyone reading this or hearing it on the radio, make sure you cheer loudly and make that stadium rumble, make it feel like there's an earthquake in Gemsbrook. So loud that the vaultures, I mean politicians in Capitol square can here you. And I'm hoping come a few days we'll be able to hold a parade.
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Postby Free Republics » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:52 pm

Final Results

Third Place Match
Banija 14–3 Vangziland

World Lacrosse Championships 22 Final
Abanhfleft 7–3 West Guiana

Congratulations to Abanhfleft and commiserations to West Guiana.
Last edited by Free Republics on Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Final Report - Azorian Sports Network

Postby The Isles of Azoria » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:29 am

Carlos Rocha- "The Goshawks ended their companion in the quarter-finals against a very good Vangziland team, losing 11-9. The team was proud of their run in their first appearance at the WLC. Here is what the coach has to say after their defeat."

Coach- "I think our team played exceptionally well for our first time playing in this tournament. I thought our guys were focused, disciplined and not after of anyone when they were out there on those fields. You definitely will be seeing more of the Azorian team that's for sure."


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