Marc Maturo’s official sports column
No luck just pluck for Ireland at World Lacrosse Games
How bad could it be to place ninth against a record number of 38 high-quality international teams that competed at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships, held over the course of 10 days?
“Not bad at all, we played good,” offers Tom Prior of West Nyack, veteran head coach of the Ireland National team that would have placed even higher had it not been for a hard-fought 8-6 loss to Germany.
“We played pretty good,” continued Prior, reinforcing his original assessment. “A top-10 is not bad, is it? The competition was a lot stronger than we anticipated, especially as we advanced. A lot of teams had United States players; it was very competitive.”
Ireland’s only other loss was to Israel by an 18-9 margin. Otherwise, Prior’s prideful group defeated a number of other nations. It handled New Zealand, 12-10; the Czech Republic, 12-10; Bermuda, 14-5; Uganda, 17-1; France, 22-5; and Switzerland, 13-6.
Canada outlasted the United States, 8-5, in the championship contest. Iroquois Nationals beat Australia, 16-5, in the third-place game.
“We had our guys hydrate over a quart of water every night,” noted Coach Prior, who has taken other teams to the biennial World Championships in such locales as Australia, Canada, and London, Ontario; and Manchester, England. Playing in the mile-high town of Commerce City, Colo., where many visiting athletes are sometimes affected by the altitude, FIL incorporated mandatory hydration breaks during games, almost akin to what was done by the Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) during the recently conducted World Cup in Brazil when oppressive heat proved nearly as tough as the opposition.
Prior is already looking ahead to the next games in 2016, when the team will inevitably take on a different look; and to next year when the Irish will field a U19 team, including high school players, at the U19 World Championships in British Columbia.
Prior noted that former College of Mount St. Vincent standout Mike Shea, a Clarkstown North HS alum, and former Rochester Institute of Technology star Tom Riley, a graduate of Clarkstown South HS, were solid throughout the championships, along with his nephews J.T. Prior, a defenseman, and attack Kris Prior, both of Merrick, L.I.
“Sometimes they (his nephews) do like to tell me what to do, but I’m the boss,” Prior jested.
Shea scored 16 goals with six assists, tying for third on the team with Kris Prior, while Riley was second in scoring with 18 goals and seven assists, and a second-best 47 percent shooting accuracy.
In the game against Germany, Ireland bolted out to a 2-0 lead before the tide started to turn.
“After we got ahead 2-0, then we started to have difficulty with possession, trouble working the face-offs,” recalls Coach Prior. “We went 3-0 in our division, so all in all it was a successful trip.”
THE BOOK NOOK: Former Yankees and Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry and his wife, Tracy, will be at Books & Greetings in Northvale, N.J., on August 4 at 7 p.m. Darryl and Tracy have penned “The Imperfect Marriage,” which provides a step-by-step program that will help you and your partner understand the key issues that could be causing damage in your relationship and recognize turning points on the journey toward marriage restoration. Books & Greetings is located at 271 Livingston Street, just a stone’s throw across the border from Tappan. … Another year, another absence from the Baseball Hall of Fame for the banished Peter Edward Rose, whose troubled life and times are almost painfully but interestingly chronicled in “Pete Rose, An American Dilemma (Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated Books).” The 327-page tome is riveting from start to finish, as Kennedy, who also authored “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports,” easily alternates between the past and the present in the life and career of baseball’s all-time hits, games and at-bats leader, whose demise was ushered in by his unabated gambling, his prolonged delay in admitting that he did, indeed, bet on baseball, and perhaps the early and sudden death of his dad, Harry – the one and only person is his life who had the force to keep him in check. There’s a wonderful photo of Rose in the bloom of youth at 31, and at the back-end of the book a nifty shot of a 72-year-old Rose sporting not a cap but a fedora. Rose looks almost pensive at 31, but somehow at peace in the final photo. This book is a must for any fan of Peter Edward Rose in particular, and baseball in general, even though it is more of a Greek tragedy than a book on baseball.
THIS & THAT: Joseph Giles-Harris of Nyack, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound standout linebacker at St. Joseph’s Regional in Montvale, N.J., has accepted a football scholarship to Duke University. “You don’t know how great it feels,” Giles-Harris was quoted as saying in the Bergen Record. “Now I can just go and focus on football. I’ll go to school, play football, and not have to worry about who’s going to call or who I have to get in touch with. It’s done, and I feel great.” Reportedly, Giles-Harris selected the Blue Devils’ offer after considering other offers including from Rutgers University and Boston College. … Isaiah Roberts and Thomas Tesar have been added to the men’s basketball staff at Nyack College under head coach Jason Crafton. Roberts, who recently completed his playing career at Nyack College, was named as assistant while Tesar will assume the role of director of basketball operations. Training camp is scheduled to begin in about five weeks. …
Pitcher John Saviano of Suffern High School, coached by Ron Gamma, was a second-team selection to the Class AA all-state baseball team. Pitcher/second baseman Robert Donnelly of Clarkstown North, coached by Mike Pisano, was a fourth-team choice while catcher John Fisher of North Rockland, coached by Joe Sottile, was named to the seventh team. In Class A, pitcher/third baseman Chris Monaco of Tappan Zee, coached by Mark Stanford, made the fourth team while catcher Chuck Olsen of Nyack, coached by Joe Depalma, was named to the sixth team. … Former Yorktown HS state champion Amanda Trendell, who played four years at Rutgers University, has been hired as the assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Manhattan College in Riverdale. … Chuong Tran of West Nyack, in men’s soccer, and Anthony Accardi of Valley Cottage, men’s lacrosse, were named from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry to the 2013-14 East Coast Conference Commissioner’s academic honor roll.
… The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is seeking to fill two positions in communications to share responsibility for all ITA media and website initiatives,
And for overseeing the ITA collegiatevarsity tennis rankings.
Please send cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to: Lynn Flannery by email at [email protected]