Lacrosse World Championships 2002

World Championships report, 10th July 2002

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LAX Herald Wednesday - July 10, 2002
The official publication of the 2002 World Lacrosse Championship

Brown capitalises on score tally

By Melvin Tang

AUSTRALIAN hot shot Russell Brown scored three goals last night in his side's comfortable 19-5 win over the Iroquois Nationals, taking his tally to nine. The Iroquois opened the scoring tally half way into a low scoring first quarter with a powerful hip shot from midfielder Allan Jones catching what looked like a dazed Australian defence off guard. The Australian team seemed to lose their footing during the first ten minutes of the quarter allowing for five turnovers and giving Iroquois most of the possessions. Australia's reply came just one minute from the end of the first quarter courtesy of a spellbinding reflex shot by David Whiteman assisted by Darren Nicholas. With just ten seconds left in the quarter, a solo effort by attacker Brad Ross put Australia in the lead prompting a wild response from the crowd. Iroquois came back in a tightly fought second quarter to level the score at 4-4 after Allan Jones made the most of a two man up play in the last five minutes of the quarter, setting the score for half-time. Jamie Buchanan led a fired-up Australian attack in the second half to take on a visibly tired Iroquois defence and set the stage for an all-pervading Australian onslaught. Australia ran with the momentum with star attacker David Whiteman producing quick runs before finishing with four goals. Australia dominated the midfield, winning most of the face-offs through Peter Inge who yesterday scored the fastest goal in the championship. Iroquois keeper Joe Solomon was a pivotal player for the team in the second half and payed tribute to the Hollywood film The Matrix with several amazing reflex saves (that could well see him cast in the next sequel), but was unable to stop the ubiquitous Australian attackers. Australia was unstoppable during the second half, scoring 13 unanswered goals to Iroquois' one ending the game at 19-5. A disappointed Iroquois coach lamented the loss of his team and attributed the lack of performance to the schedule of playing four games in four days. Australia will play Canada today in a match that should determine second place in Blue Division.

Kiwis no match for awesome Korea

By Rhonda Plenty

KOREA stayed true to form to record a 20- 3 victory over up-and-coming New Zealand in a bloodbath yesterday. Sung-uk Hwang wasted no time with a sizzling goal in the first minute, setting the stage for a bewildered New Zealand to play catch-up for the rest of the game. Hwang's passionate play set the pace for team mates Cortland Kyoung-Jin Kim in attack and Brian Seung-hoon Chang in midfield to score four goals apiece and form a demolition team that proved difficult to break. The game continued to slip away from New Zealand despite a valiant second half rally. The writing was on the wall and New Zealand coach Mark Freemon said he was in awe at Korea's superior speed and skills. New Zealand's tentative playing style was also doing them no favours, but to their credit they managed to sort out their defence with a second goal less than two minutes into the third quarter. With most New Zealand team members playing up to two games a day, Freemon said he was happy they were still "alive" at the end of games and relished the chance to compete against skilful countries. "Our guys watch this level of competition on videos and never get a chance to play it back home," he said. The mad dash from both teams in the third quarter resulted in five penalties but did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Brian Seung-hoon Chang was consistent in midfield and attack. Korea's head coach John Haus said his team had moulded together well with an unselfish offence and iron-clad defence. New Zealand will fight it out with Hong Kong tomorrow in a tight match with both teams at a similar skill level.

