Coach Travis Taylor upbeat despite Hong Kong’s defeat in Asia-Pacific lacrosse opener

Women’s team lose 15-10 to New Zealand in South Korea on Sunday at start of preparations for next month’s World Cup

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 June, 2017, 9:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 12:27pm

Coach Travis Taylor remained upbeat despite Hong Kong’s women beginning their preparations for next month’s Lacrosse World Cup with a 15-10 defeat by New Zealand in their Asia-Pacific Championship opener in South Korea on Sunday.

The week-long tournament on the island of Jeju takes place less than a month before the World Cup in England, with Hong Kong looking to improve on finishing 18th out of 19 teams in 2013.

And despite the opening defeat by the world number 11 in Seogwipo, Taylor is looking forward to Hong Kong’s remaining games against world number three Australia, ninth-ranked Japan and world number 15 South Korea, as well as a combined Asia-Pacific United side.

“New Zealand are in the group of teams who we need to start competing against, and it was satisfying to know that we can play a game against them. They are at a class above us, so it was nice to see us being able to compete with them,” said Canadian Taylor, who has been in the position for two-and-a-half years.

“We had a good opportunity to play a lot of our younger players in their first game, so that helped with their nerves.

“Our captains both played outstanding and showed a lot of leadership. Our goalie played amazing and saved 13 shots, and was probably our best player of the game.”

Hong Kong continue their campaign on Monday against hosts South Korea, who they have been drawn to face along with indigenous Canadian nation Haudenosaunee, Italy and Switzerland in the group stage of next month’s World Cup.

South Korea next stop for Hong Kong’s women on road to Lacrosse World Cup

“It was nice to get the first game out of the way and we are looking forward to playing Japan, Korea and Australia in the future games as they are all good teams,” added Taylor.

“It will be some really good competition for our team going into the World Cup and I am really happy with our performance so far, but looking forward to getting better with each game.”

Hong Kong’s men have also made the trip to Jeju and began their tournament with a 19-2 win over China, with Scott Browning’s side continuing their campaign against Japan on Monday.

Browning’s team have to wait until 2018 for their next World Lacrosse Championship, which will be held in Israel, having finished 21st out of the 38 teams in Denver in 2014.