World Championships Day 5 is in the books – here is how it all went down! Also make sure to check out our FIL Lacrosse Lines!
World Championships Day 4
Finland 11 vs Norway 9
Authored by Ryder Cochrane
Close on the final scoreboard, this game was solidly in Finland’s possession before a late, 3-0, run by Norway. Finland took a 6-2 lead into halftime that quickly turned into an 8-3 stretch by the third water break. The Finns’ first four goals of the game came from four different players, showcasing the Finnish gang’s depth. That first-quarter run proved the most dominant stretch of the game, as Finland outshot Norway 16-6. They would outshoot them by only one by the final whistle.
Credit goes to Lauri Uusitalo, who put up twelve saves in the game and outplayed Ragnar Harr in cage to help lead Finland to victory. Fellow countryman Kimi Aho continued his strong tournament performance, posting four goals on four shots and looking like far and away the best player on the pitch today.
For Finland, they remain undefeated at this World Championships, having already bested Austria and Colombia. Their offense has proved hard to contend with, posting 42 goals and allowing only 20 in return.
However, Finland draws Japan in the next round, which should put a lot of pressure on Lauri and the Finnish defense, since they have not yet seen that threatening of an offense. They will lean on Roope Jokela (11G, 5A) and Robert Raittila (11G, 2A) to hang with the Japanese.
No stranger to playing Japan, Norway drops to 1-2 with the loss. Their first game showed promise, with a resounding victory over the Netherlands. They have still shown some promising signs, with both Lars Rysst and Aksel Louis Legouy Kvaal posting six goals apiece thus far.
Russia 24 vs Luxembourg 1
Authored by Matt Anderson
Heading into the 2018 FIL World Championships in Netanya, Israel, Luxembourg knew it was going to be an uphill battle to get wins as a first-time participant in the games.
Luxembourg’s match against Russia was no exception. The Russians came out firing straight out of the gate, scoring 17 of the game’s 25 goals. Russia had to rebound from a tough Israel squad from the night before, from whom they suffered a 19-2 setback.
However, the Russians showed no signs of wear from their game prior, despite having a roughly 12-hour turnaround time from their previous game. They would score early and often, putting in point after point until Luxembourg finally notched a goal with 26:52 left to play in the game. It would be their only goal of the game, scored by Nick Smith.
Much of Russia’s scoring was evenly distributed as there were 12 different scorers that registered points. Out of those 12, there were 11 scorers who registered multiple points. That included Eugene Arkhipov’s four goals on the day, in addition to Arthur Ventsel’s two goals and an assist.
Luxembourg has competed well in their first FIL World Championships, despite having gone 0-4 so far. They had a narrow 7-6 loss to Uganda in which Uganda scored five-straight after Luxembourg opened the game 5-2 to seal the victory for the second-time World Championships participants. The country formed a team in 2016 and has a club team playing in the Belgian Lacrosse League.
The growth of lacrosse in Russia has been strong as well.
“It’s grown a lot in the last four years since the 2014 World Championships. In the second half, there were times we had nothing but all Russians on our team except for our goalie. Quite a few scored goals today. We just need a little bit more funding and a little more participation, and we should see ourselves in the top-24 at some point,” said Russian head coach Mike Thumim.
Moving forward for Russia, Thumim remained optimistic about the country’s lacrosse program.
“We’re going to focus on the Euro’s for 2020 and try to get some guys trying out for that team. We’ll try to qualify from there,” said Thumim.
For a look at Russia lacrosse and where they were five years ago, take a look at this video.
Heading into the tournament, Russia had set a goal to make it into the top-30. They are on their way to making that happen.
China 12 vs Turkey 13
Authored by Ryan Conwell
This was easily one of the best games of the tourney so far. Turkey was up 3-2 after one, 6-5 at the half, and 9-7 after three, but China just would not go away, outscoring their opponents 5-4 in the final quarter to make it an exciting one goal game. China made it 11-11 at one point, but two Turkish goals put the Chinese down 2, and their late goal with less than 2 minutes left was not enough to make the comeback complete. Great coaching, composure, and a strong effort on offense made the difference for Turkey.
Jeremy Smith made 19 huge saves in net for Turkey as China outshot them 43-35. Ege Zeybak absolutely went bananas in this game, registering 7 goals and adding two helpers for an impressive 9 points. Tyler Rinko’s 3 goals helped in a major way. Ziyan Zeng was strong on face offs, winning 18 of 27, but Turkey used team play to overcome these statistical losses, and earned a huge W in 2018.
