The U.S. team pretty quickly threw out any concerns about a letdown game in the semifinals of the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships on Thursday night in Commerce City, Colo.
Team USA, coming off a dominant 18-5 win over the Iroquois Nation on Tuesday night, easily could have looked past an Australia team it beat, 16-7, in pool play.
Instead, the United States jumped out to a 7-0, first-quarter lead on the Aussies and never slowed, winning, 22-3, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to advance to Saturday night’s gold-medal game against Canada for the fifth straight time.
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The Americans had eight multigoal scorers, led by four goals and two assists from midfielder Dave Lawson and three and two from middie Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) and attackman Brendan Mundorf (Mount St. Joseph, UMBC). Attackman Kevin Leveille and middie Max Seibald added hat tricks.
“Offensively we pride ourselves in being unselfish,” said Marcus Holman (Gilman), who had two goals and two assists. “We think if we share the ball and play together, we're the best offense in the world. And we did that today.”
The United States continued to strangle possessions thanks to the faceoff tandem of Chris Eck and Greg Gurenlian, winning 26 of 29 and combining for 21 ground balls against Australia. Team USA outshot Australia 45-11. For the Aussies, Callum Robinson, a rising junior at Stevenson, was held off the scoreboard. He had a pair of ground balls.
Defensively, Team USA allowed Australia only 11 shots, and goalkeepers Jesse Schwartzman (Pikesville, Johns Hopkins) and Drew Adams combined for three saves.
Canada 12, Iroquois Nation 6
Not playing like the team that had a bye Wednesday, Team Canada took its time getting going in Thursday's semifinal against the Iroquois Nation. After falling behind by as much as 5-1 in the first quarter of their 9-8 pool-play loss to the Canadians on Sunday, the Iroquois built a 4-1 lead after the first quarter Thursday. But after that, it was all Canada.
Attackman Curtis Dickson once again did most of the damage, scoring three straight third-quarter goals, including two in the final minute, to break open a 5-4 game and give Canada a lead it would not relinquish.
Nine different Canadians scored in the win, and goalie Dillon Ward made eight stops to help hold the Iroquois scoreless for nearly 50 minutes. After a big first quarter with two goals and an assist, 2014 Tewaaraton Award co-winner Lyle Thompson did not score again against a Canada defense featuring Brodie Merrill and Dillon Roy.
In addition to scoring a goal, midfielder Geoff Snider once again helped Canada dominate the faceoff battle, winning 16 of 21 and scooping 11 ground balls. He won 12 of 19 against Jeremy Thompson in Canada's pool-play win.