Feb. 6, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland senior defender Joe Fletcher, the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was the only college player selected for the 30-man United States National Team roster which will compete in the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships this July in Denver.
Fletcher will be joined on the roster by two Patriot League alums. Garrett Thul, a 2013 West Point graduate, and Chris Eck, a 2008 graduate of Colgate, will compete in the tournament which will take place at Dick's Sporting Goods Park from July 10-19 in the Mile High City.
In addition to his preseason recognition from the Patriot League, last month Fletcher became the highest Loyola player ever selected in the 14-year history of the Major League Lacrosse Draft. He was the third overall pick of event by the New York Lizards.
Fletcher finished last season as one of the best defenders in the nation, earning All-America First Team honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). He was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 64 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers.
Thul graduated from West Point last spring after capturing four All-League certificates, including three on the first team, and earning three All-America honors. He ended his tenure as the school record-holder and second on the League's all-time goal list with 163 goals. Thul makes the team after he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Team USA Champion Challenge which wrapped up the national team training competition on Jan. 26.
Eck dominated the X for the Raiders from 2005-08. His 305 career ground balls currently stand third in League annals, and he was a three-time All-League performer.
Team USA will reconvene next for training camp in Connecticut (location TBA) June 22-26 concluding with a matchup against a squad of MLL All-Stars in the MLL All-Star Game on June 26 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. From there, the team heads to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a second training camp July 6-9 before beginning its world title defense in Denver on July 10. Ultimately, 23 of the 30 players will be selected to the active roster for the duration of the World Championship. The reigning world champion U.S. Men's National Team will compete for a record 10th world title.