puerto rico defeated Mexico and Peru to clinch championship spot
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Recent men’s lacrosse graduate, Brennan Banks ’22, is competing for Team Puerto Rico in the 2022 Pan-American Lacrosse Association qualifier, being held Sunday, July 17 to Friday, July 22 in Medellín, Colombia.
Six countries – Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – are competing to secure the four spots up for grabs in next year’s world championship.
Banks and Puerto Rico clinched their spot at the 2023 World Men’s Lacrosse Championship after picking up two wins – defeating Mexico 10-5 and Peru 17-3 – in the first two days of competition.
“Playing in the PALA qualifier in Colombia has been a surreal experience,” said Banks.
“The number one goal for the program was to qualify for the 2023 World Games and with our early wins this week we were able to achieve that.
“Representing Puerto Rico through the sport I love is a dream come true. It is an honor to be on a team with amazing players and coaches who have become my second family to me. Lacrosse has been an integral part of my life and it’s amazing for the program to be able to go back to the island and showcase our success to kids and say mira, look where this sport can take you.
“Puerto Ricans are very proud people and threes a famous phrase, ‘Yo soy Boricua, pa’que tú lo sepas’ which translates to, I’m Puerto Rican, so that you know!’ That’s the type of swagger and energy we’re trying to play with while showcasing the broader impact this team has.
“I’m beyond excited to have qualified for the 2023 World Games and I’m blessed to be a part of the history of Puerto Rico Lacrosse.”
Puerto Rico will take on Mexico in the semifinals Thursday, July 21 at 3 p.m. The winner will move on to the gold medal game on Friday, July 22.
“We’re exceptionally proud of Brennan and his participation with Puerto Rico in the qualifier event,” said Florida Tech head coach Brad MacArthur. “Qualifying for the 2023 world championships is no small feat.
“This is a chance for Brennan to play this great game on a global scale and experience cultures and attitudes far different than what we in North America are accustomed to. Brennan is a great ambassador of Florida Tech and our men’s lacrosse program.”
Puerto Rico entered the PALA qualifier as the favorite, only missing the automatic qualification due to not being Full Members of World Lacrosse during the 2018 Men’s Championship when Associate Members were still permitted to compete at senior-level world championship events.
The first world championship in the sport of lacrosse is set to take place in San Diego, California, featuring 30 teams and more than 100 games at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego from June 21 to July 1, 2023.
This season with the Panthers, Banks, a midfielder, recorded two goals and three assists to go along with 14 groundballs and three caused turnovers.
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