World Lax: Hong Kong’s first ever WILC win comes over Switzerland

Wesley Wong See-hon (22) celebrates Hong Kong’s first WILC win with Hing Yiu Tsang. (Photo credit: Vancouver Sports Pictures)

After falling to Ireland in their first-ever game at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship on Friday, Hong Kong bounced back to defeat Switzerland 16-13 on Saturday to secure their first-ever win in the world box lacrosse tournament.

It was a very back-and-forth contest with both sides taking shots at each other all game, but Hong Kong was able to create some separation with two big three-goal runs in the second half to help them get ahead and stay ahead as they held on for the win down the stretch. In addition, Pok Man Choy’s play in net was huge as he shut the door many times to give Hong Kong a lot of momentum and help trigger the offense from the defensive end.

Jordan Wong got Hong Kong on the board early in the first before Switzerland answered just over a minute later with a goal from Florian Bachmann. After some heavy defensive play on both ends of the floor, each side got a goal late in the quarter to tie things up at two.

Switzerland got the second quarter off fast with a quick goal coming from Hans Fluehmann. Switzerland scored once more to stretch their run to three goals and take a 4-2 lead midway through the quarter.

A four-goal Hong Kong run that included two power play goals helped them gain a ton of energy to go up 6-4 late in the quarter. However, Switzerland answered in a big way as they found the back of the net three times in the final minutes of the quarter to tie things up at seven heading into the half.

Lukas Heri continued the Swiss run early in the third, scoring two straight in 20 seconds to stretch their lead out to 9-7. While Hong Kong did have an answer with two of their own from Jordan Wong and Bryan Houghton, Heri struck again to counter and take back the 10-9 Switzerland lead midway through the third.

Despite a Swiss goal with less than a minute left in the third, Hong Kong took a 12-11 lead into the fourth, following a three-goal run that included two from Wesley Wong See-hon.

With the lead in hand, Hong Kong was effectively able to put this one away early in the fourth as they scored three straight and really stifled Switzerland’s offense, not allowing them to get much of anything set up late in the game.

In the final few minutes of the game, Matthew Trautman and Hans Fluehmann found the back of the net for Switzerland, but a goal from Evan Mok-Lamme proved to be the dagger as Hong Kong walked away with the win.

Hong Kong was led by Wesley Wong See-hon with seven points (4G/4A) while Evan Mok-Lammeand Jordan Wong each put up six points (3G/3A). In net, Pok Man Choy made 30 saves on 43 shots on net for a .698 save percentage.

Lukas Heri led Switzerland with 10 points (6G/4A) while Hans Fluehmann also tallied six points (3G/3A). Alexander Meier made 25 saves on 41 shots a .610 save percentage.

Hong Kong has burst onto the international lacrosse scene in recent years. Though they have participated in the men’s field worlds since 2002 and the women’s field worlds since 2013, their men’s U19 team didn’t make their debut until 2016. Just this year, the U19 women’s squad made history with a 12th place finish in Peterborough and now the men’s box team looks to mark their place in the indoor game.