Lacrosse World Championships 2002

World Championships report, 11th July 2002

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LAX Herald Thursday - July 11, 2002
The official publication of the 2002 World Lacrosse Championship

Shock as Germany down Scotland

Story and photos by Rhonda Plenty

A PUMPED up Germany took Scotland by surprise yesterday afternoon with a clean cut 15-9 victory. In Germany's best game for the tournament the conversion from man to man to zone offensive provided a good show for die-hard spectators. Scotland's attack could not penetrate Germany's smart defensive play and superior physical preparation. Beret Dickson's athletic ability in goals also kept Scotland's attack in check. Germany used the zone conversion well, reading play and attacking the goal to gain a ground ball advantage. The culmination of a hard week of games for the victors did not distract them from achieving good ball control and offence. Scotland was left to lament what could have been and now have to mentally regroup leading into their grudge match tomorrow against arch rival England. Scotland took advantage of play early in the game with a goal in the first few minutes through Martin Clarke but fell short in the second and third periods resulting in a German five-goal lead by half-time. A gallant rally by Scotland in the final period gave the scoreboard some respect but it was too little too late with Germany's dominance already established. Scottish head coach Phil Collier now has a difficult job ahead of him in preparation for the match against old enemy England tomorrow but will focus on fitness, attitude, technique and strategy.

Canadians victorious in thriller

By Daniel Emerson

AUSTRALIA lost by two goals in a thrilling encounter with Canada at the main stadium last night in what both coaches describe as the best game of the tournament. Those who braved the cold were treated to a fast, highly skilled match in which Canada was constantly under threat, only managing to fend off Australia in the dying minutes. Both teams went into the clash with two wins and a loss apiece. Australia was brimming with confidence after playing the best lacrosse of their tournament in the final quarter of Tuesday's game against the Iroquois Nationals and scored the first goal within a minute through James Inge. This was all the encouragement Canada needed, as they capitalised on offensive blunders by the Australians to score six of the next seven goals. Australia shut down Canada's attack in the second quarter, limiting their opponents to a solitary goal, and it was only the heroic efforts of Canadian goalie Chris Sanderson that prevented Australia from taking the lead at half-time. Australia went into the second half still trailing 7-4, but was confident after scoring the last two goals of the first half. Canada had all the answers, however, and Derek Malawsky waltzed through the Australian defence after three minutes to put the Aussies on the back foot once again. Canada outscored Australia four goals to two in the third quarter but the Aussies refused to lie down. After trailing 12-8 early in the final term Australia scored two unanswered goals, including a courageous solo effort by the inspirational Gordon Purdie, to whip the crowd into a frenzy. The Canadian supporters cries of "oohahh Canada" were drowned out by the familiar "Aussie-oi" anthem as Australia sniffed victory and an unlikely silver medal. But two goals was as close as the professional Canadian outfit were willing to concede. The skill of the entire Canadian team was typified by attacker John Grant Jr, who fired in two final quarter goals to dash Australia's dream of a spectacular comeback, ending the game 14-12.

Park Buzz

POLICE Constable Andrew Summers (pictured right) recorded a speed of 148km/h on his modified speed gun recently, but did not issue any fines. He was measuring the velocity of lacrosse balls during the 2002 Lacrosse World Championship. "It's very different from the usual speeding cars and cars don't fly straight at you," Constable Summers said, narrowly avoiding injury as a ball just missed his head. "You just can't help but flinch - the ball's coming straight for your head and I had a bit of a haircut there." On the day German co-captain Florian Kornprobot was credited with the highest speed of 148 km/h while Australian co-captain Matt Schomburg said his highest speed was 142 km/h. Anyone want to be a goalie? [MT & JV]
A SPECIAL CAP to what could be our youngest spectator at the World Championship games. Cameron Leslie Brown was born on Opening Ceremony night and saw his first game on Tuesday. Congratulations to Australian midfielder Russell Brown and his brave wife Pam. Look for Cameron in 2022.
EVERY team at this Championship is chasing glory - some are just older than others. Old Glory have gathered players from all parts of the US to compete in the Grand Masters 45+ Tournament and despite yesterday's first loss, they prove age does not diminish the competitive spirit. Goal freaks Scott Livie and Kris Snider have been the attacking stand-outs although you could be forgiven for thinking the team does most of their hard work at Tentland after the game. Trainspotters would also have noticed the presence of Iroquois chief Oren Lyons who adds even more experience to a team which has displayed fantastic lacrosse skills and team spirit. [JV & B'OS]

Ireland leave opponents for dead

By Gemma Criddle

IRELAND remains undefeated in Green Division after an enterprising 16-3 win over Korea yesterday. Ireland's Dan Daley and Pat McGee scored nine of the 16 goals in an aggressive, confident display that saw Ireland's midfield dominance capitalised on throughout. The defence of Ireland was the difference between the sides early, frustrating the Koreans and keeping them scoreless in the first quarter. The Koreans gave away some costly early penalties, with heated midfield clashes allowing Ireland to use its extra man advantage to score four first-quarter goals. The second quarter saw the Koreans come out more focused after head coach John Haus implored his team to calm down during the break. Despite two sharp goals from attackers Cortland Kyoung-Jin Kim and Blakely Kyoung-Soo Kim in the second period, Ireland capitalised on their first-quarter lead with another four goals. Heavy showers in the third quarter increased the tension in the hotly contested match, but not even the weather could halt the Irish as they piled on another four goals to nil. The fourth quarter saw the Irish finish off a demoralised Korean team with some brilliant sharpshooting from the Daley brothers.