Germany 12 vs Hong Kong 4
Authored by Stuart McGregor Dallas
When Germany last faced Hong Kong in Denver 2014 the final score was 21-2 and they clearly wanted to repeat that performance. An early fast break goal from Germany was swiftly followed by a second from star attackman, Per Anders-Olters, after well executed settled possession.
Making the strong start that they had planned upon, Germany will be glad to have goalkeeper Florian Fallenbacher in net today after some fantastic saves early in the game as Hong Kong improved and learnt from their mistakes. Most notably they were able to slow Germany’s transition plays and force turn overs on the clears.
Per Anders-Olters was the play maker during the first half for Germany, clearly having the speed and agility to take it past their Asian rivals, a team who have proven themselves to be a difficult one to handle having won their previous three games. However, goals from Marc Brandenburger and Wolfgang Griessl late in the first quarter would see Germany pull out a 4-0 lead.
Opening with a dominant face off by Germany’s Dominic Schuler, lead to another long possession culminating in a wonderful finish by Bjorn Wulfmeyer on the crease. Two more important saves by Florian Fallenbacher lead to fast breaks by Germany, who failed to find the target. Hong Kong now called for a time out, hoping to find some composure against this well drilled Germany team. To no avail as Germany continue to interrupt the Hong Kong tempo and turnover the ball, this time resulting in a textbook fast break goal by Brandenburger.
Even when Hong Kong managed to establish some longer periods of possession they still could not find a way through the brick wall German defence. A well timed time-out by mastermind Coach Bagley giving his Germany team another chance to score, giving them a 7-0 lead at half time. Bagley’s game plan was clearly becoming a reality.
Winning the opening face-off of the second half, Hong King looked a different team but still struggled to find the cage with early shots. Wai Kwan Wong keeping Hong Kong in the game with some massive saves at the other end of the field, while midfielder Evan Mok-Lamme was worked hard to generate openings in the now static Germany defence.
It was now the turn of 20 year old LSM David Beckmann from Frankfurt to score on a fast break. This Germany team is clearly full of young talent however errors were now starting to creep into their defence as a double goes and knocks over his own player before a feed to Stephen O’Brien gives him time and space to score Hong Kong’s first goal. The score now 8-1 midway through the third quarter.
With this new injection of confidence, the game is started to open up as Germany and Hong Kong traded goals. Hong Kong switching to a zone defence but still giving the German attackers too much time and space, the third quarter ended 10-2.
A scrappy face-off at the start of the fourth quarter gave Hong Kong a chance to settle the ball as Dominic Schuler looked to be sluggish in the afternoon heat. He wasn’t the only one, both teams now looking tired and failing to ride effectively, producing end to end lacrosse. The stalemate eventually being broken by Brandenburger who cuts from X onto a well timed pass to find the top corner of Wong’s goal.
Hong Kong were not ready to give up, and it was O’Brien’s rolling and turning, that created the space for late goals however they only serving as consolation at this stage as the game ended 12-4. Hong Kong will dread the loss today, however they will be happier with their performance compared with 2014. Meanwhile Germany now face Peurto Rico in the next round, a match up that they will not relish as they eye another top ten finish in these championships.
New Zealand 1 vs Puerto Rico 13
Authored by Justin Meyer
Who said rookies can’t be poised?
In its first World Championships, Puerto Rico has looked every bit like veterans. That continued Sunday on ESPN Field as the Puerto Ricans bashed New Zealand 13-1 in both teams’ opening game of bracket play.
After earning supremacy in the Bronze Division with relative ease, Puerto Rico continued its dominating campaign against a New Zealand team coming off two wins and first place in the Plum Division, another notch on the newcomer’s belt. Puerto Rico head coach Jeff Ramos had this to say:
Most of it was the fact that we were dominant at the face-off X. We wanted to establish early possession, and then the key was staying within our offensive scheme. At the end of the day, our kids were incredibly disciplined and we spread the field out, which was our goal against New Zealand to try to take advantage of our athleticism.
With Puerto Rico face-off specialist Jared Hershman’s command of the X, his team was in constant control of the ball. Hershman ended the game going 15-of-18 in face-offs while adding 12 ground balls to his stat line. Hershmans reflected on the game performance afterwards.
