“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”
Day 2 would prove to be the most grueling of the tournament, a day when heart and strength of will would be put to the test. With 3 games scheduled for that afternoon, at the hottest part of the day, and with the tournament favorites, the Israel Premier Lacrosse League Allstar team (IPLL), scheduled for the second match, the Allstars were determined to get off to a strong start, to set the tone for what was sure to be a long and challenging day. The Allstars pushed the pace in Game 1, against Croatia, winning 10-2. Goals were again evenly distributed among the team, with Pete Baddoo and midfielders Krin and Matt scoring off of dodges early to get the game rolling, and later goals from Gabe, Pieter, and Ed putting the final nail in the coffin. A particularly memorable goal came from Will “The Undertaker” Barrie off of his signature move the ‘run down the field, wind-up, hitch, and crank’ (a.k.a. the “Undertaker Will Barrie You”).
A defensive switch was made with D1 Brown goalie, Peter Scott (D1), who plays Division 1 (D1) lacrosse moving from attack to goalie, James Kavenaugh moving to close D, and Will Barrie moving to LSM. The defense was again tight, with clear communication led by the goalie and longpoles ensuring that only a couple of close in shots were given up, and Peter Scott scooping up the rest.
After an hour rest, the Allstars were up again to face IPLL. Despite IPLL dominating possession time, Oxbridge’s defense was solid, thanks to clear communication from the poles and solid coordination by Peter Scott (D1). IPLL tried to get shortie matchups from X, by inverting some of their attack and midfield, but the shorties did a good job of keeping the attackmen on the outside, and the close D slid early. Tim Sweere and Erwin again got the better of their matchups, picking the pockets of dodging midfielders to get Oxbridge possessions. Peter Scott shut down the shots from range, and Will Barrie again was a force to be reckoned with in the ground ball scrums and defensive clears. Oxbridge, despite having less possession time than IPLL, was able to capitalize on a few of their opportunities. After a scoreless first few minutes, IPLL drew first blood, but were answered by Oxbridge with the attack finding Seb cutting down for a quick goal. IPLL responded with two more goals, answered by a solo drive by Pete “Yabada” Baddoo. IPLL concluded by putting away one last late goal, to walk away with a 4-2 win.
Immediately following the IPLL game, Oxbridge was up again to face Bulgaria. The game got off to a low scoring start, with both teams at 0-0 at halftime. Bulgaria’s goalie made a number of key saves, and Bulgaria capitalized on Oxbridge’s fatigue and the Allstars experimenting with playing different positions, and had a few lucky goals off of loose balls in front of the crease. While the Allstars fought hard the whole game, scrapping for loose balls and trying to get their looks, the bruised, battered, but unbroken Allstars ultimately fell to Bulgaria 2-1 in a fiercely contested match.
Nevertheless, with the performance from the first few days the Allstars were guaranteed a seed in the tournament no lower than the #2 place, and had a second chance the next day to beat Israel’s team and reclaim the #1 seed.
A performance, worthy of the D1 athlete himself, was put on by Peter Scott, with key saves, tactical coordination of the defense, and vital pinpoint passes on his clears, which earned him Player of the Day honors.
The end of Day 2 also marked the departure of Dutch attackman Pieter, a large blow to the shorthanded Allstars (now at 13 players), who benefited greatly from Pieter’s dodges, clean passes to the open man, and field vision.
At 11 PM that night, things were quiet in the IPLL hallway, as they’d turned in and hit the lights off, to prepare for the rematch the next day, which would determine the seeding of the 1 and 2 spots for the final day of the tournament. Meanwhile, the Allstars were getting off of the train into the heart of Budapest, for an evening of late night revelry and dancing, and Yabada Baddoo accepting and completing the challenge to squat the Barrie twins for reps (see photo below). The Allstars returned to the dorms between 4 and 5 am, ready for a deep 7 hours of sleep, and eager to take on the IPLL in the highly anticipated rematch.
Player of the Day: Division 1, Peter “D1 Skeeter” Scott (D1)