July 25, 2014
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Four current and former members of the Siena Lacrosse program recently enjoyed individual and team successes while competing at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships which were held July 10-19 in Commerce, Colo. Rising senior defenseman Max Bonsall '15 and recent graduate Colin Clive '14 led Team England to a fifth place finish at the 38-nation event, while Chris Zarins '09 tied for the tournament lead in scoring representing Latvia and Faus Bernabo '10 captained Argentina to the country's first-ever World Lacrosse victory.
A record 38 nations competed at this year's championships with Canada earning its third Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship gold medal with an 8-5 win in the title game over the United States. To be eligible to represent a country, a player must either have citizenship, be a son of someone with citizenship, or have at least two grandparents with citizenship in that country. Bonsall has dual American and English citizenship, while Clive's father is English. Zarins' paternal grandparents are both from Latvia and Bernabo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Both Bonsall and Clive were key contributors for an English squad which won its final three games of the tournament, culminating with a 15-13 victory over their rival neighbors from Scotland to secure fifth place. England will serve as the host nation for the next World Lacrosse Championships which will be held in Manchester, England in 2018. By virtue of finishing in the top-five, England will remain in the tournament's top division for that championship.
A native of Rye, N.Y., Bonsall appeared in five games for England, making three starts on defense. He picked up five groundballs and caused a turnover and tallied a team-high three groundballs in England's loss to the United States.
"It was a tremendous honor to represent something so much larger than yourself," said Bonsall, who appeared in 14 games and made three starts for the MAAC Champion Saints this spring. "It was very special to play for England as most of my relatives are from there so it is a bond I have known now for quite some time. Overall, it was a tremendous experience that I will look back on for the rest of my life."
Clive started all eight of England's games on attack, tallying 14 points on 10 goals and four assists including a team-high four goals in the squad's overtime loss to Japan. The Massapequa, N.Y. native previously played for Team England in 2012, helping guide the program to the European Championship. He netted a hat trick in that championship game, a 15-5 win over Team Ireland which was led by Siena Lacrosse alum Matt Walsh '06. Clive scored 17 goals as the English went a perfect 8-0 in that tournament.
"The past three weeks have been an unbelievable experience that I will never forget," noted Clive, who was a two-time MAAC Champion with the Saints and finished his collegiate career ranking tied for fifth in program history with 115 goals. "It was an honor representing my father's country and now I will have 22 friends for the rest of my life. The sport is growing with 38 nations participating in the games and it was great to see what it has done to some people's lives. I am excited to see where the sport is going and I hope to keep playing for England in the future."
Zarins tied for the tournament lead, scoring 42 points and led all participants with 19 assists for Latvia which posted a 5-3 record at the championships. The Bayville, N.Y. native scored the game-winning goal in Latvia's final game against Poland as the nation secured a 19th place finish.
"I had a great experience at the World Championships," explained Zarins, who was a 2009 First Team All-MAAC selection and currently stands 19th in program history with 111 career points. "Playing alongside the Latvian players and representing my family's heritage was truly something special. The local players have all put in a great amount of time and effort into this relatively new sport there they love and it was awesome seeing them succeed and accomplish their goals. Lacrosse is a team sport, but it was an amazing feeling to finish as the tournament leader in assists and points and to know that my individual effort was able to directly make an impact."
Zarins continued to play after his time at Siena for two years with Out East Life of the American Lacrosse League. He currently plays with both Faus and his brother, Okie Bernabo, for Sea of Green, a team in the Gotham Lacrosse League which was started and is run by former Siena Lacrosse alums and brothers Robert '91 and Peter '93 Ruggiero. Zarins works in equity trading in Manhattan for the Global Investment Banking Firm Jeffries.
Bernabo was elected as one of two team captains for Argentina which he helped guide to the nation's first-ever World Lacrosse Championships victory, a 13-6 win over Colombia on July 15. Bernabo started each of Argentina's first four games before suffering a tournament-ending injury. He tallied two assists, 10 groundballs, seven caused turnovers and went 8-for-19 at the faceoff X for Argentina which finished 36th overall.
"Playing for Argentina in the World Games was an amazing experience," commented Bernabo, who was a two-time MAAC All-Tournament Team selection for the Saints and currently ranks tied for ninth in program history with 21 career caused turnovers. "I am excited to see the team improve and make some noise in the 2018 games."
Bernabo currently works in equity sales and trading at MKM Partners in Stamford, Conn. He was joined on Team Argentina at the World Lacrosse Championships by his younger brother, Okie, who just led C.W. Post to the Division II National Championship Game, and his cousin, Nico Prandi, who plays for Gordon (Ma.) College.
The World Championships began in 1967 and have been held every four years since 1974. The United States has won nine of the 12 championships, with Canada capturing the other three. For more information on the 2014 FIL World Championships, visit www.worldlacrosse2014.com.