I just came into the game with a high confidence. It’s all about believing in yourself. I come into every face-off with the attitude that it’s my face-off to lose. I’m going to win it.
Puerto Rico also flexed its defensive muscles, keeping New Zealand off the scoreboard through the entire first half. A stellar performance from the entire back line made for an easy day for Puerto Rico goalies Matthew Martinez and Will Ramos, who were only called to make a combined total of three saves. Ramos commented:
Everything is established off the aggressiveness of our defense. They have been getting better and better every game. We’re basically not allowing shots that our goalies can’t save.
For New Zealand, the scoreline looks like the team needs a reset, but to its head coach Bob Macaluso, this was merely an opportunity to grow. Macaluso said:
Our mentality was this was a learning curve for us. We have so many inexperienced players, they’ve never played at this level of competition. We were focused on making it a learning experience, trying to keep their heads in it, being positive and so forth. I know it’s a loss, but we feel it’s a positive experience.
New Zealand will next play Hong Kong on Monday at 3:30 p.m. on Trusted Choice Field. Puerto Rico will face off versus Germany on Monday at 6:45 p.m. on Epoch Field.
South Korea 9 vs Mexico 6
Authored by Katie Conwell
Mexico went up 2-1 in this game, but by halftime Korea had stormed back and taken a 4-3 lead. They followed up a strong 2nd quarter with an equally strong 3rd quarter, and broke out to a 7-4 lead. A final 2-2 4th quarter sealed the deal, and Korea walked away with a nice win over a solid Mexico team. Korea had seven different scorers, and no one player scored more than two points in the game. That’s a well spread offense, folks!
Philippines 11 vs Switzerland 5
Authored by Ryder Cochrane
Seeding for the 2018 World Games treated the Philippines, a new country to the big dance, as one of its lowest seeds, due to the relatively short existence of the nation’s team.
Hoo boy, was that a mistake.
Team Philippines has been marvelous through their first few games on the international stage, with bonafide studs in the Florida Launch’s Mario Ventiquattro and former Kean standout Matthew Speciale, and a strong supporting cast around them. Ventiquattro showed up to play today, wreaking havoc on the Swiss defense. He drew so much attention and focus from the Swiss that other plays opened up for the offense as players were caught ball watching or preparing to slide.
Despite a strong defensive effort from Switzerland, the Philippines scored the first seven goals of the game, not allowing a single goal themselves in the first half. David Bamert finally got the Swiss on the board nearly seven minutes into the third quarter, and credit the Swiss for continuing to fight. The second half was a far more tightly contested affair, with Philippines coming out ahead 6-5. The Swiss attempted a goalie switch for the second half, but Patrick Ponce was chased off the field after a 1-for-5 effort that killed any chance of a Swiss comeback. Dominik Guntensperger came back for the fourth, but the Swiss duo were outplayed by former Maryland Terrapin Dan Morris for the Philippines, who made a noticeable difference in a game where team Philippines only outshot their opponent 30-23.
The Filipino offense continues to show great team chemistry, assisting on six of their 11 goals today, and allowing Ventiquattro to do the rest. Ventiquattro, son of head coach Kevin Ventiquattro, led with four goals and two assists on the day. The Philippines have roared out to a 3-0 start and look like a real contender for a top ten finish in just their first World Games ever.
Credit to the squad that Coach Ventiquattro has assembled, who are showing wonderful chemistry and hustling hard on every play. They’ll match up against host nation Israel in the next round, and the winner there seems like a legitimate threat to be in the 2022 Blue Division. For the Swiss, they fall to 2-1, but can still hold their heads high after a very good performance here in Netanya. Goalie will be a position to address moving forward, as both goalies on their roster posted sub-50% SV.
Peru 4 vs Jamaica 17
Authored by Ryan Conwell
Jamaica used speed, ball movement, excellent dodging, and a punishing defense to dominate Peru. It was a solid game early on, and the first quarter ended with Jamaica up 5-2. The second quarter saw Jamaica mimic the first quarter’s scoring, but the D tightened up and held Peru scoreless. Jamaica would cruise to a 13 goal win. Paul Jalen had 4 goals and an assist, but the Jamaica scoring was very balanced, with 10 different players registering at least a point in the game.
