LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 7/10/12
Defenseman Stephen Jahelka (Garden City), goaltender Zach Oliveri (Connetquot) and midfielder Rob Zoppo have been named captains of the 2012 U.S. under-19 men’s national team, head coach Tim Flynn announced on Saturday.
The tri-captains were selected by player vote on Saturday at the team’s training camp at Bryant University in Rhode Island, where the 23-player group spent several days in preparation for the FIL Under-19 World Championships.
The tournament begins Thursday in Turku, Finland, with opening ceremonies and runs until July 21 with the championship game. The U.S.’s first game is against Australia at 7 p.m. local time Friday, noon Eastern Standard Time.
Zoppo is a Baltimore native who played at Calvert Hall (Md.) and is one of the older members of the team. He is rising redshirt sophomore at Towson, where he played in 14 games during the 2012 season. For Team USA, he’s been used as a short-stick defensive midfielder.
Jahelka and Oliveri are longtime friends. Jahelka, a rising sophomore defenseman for Harvard, was one of the nation’s most highly-regarded prospects coming out of Garden City (N.Y.) High. As a freshman close defenseman for the Crimson, he started 11 of 14 games, led the team in caused turnovers (17) and tied for second on the team with 33 ground balls.
Oliveri is part of a Team USA goalie tandem that also includes Kyle Turri (West Islip). Oliveri redshirted the season at UMass this spring while sitting behind fifth-year senior goalie Tim McCormack as the Minutemen went undefeated in the regular season.
The U.S. has won six straight gold medals since sanctioned U19 world competition began in 1988.