Check out the LIVE BLOG below, which will be updated constantly with USA Vs. Iroquois U19 lacrosse game scores, stats and musings! And below that, peep my opinionated recap of the Canada – England semifinal!
U19 Iroquois – USA Live Blog:
FINAL: USA 12 – Iroquois 7 – Exciting game and the US just pulled away at the end with a nice run of goals and an impressive display on defense and on ground balls. Possession and face offs were heavily in the US’ favor.
The US faces Canada in the gold medal game, and the Iroquois Nationals face a strong England team in the third place game. Thanks for reading!
End of Game Penalties – Iroquois get a possession, manage rushed low to low shot that is turned away, US gains possession, eventually launches the ball the length of the field… in the end, Team USA comes up with possession. 1 minute left. With 30 seconds left, the Iroquois are called for another penalty, but none of it has been cheap. It’s all been in an effort to get the ball back. The IRO are playing til the end. And another penalty. Same deal though.
Stalling to Perfection? – The US has the ball in its fastest players’ hands and when they run the ball all the way back to their defensive end, the Iroquois come after them, a flag is thrown and the US goes back on the man up. 3:00 left. Turnover for the Iroquois then a bad, long outlook pass. US takes over possession. Time out USA 2:10 left in the game.
USA 12 – Iroquois 7 - Iroquois create a turnover, then turn the ball over quickly. USA clears slowly, stalls and calls time out with only 4:30 left in the game. This one is looking like it’s firmly in hand now. However, Iroquois generate a turnover immediately and push transition. US weathers the storm and clears with 3:30 left.
USA 12 – Iroquois 7 - Iroquois creates a turnover and on the fast break draws a flag. A right side three man passing play didn’t work from the right, but looked promising, however the Iroquois turned it over soon thereafter. With 7 minutes left, the Nationals are starting to double the ball. Stall warning in effect.
USA 12 – Iroquois 7 - There is some yelling in the crowd. It is ridiculous. The game has been intense, but doesn’t seem on the verge of getting out of control. That being said, the Iroquois were just hit with a 2-minute penalty, putting the US on man up. And… they score. Pontrello notches his fifth of the game with a low to hip shot, and the US goes up 12 -7. The US remain man up as the penalty is locked in.
USA 11 – Iroquois 7 - Matt Kavanaugh backs his man in, then shoots around him lefty from the wing with a low angle, and puts one in. Big goal with 18 minutes left. US regains possession and takes their time with the clear, as there are no clocks in international play.
USA 10 – Iroquois 7 - Iroquois win another face off due to the US player jumping the whistle. After a turnover and some serious stick swinging, the US clears the ball and gets their offensive players on the field.
End of 3rd Quarter – Coast to coast effort off the face off for USA doesn’t pan out as Hill makes the save. Push call and the ball stays with the US with 20 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. US fails to convert, big hit by the Iroquois to end the quarter.
USA 10 – Iroquois 7 - Iroquois go man up for 30 seconds on a technical foul by the US. Powless finds Staats for the goal and the Iroquois are now down 3. Great ball movement and multiple sets shown by the Iroquois in only 20 seconds.
USA 10 – Iroquois 6 - Iroquois win the face off on a violation by Team USA. A double team results in a turnover, which is negated by a US push from behind. The sun is clearly right in the US goalie’s eyes, but somehow he (or a defender) stops a Lyle Thompson rocket and the US clears the ball into their offensive zone after gaining possession. After another turnover, the Iroquois clear the ball and possess on the other end.
USA 10 – Iroquois 6 – Keenan from Tucker on the man up. The bounce shot came after some good ball movement and Keenan makes the Iroquois pay with the goal. Time out Team USA.
USA 9 – Iroquois 6 – Zack Miller scores an unassisted lefty goal where no slide came. Great little move and some nifty stick protection along with great placement. USA wins face off, Tucker shoots, penalty on the play. USA to go man up.
USA 9 – Iroquois 5 – decent possession by the Iroquois, a turnover and now a long possession by the USA, which ends in a crease violation and turnover with a little over 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Hank Delisle impresses with his moves and sticks and gets a good whack for his efforts, and heads off to the bench. Doesn’t seem serious. IRO retain possession off a loose ball push. 8 and a half minutes left.
USA 9 – Iroquois 5 – Oh My God. Steven Pontrello notches his fourth goal of the game on a right to left split dodge and then POWERS his shot high and under the crossbar. He’s showing up today for Team USA in a major way.
THEN off the face and a clear, Obusek puts in a low to high rip off a spin dodge in transition 4 yards to the right of cage, to put the US up by 4 goals. This is a SERIOUS run by the US. Time out Iroquois? Yeah, time out Iroquois.
USA 7 – Iroquois 5 – The US works the ball inside and Pontrello makes a nifty catch and shot across his body to put the US up by 2 goals early in the third quarter. US continues to do well on face offs and wins their third of the period.
USA 6 – Iroquois 5 – And we’re off. US wins the first possession. I wonder if something like this will happen in the second half. What DID just happen? Pontrello scores man up, going 5 hole, and the US is moving the ball nicely. Then the US wins the face off, clears and we’re all even.
1:52pm – Halftime – With the score knotted at 5, Team USA got one good look on cage, and then off a quick restart, #9 drew a penalty as time wound down. The US will start the second half man up, and plays resumes in 17 minutes.