Netherlands 13 vs France 6
Authored by Katie Conwell
The Netherlands needed a win, and they got it over France in solid form. France has at time been seen as an easier win, but in 2018 they are making everyone work for a W. At the half it was 9-1, but France came out hot in the third and cut the lead to 11-6. From there the Netherlands would control the pace, slow it down, put up 2 goals and cement their victory. Jelle Tuinhout started putting up points early in the game and he finished with 4 goals and a helper to lead the Dutch offensively. 8 different players scored for the Netherlands, while 5 scored for France.
Sweden 11 vs Italy 13
This was a great physical game between two evenly matched teams. This game has everything from comebacks to big hits to great goals, and in the end Italy used their offensive firepower to get through the Swedes and secure a valuable two goal win.
Ireland 12 vs Latvia 7
Authored by Zach Gosselin
Ireland came out shooting hard and accurate, and it didn’t stop all game long. Just when Latvia looked ready to make a run, the Irish would bomb away off of good looks and make the Latvians pay. Ireland did a great job on their ride, and forced a lot of turnovers, and there was no panic from the Irish at any point in this one. Latvia hard a hard time getting inside on the Irish D, and Kelly was there to make a big save when needed. Face offs were a fun vicious battle to watch all game long, and Ireland really showed their passion and a willingness to do whatever it took to win in this arena. HUGE win for Ireland here to keep advancing.
Wales 17 vs Uganda 1
Authored by Rien Zabor
Today’s game was an opportunity to learn. Both teams, Uganda and Wales, took away new lessons that they will be able to put to work in their next match. For Uganda, it was a chance to better understand their strengths and how to utilize them while minimizing their errors. Wales used this match to run their game plan, find the holes, and fill them.
It did not take the Red Dragons long before they buried their first goal, which set off a succession of goals clearly placing them as the more dominant squad in the competition. Physically, the Wales players stood above the Ugandans, almost doubling them in size. Even as that fact was noticeable to the fans, it became more apparent in the first quarter when Uganda possessed the ball. On their offensive end, the Ugandans knew they could outpace the Welsh in speed, but the tall stature of their opponent seemed to rattle their nerves and discourage their middies and attackmen from advancing towards the goal.
Uganda’s head coach Peter Ginnegar clearly filled his team with confidence during the mid-quarter break of the first half because the Cranes seemed more eager than ever to go on the attack. This mentality also spilled over onto the defensive end where they had started timidly but were now aggressively attacking the ball. The only issue was that the Cranes went from one extreme to the other, overpursuing the attacking Welsh players and giving them an opportunity to draw a second slide and dish the ball down to the crease for a layup goal. By the end of the first half, the Wales squad had built up a 9-0 lead.
With a growing lead moving into the second half, most teams would start to ease on the gas in order to save energy, but Wales continued to push until the very end. On the opposite spectrum, most teams walking into the 4th quarter down by 13 goals would start to feel defeated. But, as we have seen before, the Ugandan sense of pride is unwavering, and they battled until the very end. Their valiant effort eventually broke Wales’s streak as they scored their only goal in the middle of the final period.
As coach John Christmas mentioned before the game, the Ugandan players have really embraced this experience at the World Championships as a way to learn as much as possible. Whether it was asking their coaches questions, watching from the bleachers or soaking in instructions from the refs, the Cranes maintained a secondary motive to learn lessons from the game that they could bring back home to Uganda and share. Whether it’s a 17-1 loss or a 7-6 win, there are valuable lessons to learn.
Scotland 8 vs England 11
Authored by Stuart McGregor Dallas
Scotland have never beaten England, their closest contest was in Denver 2014 when they came within two goals of a monumental victory. This is the game that they would most relish a win from in this competitive blue division. Meanwhile England are hoping to forge ahead and seal a top four finish at these World Championships after some challenging but also promising opening games against Canada and The Iroquois.
England won the first faceoff however failed to retain possession handing Scotland a chance to hold the ball early in the game, something they hadn’t had a chance to do in their previous two games. Patience being their target, they were able to work the ball well and rewarded with a score a goal from Colin Uyeki, a player that has come up through their U19 program and recently celebrated a Division 3 Championship win with Wesleyan College.
Their jubilation was short lived as England came back at them hard and fast with three methodical goals, cutting past the still injured Dean Stewart with ease, before the 10minute hydration break.