Swedes win Euro grudge match

By Ben O'Shea

THERE are several parallels between the development of Sweden and the Czech Republic as lacrosse nations. Both teams got their first world championship taste in 1994 and then in 1998, the Czech team finished only one place ahead of the Swedish side to cement a rivalry 10 years in the making. Now in 2002, the stage was set for an epic struggle, with both teams coming into the final fixture of the Red Division roundrobin with just one win from three games. For those lacrosse faithful who braved the weather, history proved a good guide as the match was played with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. Dominance of possession lead to two first quarter goals for the Czech Republic as they wasted no time signalling their attack plan. A niggling Swedish defence thwarted many Czech forward moves and created turnovers that saw them finish the quarter only one goal behind. The tide turned in the second quarter as Sweden decided the best defence was a good offence and piled on four quick goals to take the lead, 5-3. With the game threatening to blow wide open, the Czech side needed something special and it came in tthrough an Emil Moravec goal, taking his tournament tally to 12 and narrowing the margin to one. Undeterred, the Swede's extended the lead to three goals which gave them some breathing space. Sweden switched to defence in the last quarter and the Czech side saw the opportunity, attacking the Swedish defence to come up with what looked like two goals, reducing the deficit to one with just over a minute remaining in the final quarter. Hope turned to heartbreak when the Czechs prematurely celebrated their second goal only to have it dissallowed by the referee who had spotted a technical penalty for an illegal equipment breach. Sweden saw out the tense final minute to notch up a deserved 7-5 win.

Hong Kong chalk up first win

By Jessica Vanderende

A FREAK accident marred yesterday's Green Division match that saw Hong Kong avenge their previous loss to New Zealand, winning 9-5. New Zealand goal keeper Kevin Murphy was stretchered off with a suspected neck injury in the fourth quarter after a heavy clash with two Hong Kong players. "There was nothing illegal ... it was just a freak accident ... it was a well played game," umpire Bill Murphy said. Medico Dennis Banyard said Murphy had a minor soft tissue injury. The first quarter saw both teams have trouble keeping possession and mistakes were costly with many players caught offside. HK seemed to lack confidence and were tentative with their passes missing several opportunities, while the NZ players were slow to force their way forward when they gained possession. HK's Christopher Kwok Keung Li scored the first goal and they gained momentum, going into quarter time with a slender 3-2 lead. Both teams settled down in the second quarter and HK maintained the advantage enabling the side to go into the second half full of confidence. Kin Wah Lo stepped up the pace in the second half with some great attacking, although HK were not able to capitalise on their forward thrusts.

US win compounds English woes

By Tessa Heal

IT WAS billed the David-Goliath battle of the Blue Division with the US going into yesterday's match with three wins from three games and England with three losses. But it wasn't a day for the underdog as the US won 21-3 in a demolition of the shell-shocked English team. The US began in damaging form, winning every face-off and controlling play in the offence. Two goals to Darren Lowe and singles to Striebel, Doyle, Kevin Lowe and Benson set up an impressive quarter-time lead with US Michael Powell causing headaches for the English team with hard running and three assists. The second quarter was a much tighter affair with both sides scoring two goals, highlighting the brilliant goalkeeping work of England's Ben McAllister, whose many saves kept his side from certain defeat. The US scored five unanswered goals in a dominant third quarter with several penalties and turnovers costing England opportunities to go forward. Nineteen-year-old Michael Powell continued to control the play with two goals, his classy skills setting up several others. Powell's two older brothers, Casey and Ryan are considered to be two of the best lacrosse players in the world, but were not included in the US team because of Major League Lacrosse duties. Michael has followed in his brothers' footsteps and has been outstanding in the tournament so far. With only two goals to threequarter time, the English team were determined to finish off the game positively, but two quick goals from midfielder Doug Shanahan dashed any hopes of an English comeback. Paul Flowers was a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day for England and he scored late in the game to give the band of loyal fans in the grandstand something to cheer about. But they weren't cheering for long. Benson found the back of the net for the US a minute later, then goals to Ryan McClay and another to Shanahan ensured a fourth consecutive 21-3 win for the world champions. England woes continued with midfielder Ian Cain leaving the field with a serious knee injury. The team can only take solace in Ben McAllister's remarkable goalkeeping. English head coach David Elwood praised the efforts of both McAllister and fellow goalie Richard Smith who bravely stood up to the US assault.

Undefeated Japan face Blue torment

By Ben Anderson

JAPAN finished the preliminary round undefeated after a 21-8 victory over Wales. Wet conditions kept skill levels down but Japan's performances so far in the tournament meant they were heavy favourites against a spirited outfit. The speedy Asian team scored two minutes in when Yoshiro Suzunra netted the first of his five goals for the match. At quarter-time Japan was ahead 5-2 and were looking like the only side that could seriously trouble the fourth-placed Blue Division team in the next round. Masayuki Kadota scored Japan's sixth goal 30 seconds into the second quarter and Wales looked in danger of conceding a record amount of goals, with Japan doubling their opponents' score by half-time. The third quarter again belonged to Japan with Suzumra and Shinya Maruyama both scoring three goals for the period. Wales only found the back of the net once and the match was effectively over by three-quarter time. A four-goal last quarter effort from Naoki Oyoshi ensured Japan recorded a comprehensive victory, the final margin reduced by four late goals from Wales. Wales' eight goals for the match were the only surprise, doubling the average score against Japan so far. The Japanese team put in a disciplined performance, committing only two penalties for the match. Japan head coach Makoto Sato said the team was looking forward to its match against the Iroquois Nationals tomorrow. "Our goal was to win the Division and we will be giving it our best effort against the Iroquois," he said.

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