NETANYA, Israel -- Former Eph lacrosse player Peter Sullivan '14 helped Team Ireland to a 12th place finish at the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships in Netanya, Israel.
Ireland took to the field on Friday, July 20th to take on Scotland in the 11th place match, but lost to the Scots 14-10. Team Ireland's best finish at the world games was 7th in 2006, but the national team had quite the successful outing considering the number of teams at the world games this year. With 46 countries in attendance, the Irish finished well into the top half after posting a 4-4 record upon the tournament's conclusion.
Sullivan played an important role with the Irish defense, playing all eight games, recording 13 ground balls, and even earning a defensive player of the game nod for his performance against Italy. During the tournament, Sullivan discussed the Irish defense's game plan against their opponents. "The coaching staff has done a great job of scouting our opponents and we've changed up our defensive strategy and sets accordingly. Otherwise, I'd say our main focus has been on communication since we're all new playing with one another, talking to each other on the field has been key," said Sullivan a day before the 11th place game.
Despite the four game skid after a four game winning streak to start off the tournament, Sullivan still felt positive about the team's play. "It took a lot of hard work to come out firing as we had only been playing together for a couple days before the tournament started. We obviously haven't had much luck keeping the success going as our lack of depth has been starting to catch up on us, but it's been a great experience and cool to see such a high level of lacrosse over here," remarked Sullivan.
Perhaps Sullivan will return on team Ireland for the 2022 FIL World Championships, but for now, he is just happy to relish in the moment of competing on such a stage. "It's been an honour and amazing experience to represent Ireland in these various international tournaments. I thought my last game at Williams was the end of my lacrosse career, so it's definitely been fun to keep it going. I've had the opportunity to meet a ton of new people and friends from all around the world through lacrosse, so it's great to see how the sport brings people together from various backgrounds and places," said Sullivan.
Certainly the memories from Israel will last Sullivan a lifetime, especially his time spent in Jerusalem with the team. "We practiced with team Uganda at the Kraft sports complex just outside Jerusalem, which was incredible to see how far the sport has reached. Then, the tournament organizers provided us a tour around the city of Jerusalem; it was very interesting and insightful especially given what's going on at the moment over here," said Sullivan.
Now that the tournament is over, Sullivan will head back to London, England where he has spent the last six months after a few years living in Ireland. He currently works for a company called Scorpio Tankers. "I trade our oil tankers in the spot freight market and focus on our ships located in the Middle East region," said Sullivan.
Sullivan will miss the shepherd's pie and Guinness combination he claimed as his favorite meal in Ireland, but of course, it is only a hop, skip, and a jump over the Irish Sea to get back to the motherland; and, hopefully in four years we'll see Sullivan donning the green, white, and orange yet again in the next FIL World Championships.