Wed | Feb 26, 2020

We now know we belong - Wilson

Published:Thursday | July 19, 2018 | 12:18 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Senior player Alex Benjamin participating in lacrosse training at Emmett Park earlier this year.

Following Jamaica's convincing 12-6 win over Switzerland in their 13th -16th place match at the 2018 Lacrosse World Championship, being held in Israel, coach Mark Wilson, says they now feel like they truly belong to the sport and don't feel out of place at the championship.

Jamaica's Lacrosse team continue to surprise and impress at the championship. On Monday, they kept their good run going when they defeated Greece 11-4 to advance from the middle bracket to the 13 to 16 classification group, along with Wales, Latvia and Switzerland. After their first win in this phase, Wilson says they feel they have earned the respect of the international lacrosse community, in their first time at the championship.


Satisfying win


"The win was very satisfying because Switzerland was ranked 15th after the 2014 games. So we know we belong now. There was great satisfaction in this effort today. Now we know we are in the top 20 and can finish as high as 13th. So for a first time team, this is a major achievement," he said.

The four teams (13th-16th classification group) were also joined by Italy and Finland, who lost their ninth to12th place games to the Philippines and Germany, respectively. They were also given byes to play the respective winners of the Jamaica-Switzerland and the Latvia-Wales matches.

Jamaica will next face Finland today and a win for the islanders would put them in the 13-14th place game against the winner of the Wales versus Italy match up and Wilson anticipates an evenly contested game.

"Finland has the toughest offence we have seen. They will be a challenge for our defence. They have seven foot attackers and very physical and skilled offensive players. We need to be disciplined and determined. But if we execute, we will have a great chance of winning, but it will be an even game," he stated.

The Jamaican team has lost only one game since making their debut at the championship and that was a 11-3 lost to hosts Israel in their opening match, and Wilson and the team has been overwhelmed by the love and support the team has received from fans and teams in Israel.

"We are fan favourites. We were the last team to the opening ceremony and every team cheered loudly. It's amazing people stop us everywhere to ask us about Jamaica Lacrosse. It's truly incredible," he said.