The 2012 Irish Men’s and Women’s National Teams were congratulated by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. In a letter sent from his office, President Higgins praised the hard work and dedication of the teams, exclaiming that they had made the country of Ireland proud. Ireland and its lacrosse teams were honoured again with a letter of congratulations from Enda Kenny the Taoiseach (head of government) of Ireland.
Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring has also given his congratulations the Irish men’s lacrosse team for achieving a silver medal in the 2012 European Championships. In an official press release on the Ministry website, Mr. Ring said that:
“This is a great achievement for the Irish men’s lacrosse team, who were awarded a silver medal in Amsterdam following an exciting game. The women’s team also played valiantly and came in eight place overall.
“Both teams have put in a huge amount of effort and resources into reaching these championships.”
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in lacrosse in Ireland. As a minority sport, it relies on the support and dedication of a large number of volunteers. It’s great to see their efforts being rewarded with this achievement.”
The Men’s National Team earned the Silver Medal at the 2012 European Lacrosse Championships. England took home the Gold Medal and Sweden finished in third for the Bronze . The Irish Women’s Team battled hard and finished in 8th. The Irish Team Éire finished in 4th place in the European Festival Tournament as the top European team, finishing only behind 3 American based teams.
The Irish attack made up of Matt Walsh (14 goals), Kris Prior (18 goals) and Colin O’Donoghue (14 goals) combined for 46 of the team’s 92 goals, exactly 50%. Paddy O’Leary (8 goals) and Kevin Owens (6 goals) lead the midfield in scoring along with Sean Gibson, Sean O’Shaughnessy & Brendan Walsh (4 goals each).
LSM Patrick Johnston (7 goals) and Defenseman JT Prior (5 goals) both showcased their stick skills by combining for 12 long-stick goals in the tournament.
Netminder Connor Sweeney finished 12th in save percentage (55%) out of 32 goalies that appeared in the tournament. Connor finished the tournament with 89 total saves. Ireland dropped their first 3 games but never looked back, going on to win every game leading into the championship matchup with England.
The Irish Women’s Team was lead by Caroline Peters who had 19 goals, Sarah Walsh with 15 goals and Vanessa Bridge with 11 goals. The ladied finished in 8th place with a tough finish losing both of their last two games by the same score and by only 1 goal (13-12 to Sweden in Overtime, 13-12 to Netherlands). The Women played their hearts out and were well respected by all teams in the tournament.
Ireland takes down Sweden by a score of 13-8 in the semifinal round of the 2012 European Championship Tournament. They are on a remarkable 5 game winning streak to enter the championship game after starting the tournament 0-3. The Men had a strong first half in this game, building up a three goal lead going into halftime (6-3). The team came out of halftime strong by quickly posting up goals. They controlled the entire game in the thiRd quarter and went into the fourth leading the game 11-4.
The Irish Men’s National Team lost to Germany 12-11 in what was arguably the most exciting game of the tournament thus far.
The Irish came into the game looking to rebound after a tough opening round loss to England, the defending European Tournament Champions. Germany had won their first match against the Netherlands in the opening game if the tournament 9-8 .
The teams played very evenly to start the game with the score tied at two after the first quarter, but Germany pulled ahead with a second quarter run of goals to gain a 7-3 halftime lead. Similar to their first match against England, Ireland would mount a strong comeback during the second half. The offense picked up the pace and the defense solidified which resulted in the Irish closing to within two goals (8-6) after the third.
Ireland continued to rally and ultimately tied the game at 9. Ireland outscored Germany 6-2 in the second half. The European Championship calls for two, four minute overtime periods, after which a sudden death overtime would ensue if the score is still tied.
Both teams traded goals during the first few minutes of the extra period. Down 11-10 with less than a minute left in overtime, Matt Walsh scored an unassisted goal coming around from the back of the cage to tie the game at 11.
With only seconds now remaining in the overtime period, J.T Prior intercepted a German pass and quickly pushed the ball to the offensive end. On a last second shot Ireland got the ball on cage and into the net as time expired, but the goal was ultimately waved off by the officials, and the two teams went into a final sudden death period. Ireland would not see the ball again, as Germany won the first face-off of the sudden death period and quickly scored.
Ireland will next face the tournament host team, the Netherlands.
The Irish Men’s National team fell to England 11-8 in the opening round of the 2012 European Championship Tournament.
After a tightly contested first quarter that had the two teams knotted up 1-1, England sparked a run of goals in the second quarter, and the Irish went into halftime down 7-2.
Team Ireland made some halftime adjustments and began a second half comeback. They scored quickly to close the gap and played a very competetive 3rd quarter. The Irish continued the comeback by outscoring the English in the fourth quarter.
“The guys played very tough and the effort was great” said Head Coach Tom Prior after the game. “We have to continue to play tough throughout the entire tournament.”
Connor Sweeney played solidly in net, recording 15 saves, many of which were on shots that came from within 5 yards. Colin O’Donoghue and Kris Prior led the attack with two goals each. Longpole defenseman Patrick Johnston scored an unassisted goal that helped spark a rally by the Irish. Brendan Walsh and Paddy O’Leary also found the back of the net.
The following players have been chosen to represent Ireland on June 8th in Middletown, New York. They will face-off against a NY Section IX All Star Team comprised of current and former college players. Over 70 men tried out for a chance to play against team Ireland. Click Here for Game Details
Coaches: Tom Prior, Richie Moran, Bob Deegan, Tim Weir
Official: Dick Pepper
Trainer/Physical Therapist: John Cavanaugh
Administration: Jimmy Carroll, Larry Carroll
On Friday June 8th, 2012 Irish team players will face off under the lights on an early summer evening in an exhibition match against a college select team in Middletown, New York.