A 2008 Graduate of Guilderland High School, Aaron Cahill ranks 24th in career points in the 37 years of the program’s history. While at Guilderland, Cahill was a two-time member of the Empire State Games Adirondack region lacrosse team, and was selected to the 2008 US Lacrosse National Senior Showcase. Following high school, Cahill attended Onondaga Community College where the team won the 2009 NJCAA Championship. Cahill then moved on to LeMoyne, where he was a three year letter winner, and two year co-captain. Cahill’s college career was capped with LeMoyne winning the 2013 NCAA Division II Men’s Lacrosse Championship. Cahill currently lives in Syracuse, NY where he works as a Senior Sourcing Analyst at INFICON. With the support of his fiancé, friends and family, Cahill has moved on to international competition as a member of Ireland Lacrosse. Before leaving for the European Lacrosse Championsips, Cahill took the time to answer some questions for Capital District Lax.
How did you become involved with Ireland Lacrosse?
AC: Throughout college I was seeking opportunities to continue playing after collegiate ball. I started dialogue with the Hall of Fame player and coach Richie Moran. To be eligible I received (through lots of paperwork) my Irish Citizenship as my grandfather was born and made his way to America in the early 1900’s. The fall after college I traveled to Dublin, Ireland for tryouts. Shortly after I found out I made the team for Denver and enjoyed the experience I went back for more which leads me to today. I started with Ireland in 2014 for the World Games and now have eight international games under my belt. During the 2014 World Championships in Denver, CO, I contributed as a two-way midfielder ending the eight games with six goals, five assists, and going 50% at faceoffs, and was named the game MVP versus the Czech Republic.
Tell us a little about the upcoming European Lacrosse Championships.
AC: Today, July, 21, I begin my travels to the 2016 European Lacrosse Championships in Gödöllő, Hungary (just outside Budapest). 24 participating nations, largest European Championships ever in the sport, 96 total matches will be played over 10-day event.
In international basketball, US teams often encounter a style of play that is significantly different than what they are used to. Have you observed any differences between the North American style of lacrosse and that played by the European teams?
AC: Not a significant difference. European teams focus on fundamentals. The fancy and “sweet” shots, passes, plays, equipment, etc is not that of the North American style. The strategy of the sport remains similar. Each player gives their 100% every play. For many of these athletes, including myself, it is a true honor to represent a country. Erin go Bragh!
How many players on the Ireland team have US collegiate lacrosse experience?
AC: Players come from all over and a percentage of the team are US based players. From all divisions in NCAA to MCLA to Canadian programs.
How much practice/training does Ireland get in as a team before an event like this?
AC: Typically just one week. Players living on the island typically get together to shoot around and scrimmage but for the most part it’s on each individual to prepare as a team separated by time zones. Coaches will send plays, training, and comments through email and Facebook to study and prepare.
What do you do to prepare for an event like this outside of the team training/practices?
AC: This year I started Crossfit and feel as I am in the best shape of my playing career. Along with cardio and lifting I play lacrosse in the Syracuse City Rec league during the summer and indoor teams throughout the year in Syracuse, NY. I also participate in a variety of tournaments across the Northeast. When life and professional career allow for time I also get back on the wall and many reps on the net.
What are Ireland’s strengths as a team, and what is your outlook for the team for the European Championships?
AC: In 2012 Ireland finished 2nd in the European Championships. Our goal is to have to declare gold on our travels home. We have a strong and talented team with years of experience. Our coaching staff is made up of strong high school / collegiate schools in the US. But, we all understand it’s one game at a time.
For more information about the European Championships, Ireland Lacrosse, and opportunities to support the team, please visit: