July 21, 2014

Youth World Lacrosse Festivals: Four States Take Home Titles

By Brett Amadon | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

This past Saturday, Canada unseated the United States to reclaim the gold medal in the highly anticipated FIL World Lacrosse Championships. A tournament consisting of 38 teams and 142 games spanning nine days, Canada weaved its way through a talented field to win its second championship in the last three tournaments.

However, Canada wasn't the only team celebrating in Denver, Colo., as the 2014 Youth World Lacrosse Festivals were held in conjunction with the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

Playing as many as eight games over a three-day period, club teams from all across Canada and the United States competed at various age and skill levels while showing fans just how quickly the sport is growing throughout the country.

The youth festival was held in two intervals with the U11 and U17 teams playing from July 10-12, while the U13 and U15 squads competed from July 13-15.

The U15 tournament featured the first team to win eight games over the course of the three-day event when 3D Select Colorado 2017 earned the second championship for the west coast. (Scott McCall)

In the U11 bracket, Igloo 2021 (N.Y.) opened tournament play with a fast start and never looked back.

Playing three pool-play games in one day, Igloo 2021 (N.Y.) shut down the Panthers (Colo.), Denver Elite (Colo.) and Sienna Panthers (Texas) by a combined score of 48-1 to earn the No. 1 seed heading into the championship bracket.

After a first-round bye, the squad from Syosset, N.Y., took down two more opponents from Texas before eliminating the West Coast Starz to set up a final showcase against Bethesda (Md.).

Ending the tournament exactly how they started, Igloo 2021 (N.Y.) defeated a previously unbeaten Bethesda (Md.) squad to bring a World Lacrosse Festival championship back to the hotbed of lacrosse.

In similar fashion, the U17 bracket saw one team dominate much like Igloo 2021 (N.Y.) did in the younger pool, but this time, the team came from out west.

The Utah Elite U17 squad began its pool-play schedule with an eye-opening 12-2 win over Six Nations (Canada) and then cruised past Providence Road (Pa.) and Frontier (Colo.) to lock up the third seed in the championship bracket.

Following two bracket stage victories, Utah Elite U17 squared off against a familiar foe in Six Nations (Canada), who knocked off the second seeded ADVNC (Calif.), to make the semifinals.

However, like they had during pool-play, the elite team from Sandy, Utah, took down Six Nations to earn a shot at the championship against a local Denver squad in 3D Select.

Continuing its winning ways, Utah Elite U17 prevented Denver from seeing a local champion, for the time being, as they brought the west coast its first championship of the World Lacrosse Festivals.

Kicking off the second part of the event, the Mad Lax U13 Nationals (Va.) earned a title for the east coast after breaking out of its fourth seed position in the middle half of the championship bracket.

En route to the final game, the team from McLean, Va., took down a host of Colorado teams, including 3D Select, Spartans U13 Black, DLC Donaldson and lastly the Denver Elite, which had knocked off the No. 1 seeded Saints on July 14.

After winning a low-scoring 5-4 contest against the Denver Elite, Mad Lax completed its tournament run by edging third-seeded NJ South (N.J.) 8-6 in another nail biter.

Wrapping up this year's Youth World Lacrosse Festivals, the U15 tournament featured the first team to win eight games over the course of the three-day event when 3D Select Colorado 2017 earned the second championship for the west coast.

Seeded eighth in the championship bracket, 3D Select Colorado 2017 began a convincing run to the finals, trouncing the top-seeded Mass Bay Colonials (Mass.) 17-1 before knocking off a fellow Denver squad in the Denver Elite.

Facing 212 Lacrosse (Utah) in the title game, 3D Select Colorado 2017 continued its impressive play with a 12-7 win to prevent Utah from becoming the only state to win two youth championships.

With the 2014 World Lacrosse Festivals lasting a total of six days, the sport of lacrosse saw its growth on full display as four different states won the four youth tournaments, an impressive prelude to the conclusion of the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

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