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LAX Herald Sunday - July 14, 2002
US cruise into Championship final
By Peter Law
TEAM USA are hot favourites to win their eighth Laurie Turnbull Shield today after disposing of Iroquois Nationals in their semi-final clash on Friday night. The US claimed their 40th World Championship scalp in convincing style with an 18-8 victory. America scored the first three goals of the game and a blowout was imminent until veteran Scott Burnam scored the Iroquois' first goal. But this was just a momentary lapse in concentration as the classy US outfit scored five unanswered goals through some wellconstructed setplays. The Iroquois forwards struggled to find a clear path to goal and were forced to fire longrange shots comfortably swatted away by Trevor Tierney. The US scored with ease in the second term thanks to slick and unselfish passing that resulted in a seven goal half-time lead. Iroquois hoped to keep in touch with their opponents in the second half but had no answer to unstoppable centreman Doug Shanahan, who dominated at the face-off and let fly with a number of spectacular shots from long-range. The contest was a foregone conclusion when Ryan Boyle scored his second goal into the third quarter to give the US a ninegoal lead going into the final term. However the vocal Iroquois supporters were given reason to cheer when midfielder Delby Powless scored a hat-trick of goals in five minutes, including a remarkable behind the head shot. But a thundering outside shot from Steve Dusseau ensured the US a path to yet another World Championship final.
Canada ready for another glory tilt
By Braden Quartermaine
AUSTRALIA has fallen tragically short of a place in the final at the Lacrosse World Championship, after blowing a 7-2 quartertime lead against Canada on Friday night. A brilliant goal from star attacker Nathan Roost with 25 seconds remaining whipped the crowd into a frenzy and brought the home side to within a goal. But a desperate final foray forward to send the match into overtime was repelled by the Canadian defence, and ensured a heartbreaking 15-14 loss for the Australians. In a never-say-die performance that won't be soon forgotten, Canada took advantage of some lacklustre Australian defending which resulted in numerous player sendoffs. At one stage Australia was three men short due to penalties, allowing the Canadians to pile on five goals to one in the second quarter, and trail just 8-7 at the half. With the inspiring song of the same name blaring in the background during half-time, Australia focused on their Holy Grail, regrouped and led by three goals nearing the last break. The worked-over Aussie defence tried valiantly to hold the three-goal advantage, with goalkeeper Scott Garnsworthy superb throughout the match. After trailing 11-9 at three-quarter time, Canada rattled on the opening five goals of the final period to seemingly blow the game, and the despondent Aussies, wide apart. Australian centre Peter Inge won the most dramatic of face-offs and sent his team forward with only 25 seconds on the clock, however the miracle equaliser home-town fans had been hoping for was not to eventuate, leaving Australia to ponder what might have been.
Czechs to lift for Swede showdown
Story and photos by Todd Cardy
THE CZECH Republic bounced back from a sluggish start to take advantage of a tiring Welsh team and record a 13-7 win on Friday. In what was a hotly contested battle, the Welsh team must now play-off for ninth place against Sweden today while the Welsh team face Korea for eleventh place. Setting the hard-fought tone of the match, the Czechs scored two easy goals within minutes of the opening face-off but they were quickly thwarted with an impressive goal by Welsh midfielder Craig Caputo. Czech midfielder Martin Mrlik was knocked hard by a loose Welsh stick forcing him to the sideline but came back to score the final goal just before the first break. It was a different story in the second quarter as a pumped-up Wales took advantage of the lacklustre Czech defence which was split in two creating many goal scoring opportunities for the Welsh attack. A string of great saves by Welsh goalie John Hudson keep the Czech side starved of muchneeded goals but they came back to tie the match just before the main break at six goals each. A third offside penalty just after half time frustrated the vocal Welsh side and resulted in two players, including their goalie, time penalised for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Their frustrations continued as the Welsh defence began to crumble under the constant Czech attack but both teams were unable to convert plays into goals. Six goals were scored by the Czechs in the final quarter, out-classing the exhausted Welsh attackers and earning them a strong win in trying conditions. Czech head coach Vladimir Manda said although he was happy with the end result, his team could still improve. "The last quarter was the best and the second quarter was the worst ... so I think we have a lot to work on before we play Sweden," he said. Wales will need to win against Korea this morning to equal its best result at any World Championship tournament. Welsh head coach Ray Nash said he was disappointed that the team could not achieve a higher placing but was happy with how his team members played.
