New Zealand Tigers

by Ray Rostan, Head Lacross Coach

Pritzlaff laxAlexander Pritzlaff ’08 (left) and John Pritzlaff ’06 lead the defense of the New Zealand lacrosse team.

Hampden-Sydney College lacrosse alumni John Pritzlaff '06 and Alexander Pritzlaff '08 competed on the New Zealand National Lacrosse Team in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships held in Manchester, England, in July.

Thirty nations were represented in the World Championships, played every four years. The New Zealand team posted 5-2 record, the team's best finish in 16 years, participating in Divisional play with France, Switzerland, Spain, Latvia, and Norway, Scotland and the Czech Republic. In the finals, the United States team narrowly defeated Canada to win the 2010 FIL World Championship. With the victory, Team USA avenged their second place finish to Canada in 2006.

Selection trials for the New Zealand national team included cultural orientation in the traditions of the Maori, the New Zealand indigenous native people, and rehearsals of the Haka, a Maori battle dance put on to intimidate competitors.

By earning roster spots after try-outs for the New Zealand Team, John and Alex Pritzlaff perpetuated the legacy of several of their family members, including their grandfather, the late Dr. Harold Basil Alexander of Hawkes Bay. Dr. Alexander, in addition to being a surgeon and scholar, was recognized as one of the top national competitors in both rugby and tennis in his native New Zealand.

John Pritzlaff earned team Most Valuable Player recognition for his leadership as a team captain and his aggressive defensive performance along with being the team's third leading point scorer, a surprising accomplishment for a defensive position. Alex was honored as the team's "Best Defensive Player" for his precise control and limiting shots from some of the top attack men in international play.

Off the field, the Pritzlaffs enjoyed interacting with coaches, players, and fans from around the world during the two-week tournament.

While student-athletes at Hampden-Sydney College, John and Alex Pritzlaff were honored as All-Americans twice, as well as All-ODAC defenders three times. John and Alex both were respective co-recipients of the 2006 and 2008 Howard Howdy Meyers Award awarded to the Tiger's Most Valuable Lacrosse Player and Man of Character.

Andrew Pritzlaff '12 successfully continues his brothers' legacy at Hampden-Sydney College.  Presently a junior defensemen for the Tigers, he has completed two very fine seasons while earning honorable mention All-ODAC Conference honors in 2010.