The College of Wooster lacrosse player Ted Wells ’21 had a unique opportunity this past summer, as he was able to represent Team Israel in two different international competitions. Wells traveled to Prague, Czech Republic from June 26 to July 8, playing in the European Lacrosse Festival (ELF) Men’s Lacrosse European Championship, before making the trip to Mississauga, Canada from Aug. 3-12 for the World Junior Lacrosse Championship.
“It was an honor to get to wear the jersey and represent the College and my family,” Wells said.
The most exciting part of the trip for him was playing on a team with his younger brother Greg Wells, a first-year, who plays for Lafayette College, but was also on Team Israel. The two rarely get a chance to interact on the field. “We went to different high schools, so it was our first time playing together in a while,” Wells explained. Other family members were on hand to cheer the brothers.
The excursion to Prague included three separate competitions, the first of which was the Prague Cup from June 27-29. Wells, a midfielder, played for Israel’s U20 team, which featured players native to Israel as well as many Jewish-Americans. Israel had three games on the first day of the tournament, losing 6-3 to the Czech Guns team and 8-1 to MVP USA before pulling out a 6-2 victory against the London Lions. They started out on fire the next day, rolling to a 12-0 victory over Barcelona Lacrosse and a 9-3 win against Jizní Mesto.
However, Jizní Mesto would get its revenge with a 7-6 comeback win later that day. On the final day, Wells was the hero for Team Israel, as he scored the tiebreaking goal in a 4-3 victory that gave his team a winning record for the tournament.
The next day saw the start of the official ELF event, and Israel carried its momentum by laying an 11-0 beatdown on Team Poland with the help of a goal from Wells’ brother. Israel lost its next three games before coming back strong with an 8-3 win over Wales on the fourth of July and a close 5-4 victory over Latvia the following day. In the National Team Challenge game, Israel finished strong with a 10-2 win over Poland in which Greg scored three times.
While in Prague, the team also got to experience lots of European culture, embarking on a bike tour of the city and seeing a great deal of architecture. The players also traveled 30 miles north of Prague for a visit of the Terezin Concentration Camp.
Nearly a month later, on Aug. 3, Wells made his second trip of the summer for the tournament in Mississauga. Many of his teammates were different this time, but some of the same players were present, including Wells’ brother.
For the Canadian tournament, a variation of the sport called box lacrosse was played rather than traditional field lacrosse. Box lacrosse is played in a cleared-out ice hockey rink, rather than an open field. It is higher-scoring than field lacrosse and has rule differences, which Wells and his teammates familiarized themselves with over a three-day training period.
On Aug. 7, Team Israel played its first box lacrosse game, losing 8-7 to Team Australia. After a 16-2 loss the next day at the hands of the highly skilled Canadians, the team bounced back in style with an 18-8 win over Poland. Another tough defeat against Canada followed, but Israel fought hard against the United States in its final game of the tournament.
A goal from Luke Pitcher forced it into overtime at 12-12 before the Americans came through with the game-winning shot.
Wells was not the only Wooster representative at the event, as he had chance encounters with alumus Noah Parker ’18 and Max Rubin ’15, who played for Team Luxembourg. Former Wooster coach Bruce Casagrande was at the helm of this team, and Kyle Plumly ’03 was the coach of Team Poland.
With five different players and coaches, Wooster was the most represented college at the event.
According to Wells, the tournaments were “a great experience” and he is mostly focused on the “next two years” when it comes to his lacrosse career.
He plans to stay involved with Team Israel, but will also be very busy studying for the LSATs and working to get into law school.
Wells would also like to give credit to one of his Fighting Scot teammates, who supported him by watching the games online. “It was great to be cheered on by my friend, teammate and lacrosse mentor, Jack Redick ’21,” he said.
It was an honor to wear the jersey and represent the college and my family. It was great to be cheered on by my friend, teammate and lacrosse mentor, Jack Redick. ”