Iroquois Nationals beat Team USA for first time in indoor lacrosse history
For 4 years, Team USA had a perfect record in indoor lacrosse. Then they played the Iroquois Nationals team in July. In a qualifying game for the under 19 (U19) 2012 Federation of Indoor Lacrosse (FIL) championship game, the Nationals became the first team to defeat Team USA with a score of 15-13. While Team USA went on to win the actual championship, the Nationals proudly took home the bronze.
“We worked hard for this,” Gabe Oakes, the team’s player liaison said in an interview with Indian Country Today. “We didn’t get the gold, but we made strides. I mean, they’ll always be part of the first team that beat Team USA.”
The championship took place in Finland this year. The Iroquois Nationals earned their bronze medal when they shut out England in an 18-1 game. But this was not the team’s first appearance in the lacrosse spotlight. The Iroquois Nationals have been around for more than 30 years. For its 2012 U19 team, the Nationals selected 27 players from New York and parts of Canada. Knowing their ancestors began the game of lacrosse, the teammates felt a sense of honor to represent their nation at the championship games.
“It is a privilege I have,” Trey Adams, the team’s goalie told Indian Country Today.
The team continued to receive good news when it learned it will be hosting the 2015 FIL Indoor Lacrosse Championship. It is believed that this will be the first world championship to be held on Native land. The qualifying matches will be held at the Onondaga Nation Arena near Syracuse, New York. Semi-final and gold- and bronze-medal games will take place at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
It has taken years of teamwork, training and dedication for the Iroquois players to not only win a bronze medal at a world event, but also to defeat Team USA. In 3 years, they will have the chance to earn the U19 championship title on their home turf.