WROCLAW, Poland - - The Christian Zwickert led Poland National Team captured gold at the European Men's Lacrosse Challenge 2021 on Saturday, defeating Slovakia, 8-4, in the championship match, hosted at the AWF Stadium, Paderewskiego Avenue, in Wroclaw, Poland.
The tournament was a warmup ahead of the 2022 European Championships next April. Originally scheduled for 2020, the European Championships have been delayed each of the past two summers. At the 2022 European Championships, the top 15 of 30 teams qualify for the 2023 World Games in Los Angeles.
In the tournament, Zwickert, going into his fifth year as the head coach of the Wilmington University men's lacrosse program, led the Polish National Team to a 4-1 mark in pool play, defeating Luxembourg (14-0), Poland U21 (3-1), Czech Republic (9-4), and Croatia (10-3), but falling to Slovakia (8-2).
The team earned its redemption against their only loss in pool play, earning a spot against Slovakia in the final. The team jumped out to a 3-1 halftime lead before outscoring Slovakia, 2-0, in the third quarter, and 3-2, in the fourth to close out the Championship, 8-4.
Poland was led by Jan Rydzak's 16 points (10 G, 6 A) while Tyler Kolodka led the way with 11 goals, finishing with 14 points. Tom Carver also had double digit points in the six games, scoring five goals while adding six assists. Christian Dzwilewski made 36 saves in goal, stopping finishing with a .650 save percentage in the tournament.
Photos by Marek Stor (www.shutterlax.com)