Florida Southern head men’s lacrosse coach and our Academy Director Marty Ward has been named to the Iroquois Nationals final 27-man roster for this upcoming summer’s Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships. The FIL World Lacrosse Championships are scheduled for July 10-19 in Denver, Colo.
Ward is one of two goalies named to the 27-man team that features stand-out athletes with experience in both the professional lacrosse leagues, as well as the collegiate game. Several professional All-Stars, along with college All-Americans will take the field for the Iroquois National Team in Denver this summer.
This will be Ward’s third time to play for the Iroquois National Team in the World Lacrosse Championships as he was the starting goalkeeper on the 2006 team after his junior year at Limestone and once again made the team in 2010, but that team did not play in the world championships in England due to a passport controversy.
The Iroquois National Team, who has never finished higher than fourth in a men’s world championship event, could pose a serious challenge this year to the two favorites, the United States and Canada, the only two nations to win the championship since the world championship event was first contested in 1967. Two years ago in Finland, the Iroquois Under-19 Team made history as they defeated the United States for the first time in international field outdoor competition and took home a bronze medal. Ward was an assistant coach on that 2012 Iroquois Under-19 Team.
Ward, who just completed his fourth season at the helm of the Moccasins’ men’s lacrosse program, has compiled a 36-25 record at FSC and led the Mocs to the championship game of this year’s inaugural Sunshine State Conference Tournament and finished the year with a No. 12 ranking in the final USILA Division II Coaches’ Poll. The 11 wins were the most in program history, while its second place finish in the SSC standings is the highest regular season finish for the program since tying for second in the Deep South Conference in 2011.
Along with winning a school record 11 games, the Moccasins also scored a school record 218 goal and averaged 14.53 goal per game in 2014. Additionally, FSC also collected 119 assists on the season and set a new school record mark for points with 337.
As a collegiate player, Ward, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, played four seasons (2004-07) at Limestone. While at Limestone, the program compiled a 55-9 record during his career and he earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2005 and 2007. In addition, he led the team to four consecutive NCAA Division II national semifinal appearances, including advancing to the championship games in both 2004 and 2005. In 2004, Limestone fell 11-10 to LeMoyne in overtime to finish as national runner-up and was national runner-up in 2005 as they fell 14-13 in overtime to New York Tech.
Ward, who is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., was a two-time team captain and a three-time All-Conference honoree at Limestone. In 2006, he was the MVP of the DSC Tournament and earned Player of the Year honors in 2007 in the Carolinas Virginia Athletic Conference.
A record 38 nations are scheduled to compete in this year’s FIL World Championships. The Iroquois are in the Blue Division and will face Australia, Canada, England, Japan and the United States during pool play for a spot in the championship bracket.
Congratulations to all of you on the progress you have made these last few weeks during our annual Summer Skills Clinic!!! On behalf of myself and all of your coach's, we want to also say thank you for spending a couple hours a week with us playing and learning the game of Lacrosse. Whether you are a returning player or brand new to the game, we hope you had fun and learned a little something along the way. Playing Lacrosse should be fun and can become a place where you can build friendships that you will have for years to come.
As you all know, despite our best efforts, the one thing we can't control is the weather. As with every summer season, the weather did create some challenges and forced us to cut-short, or cancel several sessions. (particularly for MS/HS) In a perfect world we would be able to keep playing every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the summer to make up for lost time and keep working on our skills. However, we are limited by competing demands for field space and will be forced out of Pinecrest next week by Pilot Football.
So, in our best effort to get as close as we can to the planned 12 hours of training, we will be providing two additional training sessions for the MS/HS group this week on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-8:00. We know this won't make up for all of the lost time, but it will get us much closer to the goal. Unfortunately, at this time we will not be able to hold any additional sessions for the youth players but keep an eye on the Coyote website for news about our Fall FREE clinics coming in September!!!
Thanks again to all of you who participated and enjoy the rest of your summer!!!...See you in the Fall, and GO COYOTES!
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