Sep 3, 2013
BALTIMORE - On the first day of his senior year at Loyola University Maryland, men's lacrosse defender Joe Fletcher was the only current college player selected as one of 52 who will form the United States Men's National Team training roster for next summer's World Cup.
Fletcher, who was named a First Team All-American last year by the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, was one of 94 players to compete last weekend at the training camp that led to the initial roster cut. He was one of seven collegiate players invited to that stage and the only one remaining on the roster.
The roster of 52 will train at a series of fall and winter events, culminating with Champion Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, where players will vie for 23 spots on the final world championships roster. The annual event will once again be hosted Jan. 24-26 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The reigning world champion U.S. Men's National Team will compete for a record 10th world title at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships, hosted by US Lacrosse, on July 10-19, 2014, in Denver, Colo.
Fletcher is one of 10 defenders listed on the roster of 52 players. The 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year has started all 35 games Loyola has played the last two years, and he has seen action in all 48 games of his collegiate career.
Last season, Fletcher led all ECAC defenders in ground balls with 64 while also causing 17 turnovers in 16 games. He has been recognized as one of the top lock-down defenders in the college game over the last two seasons and also was a key member of Loyola's clearing unit that set a collegiate record with a 95.5-percent success rate.
As a sophomore in 2012, Fletcher was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team and was a starter on the Greyhounds' defense that yielded a record-low eight goals on championship weekend to Notre Dame and Maryland. He was also an USILA All-America Honorable Mention recipient, finishing the year with 41 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers.
Fletcher has been a standout off the lacrosse field, as well, at Loyola. He is a member of Loyola's Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who serve as a liaison between the student body, Loyola's president, administration and board of trustees. He is also Co-President of Loyola's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and is a six-time Dean's List honoree.
In addition to the Champion Challenge in January, the roster will gather for two training weekends, one in October and another in December. They are also slated to play in two other events: Play for Parkinson's in October and at the U.S. Lacrosse Convention in January.