The 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships will feature several competitors with ties to Hobart College when it begins with the opening ceremony this evening in Denver. Two Statesmen alumni will suit up for a national team, while four others will be directing the action as coaches.
A record 38 nations will compete in the championships which run from July 10 to July 19. The teams will compete in one of nine divisions. The Blue Division features the top six ranked teams in the tournament. The top four Blue teams will advance to championship bracket, joined by the winners of each of the other eight divisions.
Three Hobart men are listed on Blue Division (Australia, Canada, England, Iroquois, Japan, United States) rosters. Mike Lazore ’10 will suit up for the Iroquois National Team while Marc Van Arsdale ’85 will serve as one of the Iroquois assistant coaches and Jeff Tambroni ’92 (@JTambroni) will serve as an assistant for Team USA.
A two-way midfielder, Lazore boasts a blend of athleticism, strength, and versatility. He played in 56 games for the Statesmen, recording 37 career points on 27 goals and 10 assists. Lazore was scheduled to compete for the Iroquois at the 2010 World Championships in Manchester, England, but the team was unable to make the trip due to a passport dispute with the host nation.
Lazore is in his third season as a member of the Major League Lacrosse Rochester Rattlers. He has appeared in all 10 games this season for the Rattlers, who are tied for first place. Lazore is also an assistant coach for the men’s lacrosse team at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York.
A member of the Hobart Hall of Fame Class of 2001, Van Arsdale played on four straight national championship teams with the Statesmen, earning the NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 1983 and 1985. The two-time All-American was the 1985 winner of the Lt. Col. Jack Turnbull Award as the National Attackman of the Year. He ranks in the top 20 on Hobart’s career lists for assists (10th, 80), points (13th, 176), and goals (19th, 96).
A native of Geneva, N.Y., Van Arsdale just completed his 13th season as a member of the men’s lacrosse coaching staff at the University of Virginia. For the past eight seasons, he has been the associate head coach of the Cavaliers.
The Iroquois open the tournament against England at 10 p.m. (8 p.m. CT) in a game that will be webcast on ESPN3.
A three-time All-American, Tambroni won three national championships with the Statesmen, finishing his career with 202 points. The former attackman ranks in the top 20 in school history in assists (6th, 99), points (8th), and goals (18th, 103). Tambroni just completed his fourth season as the head coach of the men’s lacrosse team at Penn State University.
Team USA begins its quest for a gold medal tonight at 9 p.m. (7 p.m. CT) against Team Canada. A rematch of the 2010 championship, the game will be televised on ESPN2.
Jake Silberlicht’13 (@ChirpChamp7) will represent Team Israel, which will make its FIL debut against Sweden on Friday. The two-time captain for the Statesmen was a tenacious defender and a key cog in Hobart’s transition game. He produced nine goals and three assists as a senior, nearly doubling his production from his first three seasons combined. In 2013, Silberlicht scored a career-high two goals against defending national champion Loyola and scooped up a career-high two ground balls in a 13-12 upset of then No. 3 Syracuse.
Silberlicht appeared in 45 games during his career, recording 13 goals, six assists, 16 ground balls, and five caused turnovers. He capped his collegiate career by playing in the USILA North-South All-Star game.
Israel is in the Orange Division with Republic of Kora, Slovakia, and Sweden. The Blue and White will play their first World Championship game on Friday against Sweden.
Team Latvia will be under the direction of Head Coach Paul Kalnins ’76 and his assistant Max Silberlicht ’10 (@Niner_m). Kalnins came to Hobart out of Brookline, Massachusetts, playing attack for the college’s first NCAA national championship team. He emigrated to his parents’ home country of Latvia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
In the early part of the last decade, Kalnins was approached by a pair of young lacrosse players who found out he played college lacrosse. From there, interest in the sport quickly grew to the point that Latvia sent a team to the World Games in London, Ontario, in 2006, finishing second in the Yellow Division. Kalnins has served as the coach for the Latvian Men’s National Team since 2008.
Silberlicht, who is one of the top goalies in Hobart’s Division I era, met Kalnins in the summer following his graduation from Hobart at an international tournament in Berlin, Germany. Kalnins convinced Silberlicht to come to Latvia for a three-day instructional camp. Three years later, Kalnins recruited Silberlicht to help build the team that will play in Denver this week.
Silberlicht played in 50 games for the Statesmen, posting the lowest career goals against average, 9.24, and most wins (18) since the program moved to Division I in 1995. He is second among Hobart’s DI keepers in career saves with 553 stops. Silberlicht works fulltime as the assistant men’s lacrosse coach at Bowdoin College.
Two current Statesmen were under consideration for national squads. Rising sophomore Sean Donnelly was hoping to compete for England, but his hopes were dashed by an injury that also robbed him of his first collegiate season.
Rising junior Matt Opsahl came very close to joining Jake Silberlicht on the Team Israel roster, but ultimately just missed the 23-man roster. He is in Denver, assisting with team logistics and is considered by at least one team source to be a very strong candidate to make the country’s future national teams.