A late first quarter goal from Nicholas Watson from a canny Sam Russel feed taking the score to 4-1. Whilst switching to a compact zone defence was enough to hold England to just a three goal lead at the end of the first quarter, a lack of off ball movement in offence cost Scotland a chance to score more goals against Coach Wenham’s young hungry England team.
Winning the first face of the second quarter, Alex Mulholland gave Scotland the chance to settle and relax, and find a rhythm once again. Midfielder Daniel McQuade working hard and eventually finding the left handed marksman, Cole Paciejewski open and able to score. This was quickly followed by another goal, this time Jimmy McBride feeding Ryan Sage on the crease for a tidy finish. Scotland were back in the game, but a costly late hit gave Zac Guy a chance to score on man up.
Tom Loake, wearing the much coveted number 4 shirt was another player who was working extremely hard to deny Nick Watson scoring opportunities, however a general lack of aggression and purpose from Scotland gave England chances to execute their game plan. Josh Sherry-Brennan scoring a well executed bounce shot, whilst Sam Russell finds time and space to pick corners, England take a healthy 7-3 lead into the halftime break.
The second half started with a clumsy penalty from England, offering Luke Laszkiewicz a chance to score a fantastic man up goal. Retaining possession on the next face, Scotland were able to pressure England early. Head Coach, Brian Silcott calling for “good decisions” from his Tartan Titans. They kindly obliged, this time it was Sean Darroch with a solo effort that finally awakening the Scotland fans and their bagpiper, who finally had something to cheer about as Scotland pulled back to within two goals.
Scotland looked like a different team, finally holding the ball for more than a minutes and creating opportunities, just not able to find the target and ultimately giving up a fast break, Josh Sherry-Brennan getting his second goal of the afternoon from this play. Trading goals late in the third quarter, England were once again able to establish a four goal lead going into the final quarter.
With just twenty minutes to play, Scotland were now playing with a little more urgency but penalties and errors were holding them back, something that Coach Silcott later acknowledged as their bad fall. England’s ability to break Scotland’s zone defense giving Will Hardy the space to feed Nick Watson on the crease. A nice solo effort from Luke Laszkiewicz cutting from the win after a long England possession, and a late goal from Sean Darroch were simply not enough for Scotland as the minutes tick by. The final score 11-8.
Colombia 6 vs Belgium 7
Authored by Rien Zabor
Belgium was up 3-0 at the first break, and 6-2 at the half, but Colombia methodically came back in the second half to make it a one goal game in the end. Belgium got all 7 goals from 7 different scorers, while Colombia was led by Marcus Adams Winn, who notched a hattie in the loss. David Michels made 9 big saves in net for the win.
Slovakia 8 vs Denmark 5
Another tight game that the winning team took home in the final quarter. Slovakia and Denmark battled for 3 quarters, and with Denmark leading 5-4 it looked like this one would go down to the wire… Slovakia had other ideas though and pumped in 4 goals on the Danes, who ran out of gas in this one during the 4th quarter. Nick Skeffington led Denmark with 3 goals, but Slovakia got two goals each from Stanislav Purgat, Conrad Oberbeck, and Tomas Lichtner, and that was the difference in this one.
Czech Republic 8 vs Argentina 12
Authored by Matt Anderson
Argentina started out strong, and maintained control for much of this game, beating the Czechs by 4. This game had moments of extreme excitement, but Argentina looked solid throughout! Pavel Dosly had 5 big goals for the Czechs, but Octavio Bernabo’s 4 goals and Austin Debutts 3 goals more than made up for it. Both goalies played well, but neither ended up being a huge difference maker in this game.
Hungary 7 vs Bermuda 6
Authored by Ryder Cochrane
There’s the feeling of getting your first win ever at a World Games, and then there’s the feeling of doing that on a game-winner with only eleven seconds remaining. For newcomers Hungary, they got to experience the latter in one of the most thrilling games of the day. The Magyarországi led for nearly the entire game, with only a five-minute portion of the first half spent being tied. That is, of course, until a late run by Bermuda, led by Cole Rance and former Syracuse middie Drew Jenkins, which knotted the game up at 6-6 with a little over six minutes remaining.