Green machine rolls over Hong Kong

Story and photo by Ben Spencer

IRELAND handed out a 15-0 thrashing to Hong Kong yesterday, extending its unbeaten run in Green Division. After a slow start in which Ireland head coach Richie Moran criticised his player's execution, the green machine stepped up a gear. Kevin Dowd scored the first of many goals after cutting through some sloppy Hong Kong defence at the five minute mark. Seven minutes later a brilliant pass from Dan Daley set up brother John for a 2-0 lead. This seemed to ignite the Irish side as they piled on four more goals before quarter time, two that were results of "Daley doubles". Diminutive Hong Kong goalkeepers Kwan Pak Yip and Willie Hor Wing Lau stood up manfully under constant pressure from the Irish forwards, making a number of outstanding saves throughout the match. Hong Kong started the second quarter with a rare face-off win, but this joy quickly turned to horror as John Daley, who finished the match with six goals, scored a brilliant goal over his right shoulder. Despite Pat McGee and Dan Leidl adding two more just prior to the main break, an undermanned Hong Kong continued to be well served by Chun Lun Wong through the midfield and Alvin Lo in defence. While many fans were desperately hoping for a second half Hong Kong revival, the Irish had other ideas with McGee, John Daley and veteran Kevin Moran all scoring within ten minutes. In the final quarter, intense pressure took its toll on the tiring Hong Kong defence, with KC Tang receiving a one-minute unsportsmanlike penalty for hitting an opponent across the back of the head with his stick. Dan Nolan added insult to injury minutes from time when he scored from close range courtesy of a long run from Mike Conway.

Park Buzz

WALES' team has certainly been out and about enjoying their recreation time in Perth. Vying for the title of the most sociable lacrosse team we asked head coach Ray Nash if, as rumoured, a late night at Tentland for the Pulse concert had affected their first quarter on Tuesday. "They've worked hard to get here and paid a lot ... I don't just want them to see fields and locker rooms, they're getting to see Perth and enjoying their time here," he said. Great to hear ...
THE security at this World Championship is certainly not being inundated by terrorist attacks. So is that why one security guard was spotted trying to convince the Challenge Stadium goat to have a chat across the twoway system?
HEAD over to Tentland tonight if you want to pick up Paul Gait's one-off autographed shirt which will be sold to the highest bidder. US team members are also offering some memorabilia for sale.

US dominate championship rematch

By Ben Anderson

CANADIAN coach Frank Nielsen described the refereeing in last night's loss to America as the worst he had ever seen. "We can't play our game when the black and white are on their (America's) team, " he said. The United States won 14-9 in a spiteful match which saw 29 minutes of penalties and three men expelled from the game. A brawl which developed after some rough checking from Canada saw two Americans and a Canadian player sent off. Recent NFL recruit Doug Shananhan scored the first goal of the match five minutes in, while a long range shot from John Grant Jr opened Canada's account. America ended the first quarter two goals ahead with Steve Dusseau scoring the first of his three goals. Canadian veteran Paul Gait's one-handed assist provided D'arcy Sweet with a straightforward goal. Gait scored his first goal for the night five minutes later, tying the score at four all. Thanks to Shanahan's dominance of the face-offs, the US scored the next three goals. With a minute and a half until half-time Paul Gait bagged his second goal, cutting the American lead to two. Canada received 12 penalties in the third quarter playing most of the period a man down. America profited from a four man advantage, scoring six goals to nothing. Canada's Chris Langdale's illegal stick check earned him the dubious honour of the first man to be expelled from the match. America started the fourth quarter with a one man advantage and soon capitalised with a goal to Ryan Mollet. With the numbers on the field again even, Canada improved their play and Gait scored their first goal since the 14-minute mark of the second quarter. Two more goals in two minutes gave the Canadian supporters something to cheer about but by then it was too late. The rainstorm that swept across the field ten minutes from full-time did nothing to cool the players' tempers. A brawl between Dusseau and Canada's Cam Woods resulted in both players being expelled from the game. American coach Jack Emmer said he was very pleased with the way Team USA took advantage of the number of penalties Canada received. "We let our sticks do the talking and put the ball in the back of the net," he said. "If they see something they think is inflamatory they have the right to ask the question, which they did."

