Day 5 of the 2012 FIL U19 Lacrosse World Championships is set in stone, and the top three teams (Canada, the US and the Iroquois) still look steps ahead of the competition. However, this tournament has been full of firsts and surprises, and promises to have an exciting finish.
Who Looks The Best?
I would never want to start a post off where gear was the first topic, but in this case, I’ll gladly make an exception. The Iroquois and Canada both look so good out there that I almost don’t know what to do. Team USA looks great (USA!), but the retro “Lacrosse Canada” uniforms and the overall Iroquois Beauty is just too much for me.
Those helmets give me nightmares. They’re terrifyingly perfect.
Where Is Everyone From?
Germany has looked strong, as expected, in the second group, and the Czech Republic has certainly raised some eyebrows with their improved play. Scotland has impressed as well, coming out of the third group. Out of the 12 teams playing, 3 are from North America, Australia is from… well, Australia, Korea is the sole Asian nation, and the remaining seven teams come from Europe.
Who’s On Top… So Far?
Canada beat the US for the first time at this level, and it also marked the US U19 team’s first International loss ever. The score was 11-9 in OT. International overtime works so that two 4-minute periods are played for. If the game is tied after THAT, then it goes to sudden death overtime.
Canada also beat the Iroquois in a tight 11-9 game that ended in regulation. All three of these teams have won their games against both Australia and England, who round out the top group. England edged the Aussies 10-9, and those two teams hope to make a semifinal, and reverse their fortunes, but it will be an uphill battle to be sure.
What’s The Prognosis?
Tomorrow, the US plays the Iroquois, and this should be a gem of a game. Prognosis here is for awesome lacrosse. It’s the game of the day without question. Canada will likely roll the Australians as they have looked dominant at times already. The Netherlands play Korea, and I really hope Korea will be back in Denver in a major way in 2014 with their men’s team. Germany should handle Wales and I like the Czech Republic to keep it going over Finland, but don’t count the home Suomi out!
After that, things get really interesting. The play-ins and playoffs are myriad and confusing, but however it is set up, the most likely scenario is Canada meeting either the US or the Iroquois in the Finals. Weirder things have happened, but these three teams are definitely the top of the crop right now, and I don’t see anyone else really challenging for a spot in the Finals.
The best days of action will have to be the final two days, not only because final seeding is on the line, but because it should create some of the most even games of the tournament. There is still a large division between the top tier nations and emerging nations in the world of U19 lacrosse, but at the same time, the overall quality is also improving. Tight, spirited games are a great way to end the tournament.
Where Can I Learn More?
If you’re not following the U19 World Games on Facebook, than I pity you. Great photos, tons of updates… a very well done resource! Want even more, like the crazy playoff format? Check the 2012 FIL WC homepage, http://www.2012worldlacrosse.com. Want to gawk at tons of sweet international gear? Look no further than this amazing photo gallery. Boom. Super Service.