USA 5 – Iroquois 5 - The US just withstood 2 full minutes of an offensive deluge. Iroquois generated some great shots and chances but the US was able to ward off each advance with a slide or a big save. Oliveri (spelling help here?) was stellar at times, making 3 or 4 great saves. Time out USA, 1 minute left.
USA 5 – Iroquois 5 - Iroquois gain possession, 3 minutes left in the half and call time out.
USA 5 – Iroquois 5 – After creating the turnover, Seth Oakes scores a goal off a feed from Randy Staats, after Staats threw a convincing overhand box fake that gave some people whiplash. USA wins the face off thanks to work from their longstick, Ceglia, who is tearing it up so far. US possession.
USA 5 – Iroquois 4 – Seth Oakes goes to the box for a late hit and Ryan Tucker goes high to high to put the USA back up by 1. IRO wins the face off with some nifty stick handling, clears the ball slowly through their own defensive end, lose the ball on a long pass to the US’ end, then get it back off a tough ride. They try the hidden ball trick. It doesn’t work.
USA 4 – Iroquois 4 – Randy Staats evades the over the head check and puts one in high off the pipe to tie the game at 4. The IRO were getting good looks and it paid off in the end with an isolation move from below goal line extended. IRO win possession after a long face off battle.
USA 4 – Iroquios 3 – US looks more precise and comfortable on offense now, getting good looks and longer possessions. They are playing patient lacrosse, getting off lots of shots and utilizing their athleticism. Iroquois time out. Back to US possession. US shot off the pipe, Iroquois take over possession and clear. Nifty backdoor by Lyle Thompson results in a sidearm shot over the cage.
USA 4 – Iroquois 3 – Cory Pontrello makes a nifty move to get inside and puts the US up by 1 to start off the 2nd quarter. US comes up with the ball off the face off and begin their next possession.
End Of First Quarter – Iroquois can’t capitalize in a 5 on 4 fast break with Johnny Powless, the lone professional playing in the U19 games. US clears with a minute left in the quarter, then turns it over on another save by Warren Hill. Iroquois clear, Powelss gets stripped and the quarter comes to a close.
Iroquois 3 – USA 3 – in 5 v 5 action the US rips a great goal via Ryan Tucker, the son of a former Team USA and World Team father! US gains possession back at 3-3 with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.
Still 3 – 2 – Flags Fly – What just happened? There was a penalty, then some shoving, then some flopping and lots of yellow flags being tossed about. Iroquois go down a man, then US gets a penalty. Confusion reigned, but it’s now 5 v 5, and some people in the crowd are not happy.
Iroquois 3 – USA 2 – Joey Leonard puts on in on the crease on man up. US moves the ball better up a man. Ferocious ground ball work continues. After assisting on Leonard’s goal, Kavanaugh beats two or three defenders and sticks one high. USA back in it.
Iroquois 3 – USA 0 – Warren Hill making some big saves for the Iroquois. He might be the best player in the games and comes up big time and time again. After a long possession, US comes up short and Iroquois clear the ball. Live feed goes down, IRO scored, it is now 3-0. US looks predictable on offense, and lack team chemistry.
Iroquois 2 – USA 0 – Lyle Thompson drives righty and goes high for the first goal of the game, giving the Nationals the first goal of the game. The Iroquois win the next face off and then quickly score a diving goal via Brendan Bomberry on the crease. Iroquois up 2-0. US wins the face off.
12:55pm – National Anthem time and introductions. The significance of the two North American nations’ anthems being played side by side can not be overlooked. Both teams get loud cheers as they are introduced.
12:40pm – We’re less than 20 minutes from the start of the game. Team USA in dark helmets and shorts, white jerseys. Iroquois in their purple helmets and all black uniforms. USA chants can be heard in the background. Keep that enthusiasm for game time!
12pm EST – It’s game almost game time. Only one hour to go. Let’s get this thing going already! Should be a great game, and everything is on the line. Team USA had never lost before this tournament, and now they’ve lost twice! Canada and the Iroquois each beat Team USA in group play, and that adds an edge to this one for sure!
Our next update will occur at the beginning of the game at 1pm EST! See you soon, lax fanatic!
England – Canada Recap
As expected, Canada cruised through their semifinal game with England, winning 15-4, and earned a berth in the finals of the 2012 U19 World Lacrosse Championships. The Canadians played team lacrosse, generated some great looks from long range, inside, and every in between, and defensively, they played very well, and forced England into a number of mistakes and tough spots.
Although Canada won the game by 11 goals, it was still an enjoyable game to watch, and England certainly deserved to be out there on the field with them. Years ago, this game would have been much more lopsided, and the talent disparity would have been much more evident. The fact is, England is a very good U19 team, and this is a great sign for future increased parity.
Back to the winners for one more paragraph…
Canada proves that drilling “dodge the shorty” into kids heads is NOT the only path. They have athletes out there, but their players also have insane skills, and their coaches let them take risks. The Canadians play with confidence, and they play with toughness. So for any coach out there who is thinking of going conservative… DON’T. It’s boring, clearly not that effective, and it’s not where the game is headed in the long-run. Go ahead, blame Canada.