Germans continue impressive run

By Todd Cardy

GERMANY continued its winning form after dominating their match against Sweden yesterday afternoon, earning a comfortable 14-10 victory en route to its Scotland showdown. Dominating the opening quarter, Germany scored successive goals with the aid of Christopher Frank and Jurgen Eckel allowing the team to profit from a five-one edge over the Swedes which continued throughout the game. Sweden appeared shell-shocked by the German's consistent pressure and defensive play while continuously attacking the front line giving Swedish goalie Rolle Johnson chances for miraculous saves. A minor fightback was launched by Swedish attacker Magnus Franzen when he scored the first goal following quarter time allowing the team to string together a couple of goals to get them within a hair's breadth of the lead. The frustration began to show in the Swedish team after they were called for a number of fouls allowing numerous man-up situations for Germany to take advantage of. The fierce first-half play continued into the second half with Swedish fouling continuing to frustrate the coach. Germany took advantage of play when three Swedish players were left on the sidelines for unsportsmanlike play. The last quarter was merely a run of play as the Germans outclassed the Swedes into what was a comfortable win. The German goalie Beret Dickson made a play of his own by running the field and assisting teammate Christopher Frank to score. A last ditch effort by the Swedish attackers evened the scores to a more respectable total but the game was clearly won by the European national champions.

Japan soars in Red Division nail-biter

By Sarah Roberts

JAPAN reigns supreme in Red Division following their 10-8 victory over Scotland in a closely-contested stadium match yesterday. It was a battle of the Division's heavyweights, with both sides remaining unbeaten in their previous matches. Scores were tied 2-2 and 4-4 in the first two quarters. After a fast-paced first period, Scottish defender Bill Armstrong made use of the break to work on some much-needed thigh stretches with some assistance from trainers. Japan nudged in front during the second half and narrowly held their lead in an exciting final quarter. Mitsuhito Okobe and Shinya Maruyama provided Japan's backbone with four goals each, while Scottish goalkeeper Ethan Harris' excellent defence blocked several threatening attacks. Scotland's midfielder Gerry Donaghy kept the team's hopes alive, netting half of Scotland's goals. Japanese coach Makoto Sato said the stadium surface suited Japan's weapon of speed. He said their World Championship performance would help them achieve their goal of joining Blue Division. Scottish coach Phil Collier said the "Bravehearts" gave away too many penalties. "I think the guys got very frustrated with what they thought were unfair calls," he said. "I'm not saying we were complete angels out there, but there were one or two calls that caused some frustration." He said the match against Japan was their toughest, even before it began. "Most people would have expected Japan to win today based on their previous form," he said. "It was a challenge for us which I think we rose to." Scotland will be looking for a win in today's match against Germany to secure Red Division's second place. Mr Sato said his players would rest, work with trainers and focus on their mental game before today's match against Wales.

Czechs chalk up first win

By Jessica Vanderende

BOTH the Czech Republic and Wales were desperate to record their first Championship win yesterday, however it was the Czech Republic who prevailed 16-5 in an errorriddled match. The Czech attackers set the pace in the first quarter with six unanswered goals, as a result of slow and disjointed Welsh defence. Wales seemed tired during the first quarter. In contrast, the Czech Republic's first quarter passes were crisp and their shots at goal flew into the back of the net. Jiri Mikulka scored two goals including an unbelievable long-range shot. Wales gave hope to their vocal supporters when they staged a temporary second quarter fightback with four unanswered goals, including an exciting shot by Jim Ayrton thanks to the fantastic stickwork of Steve McDermott. Czech players regained their composure with two goals in a second quarter that included some heavy knocks and remonstrating away from the play. The second half was controversial with some dubious umpiring decisions that frustrated several Welsh players. The Czech Republic was awarded possession after a simultaneous foul from opposing players causing many players to complain over the numerous penalties. This came to a head when Gareth Morgan was penalised three times within two minutes of play for a slash, a push and unsportsmanlike behaviour. The Czechs rifled seven goals through the Welsh defence resulting in Morgan throwing his stick to the ground. The tension continued in the final quarter when a referee reversed his decision from play off to play on. A Czech Republic goal was then disallowed after a timeout when Welsh players believed there were too many Wales players on the field.

Pre-tournament // July 7th // July 8th // July 9th // July 10th // July 11th // July 12th // July 14th // Final Day