Progression unlimited for lacrosse
By Braden Quatermaine and Vanessa Frzop
ALTHOUGH originating in North America, the game of lacrosse and Western Australia are inextricably linked, making Perth the ideal choice as host city for what has been its second Championship. The two finalists today are playing for the LS Turnbull Trophy, named after Laurie Turnbull, the first president of the International Lacrosse Federation and a life member of the WA Lacrosse Association. WALA president Allan Griffiths said WA has traditionally been a very strong lacrosse State along with South Australia and Victoria and the game continues to make good progress here. "There are a lot of encouraging signs at the moment," he said. "The junior competition has never been stronger. We have good growth in the juniors and with good coaching the whole game will grow." He said the key to lacrosse progressing even further in WA was to develop the sport in areas of Perth where it has not been traditionally played, such as the south-east corridor and growth areas such as Mandurah. Mr Griffiths said developing a social form of the game such as an indoor summer competition was also important to increase awareness of the game. This week 1550 lacrosse players from 15 countries descended on Perth for this year's Championship. Over nine days, more than 4000 local and visiting lacrosse enthusiasts have watched about 400 matches. Since the first time Perth hosted the Championship 12 years ago, international lacrosse has grown in leaps and bounds, demonstrated by the unprecedented number of countries making their Championship debut this year. Only six teams competed in 1990's tournament, won by the United States. This year also marks the introduction of Green Division, created to promote lacrosse in emerging nations including Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand and Korea. International Lacrosse Federation president Tom Hayes said the game is constantly expanding and he expected between 20 and 24 countries to participate in 2006. Perth's hosting of the 1990 Championship was important in terms of financially facilitating the establishment of the WA Lacrosse Foundation and Mr Griffiths said this year's tournament will be another major boost for the game in WA.
Japanese home in playoff thriller
By Nicole Atkins
CROWD favourites Japan scored a goal with just seconds left to give them a nailbiting 8-7 win over Germany on Friday. With the crowd on the edge of their seats the match was deadlocked at seven-all with nine seconds remaining. Japan managed to peg back an early German lead but was continually thwarted by the brilliance of German goalkeeper Beret Dickson. Dickson's five first-quarter saves gave his team an abundance of possession, which they capitalised on in attack. Germany's Christopher MacAulay scored the first goal moments into the match and repeated that effort minutes later. Mitsuhito Okabe led an outstanding Japanese defence that restricted Germany to two first-quarter goals. Okabe then went forward to add two more goals for Japan, as did Yoshiro Suzumra who finished the match with five. The four-all half-time scoreline inspired at the start of the second half, with Niklas Kukat shouldering off opponents to score his team's sixth goal. After a long stint in front of the net, Japan's Masayuki Kadota was relieved from his position to score an unlikely goal. Germany's defenders grabbed possession and sprinted to their end, only to have the fast break spoiled by Japanese goalie Hidekazu Yoshida. Yoshiro Suzumra then caught Germany's goalie off guard to score Japan's sixth goal. In the final period Japan looked set to reduce the 7-6 three-quarter-time deficit, with fast midfield breaks putting Germany's defence under constant pressure. The crowd came to life with 14 seconds on the clock when Japan scored to tie the game at seven-all. German goalie Dickson gambled when he gathered the ball and left his line with nine seconds left, but the plan backfired. He dropped the ball, enabling Japan to gain possession and pass the ball almost the length of the field to score at an unopposed goal, handing Japan an unlikely win.
England prevail in Battle of Britain
By Jessica Vanderende
ENGLAND defeated Scotland 16-7 on Friday after a tight first half which saw both sides vying for a chance at fifth place. Scores were tied at 2-2 at quarter-time with both sides wasting valuable opportunities to score. Scotland had many chances to lead in the first half but missed crucial opportunities and wasted a two-man advantage. England improved their performance in the second half and held on for their first win of the Championship, much to the relief of England's head coach Dave Elwood. "We had it tough last week ... it was important for us to get the win and the boys did well to get the win," he said. Elwood conceded England did not capitalise on enough scoring opportunities. "It's a learning process ... when you get opportunities you've got to finish," he said. England pulled away in the second half by dominating the face-offs and maintaining possession. England's Paul Flowers had a quiet first half but grabbed his opportunities with five goals in a solid second-half display. By the final quarter, Scotland was a shadow of its previous self with numerous turnovers allowing England several easy shots at goal. England will play Japan on Sunday and Elwood expects a tough match. "Whoever wins on Sunday will be [in] the Blue Division ... so it's important for England to maintain its position," he said.