The absolutely insane thing is that this was a game in which Bermuda outshot the Hungarians 43-23, nearly doubling them up in total shots. In fact, Bermuda’s offense got off a ton of good looks, looking threatening throughout the day and forcing Hungary into bad positions. Bermuda’s Bobby Walker alone put up 8 shots, over ⅓ the total number of shots Hungary as a whole got. On paper, that sort of offensive firing squad behavior would read like a big win for Bermuda. However, like the Magyars who once terrified Rome, a great Hungarian warrior came to the rescue of his national team: Jun Yen. After a brutal beatdown by Argentina’s boys in blue (5-for-19 in one half of play, 26% SV), Yen, harnessing his inner Big Sean, bounced back from the L tonight, stonewalling the Bermuda offense throughout the game on his way to 17 saves. The Bermuda offense managed to put ten shots on goal in the third quarter alone, but Yen allowed only two and gave the Hungarians a crucial lead going into the fourth quarter. Without the Tillman Johnson-esque performance in net from the Magyar man, this certainly would have been Bermuda’s win.
Of course, we did still end up with a tied game for the last six minutes of the game. Despite a one minute man-down for Hungary, after a crosscheck from Karsten Nyarady, the Hungarians held on and got the ball back late. With only seconds remaining on the clock, Alex Bookout, the former Denison man, burst through the defense and snuck a shot past TJ Scalia, giving Hungary the lead with only eleven seconds remaining. The following faceoff would be tied up, and the clock expired to finish the win for Hungary. Despite Bookout’s hat trick and a stellar game-winning-goal, the game ball cannot possibly go to anyone but Jun Yen. If the world is a fair place, Yen will never buy another beer in Hungary. He certainly earned the coaching staff’s trust back today, proving why the Magyars kept him in cage after the Argentina performance.
USA 11 vs Canada 10
Authored by Justin Meyer
Tied at 10 with two minutes to go, Paul Rabil held the ball in his stick, driving outside on Canadian defender Tyson Bell. A slight slip caught his opponent off guard, and an inside pivot sent Bell to seemingly slide in slow motion to the soil, his flailing arms a futile attempt at a final defense.
Rabil’s eyes widened. The moment was now. Alone with Canadian goalie Dillon Ward, he picked and punished his target, stinging the top right of the nylon.
That goal would be the difference in the 11-10 instant classic between USA and Canada on Sunday at ESPN Field.
“We were going to play our regular offense, but we wanted to be patient,” said USA head coach John Danowski about what his team talked about in the timeout before the goal. “We wanted to attack from behind really, but when (Rabil) kind of fell and overextended the defender, he saw an opportunity there.”
USA jumped to an early lead, holding a 6-2 advantage late in the second quarter until back-to-back Canadian goals brought the reigning gold medalists sliced the deficit in half before the break. From there, the battle raged, with verbal and physical blows traded liberally.
“Oh, the officials let them play. That was great,” Danowski said with a nod. “Both teams played so hard. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never been involved in a game like this where both teams played so hard.”
They say all is fair in love and war, but when it comes to USA versus Canada, perhaps all is fair in hate and war is more accurate.
“When you’ve got two teams that want to win as bad as we do, it’s going to be physical at times,” said Canada head coach Randy Mearns. “I know on the field there’s no love lost. I think it’s great for lacrosse.”
Although his position meant the only shots he faced came from the ball, American goalie John Galloway could feel the physicality from his crease.
“Everybody wants to play in this game in both countries,” he said. “When you have a chance to play in a game like that, I think it’s one we won’t forget.”
Galloway was responsible for an unforgettable play in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter before Rabil’s ripper as the Americans found themselves down 10-9 with less than five to play.
Canadian midfielder Wesley Berg sent the ball to teammate attackman Curtis Dickson, ready to fire on goal from the edge of the crease. Dickson aimed low, but Galloway collapsed to the ground, using his stick to cover his five hole. A juicy bounce left the ball balancing at the edge of the cylinder, but the American pounced and protected his team from falling behind further. It would come to be a vital save by the final whistle blow.
“I knew it was a big moment,” Galloway explained. “I certainly wanted to give our offense another chance. You can see what we do once we get the ball.”
It was one of Galloway’s eight saves, a performance perhaps beaten by Ward, who notched 12 saves and robbed his foes of seemingly certain successes at points. But what matters is making enough saves for your team to win.
“I felt like I hadn’t seen the ball the past couple of shots prior,” Galloway said. “It felt good to catch one and get the ball out to our offense.”
