Riggers transition, Geoff Snider reflects on his experience as Team Canada's assistant coach.
While the Canadian U19 Men’s National team came up just short of capturing gold at the World Championships in Finland, they still managed to make their mark in the history books.
During round-robin play, Team Canada dealt the United States their first-ever recorded loss in international competition, a feat not to be taken lightly.
“They had been undefeated for the last 24 years, the tournament takes place every four years. We went in there and beat them 11-9 in the round-robin in overtime,” said Roughnecks’ transition Geoff Snider, assistant defensive coordinator of the U19 squad.
“It was a great group of young men who came together in such a short period of time. You really feel connected to the group and the team.”
Although the United States would find retribution in the championship final, grinding out a 10-8 win over the red and white, Snider said he couldn’t be prouder of the character and determination exhibited throughout the tournament.
“There are some unbelievable players on that team. You’re going to see a lot of good kids that are up-and-comers through the ranks,” he added.
Snider is no stranger to the international stage, playing for the Canadian National Men’s field lacrosse team in 2006 and 2010.
It was at the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship in London, ON where Snider was awarded the tournament MVP, after dominating in his midfield role leading Canada to their first World Championship since 1978.
With the backing of an impressive lacrosse resume in both international competition and the professional ranks, Snider was selected as an assistant coach this past fall.
“In Canada, our kids don’t really get a lot of chances to play field lacrosse growing up. It was a unique opportunity to step in with a bunch of experienced coaches and help pass that information along,” said Snider, who also focused his coaching efforts on his trademark specialty, face-offs.
Snider was honoured to be selected to instruct alongside General Manager Terry Lloyd, Head Coach Taylor Wray, and Assistant Coaches Matt Brown, Brodie Merrill, Angus Dineley and Scott Browning.
The process of obtaining his coaching certification, selecting players, observing training camps and familiarizing himself with the team all came to fruition in early July when he set off for Turku, Finland.
However, there was little time for sightseeing with a schedule jam-packed with practices, exhibition matches and team bonding. With their first game set against the Americans on July 14th, the Canadians were tested early and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. They went on to post wins against the United States, Iroquiois Nationals, England (2) and Australia, holding onto a 5-0 record entering into the championship final.
Snider believes that such success at the international stage is confirmation of the steadily improving caliber of Canadian lacrosse talent.
“It’s getting better and better. The sport is growing at both field lacrosse and box lacrosse levels. Realistically all of these guys are box lacrosse players first and field lacrosse players second,” explains Snider. “It’s a testament to the hard work that the CLA (Canadian Lacrosse Association) is doing, the hard work that the provincial and community lacrosse associations are doing.”
In true competitive spirit, Snider welcomes the opportunity of facing-off against these young lacrosse stars in the future.
“By the time they get here, I might not be playing, hopefully I still am if the body holds up. There are some great kids that have a ton of great talent that are going to be making some noise in the NLL and MLL (Major Lacrosse League) very soon.”
The Calgary Roughnecks congratulate Team Canada on their silver medal finish.