While America prevailed this time, the same thing happened in 2014 with USA taking the teams’ matchup in group play, 10-7. Ultimately, the Canadians had the last laugh, defeating their southern neighbors in the gold medal game, 8-5. With a rematch probable, both coaches narrowed in on a few things they might like to see differently if the showdown rolls around again, although both said they were happy with their respective teams’ performances.
“Maybe the little thing,” Mearns said. “I think when we were on offense, we were trying to find the right pace. We started getting called for stalls. In the second half, I think we missed on some 50/50 GB battles that we feel like we could have had.”
Danowski said his team needs to be more active when recovering defensively.
“I thought Team Canada did a phenomenal job of getting out from the defensive to offensive end,” he explained. “We have to be really aware that we can’t be standing and watching shots. The goalie was terrific, he outlets the ball really well. We’re going to have to do a much better job in transition defense.”
Canada will regroup and challenge the Iroquois Nationals on Monday at 9 p.m. on ESPN Field, while the United States will look to continue its control over the Blue Division with a matchup against Scotland on Monday at 9:45 p.m. on Epoch Field.
Iroquois Nationals 16 vs Australia 9
What an amazing game this was! The Aussies fought hard, scored some tough goals, and we saw some super physical play from both sides. It was 7-7 at the half before the Iroqouis would pull away. This is one of those games where a recap doesn’t do it justice. The best answer here is to WATCH the reply of this one on ESPN’s online platform!
Ty Thompson had 5 goals, Randy Staats notched 4, and Lyle Thompson added a hat trick. Every goal is worth watching. The Aussies also scored some beaties, and Nigel Morton played on heck of a game as he scored three goals on 7 shots.
Austria 12 vs Spain 10
Authored (and Photos!) by Rien Zabor
If you walked up to the Spain vs Austria game late in the first quarter you may have thought as a fan that the game was unevenly matched in favor of the Bulls. But, you would be mistaken as this match up was a clear definition for why lacrosse is a game of runs. Early on the first quarter the Spaniards took a commanding 4-0 lead taking advantage of their opponent’s sloppy passes and mental mistakes. Their enthusiastic sideline reinforced their position as the better team at the time, which is until the second quarter began. Almost as if they were getting ahead of themselves, the Spanish team started making mistakes of their own only these errors resulted in flags and time served in the penalty box. Austria took this as an opportunity capitalizing on 3 penalty flags in the second quarter.However, the Austrian man-up squad was not the only thing that showed up in the second quarter as Peter Lucchini, the Austrian FOGO put on a real show. With his size advantage #17 turned his luck as the X into goals as he catapulted from the midfield line down to the crease like human canon ball. With no regard for opponents standing in his way, Lucchini netted 2 goals (Might need to wait and check stats to see if he got 2 or 3 goals) of his own off the draw along with a few other attempts that really fired up the Austrian sideline.
By halftime the teams were tied. The Austrians were posed to ride their wave of emotion while Spain entered the second half invigorated by a fiery halftime speech from Head Coach, (HC NAME). But, unlike the first half where the teams split each quarter, the remainder of this game would go back and forth as they battled for the advantage.With chants of “Vamos Espana” echoing from the sideline the Spanish team worked their possessions the old fashioned way waiting until they caught the defense out of place giving them the chance to strike. They quickly added 3 goals to lead 7-4 at in the 3 rd quarter until they really started to trade tallies. With exposed openings on in-bounds play and slow defense each team took advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves.
For the Austrians, these opportunities became frequent when the Spanish players could not control their sticks putting themselves in the penalty box. With a near perfect percentage, the Austrian man-up offense executed off Spain’s mistakes ultimately giving them the advantage at the final whistle. With a 12-10 final each team clearly fought with their hearts it was just a list of errors that held Spain back from the winners column.
Croatia 7 vs Chinese Taipei 6
Authored by Katie Conwell
What a game! Tight, tough, and evenly matched! This was great to see as both of these teams had been struggling to compete in earlier games. The chance here to compete evenly was excellent, and while it wasn’t Blue Division lacrosse, these guys all really got after it in a big way. Each of the first three quarters saw both teams score 2 goals. At the end of three, it was 6-6, but Ryan Group scored his fourth goal of the game to put Croatia up by 1. They would hold on to win, and Group was definitely the game MVP, even in a true team effort to get the W.