Lacrosse World Championships 2006

World Championships report, 22nd July

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Canada 15 - USA 10

Canada won the 2006 ILF Warrior World Lacrosse Championships with a 15-9 win over the U.S.

The streak is over. Canada won its first world lacrosse title in 28 years, defeating the U.S. 15-10 in front of 7,735 fans. The Americans had not lost in international lacrosse play since 1978, when they lost to Canada 17-16 in overtime.

Ottawa's Jeff Zywicki scored five goals and added an assist. Gary Gait of Victoria, B.C. added four goals in his final game in lacrosse. Tournament MVP Geoff Snider was once again brilliant on face-offs winning 19 of 28 draws. Orangeville, Ont., native Chris Sanderson was sensational early on, making three big saves off Mike and Casey Powell and Scott Urick of Team USA. He finished the game with 14 stops.

It took almost 10 minutes before the first goal was scored. Ryan Powell scored on a great set play off the powerplay with Canada's Chris Seller off for an illegal body check. Seconds later Mikey Powell took a great feed from Casey Powell to put the Americans up by a pair in the midst of a torrential downpour. Jordan Hall, of Surrey, B.C., scored Canada's first goal a minute later on the powerplay. America's Mike Powell tallied his second goal of the game after Sanderson dropped the ball in front of his crease, likely caused by the extremely wet conditions. Then Zywicki scored his first on the powerplay at the end of the first quarter on a beautiful, tic-tac-toe passing play including Shawn Williams and John Grant Jr.

Scott Urick from the U.S. was robbed early in the second quarter by Sanderson, who continued his heroics with the Americans fastbreaking despite being short-handed. But he redeemed himself two minutes later with a shot that handcuffed Sanderson and slipped past him into the cage. Canada's Jeff Zywicki (Ottawa) scored to make it 4-3 before Jay Jalbert put the Americans up by two once again three minutes later. But Zywicki tallied his third and fourth goals of the game before Waterloo's Colin Doyle put Canada ahead 6-5 with a great goal late in the second quarter to end out the first half.

Jalbert buried his second of the game to tie the game at six early in the third quarter. Urick added his second of the game four minutes later to re-establish the U.S. lead at 7-6. But Canada tallied three straight from Peterborough's John Grant Jr., Gavin Prout and Hall to build a two-goal lead. After America's A.J. Haugen scored, Canada led at the end of the third 9-8.

Canada exploded in the fourth as Gait turned it up in his final game in his illustrious career notching all four of his goals to give the Canucks the win. The game was seen live across the world on CBC Sports Saturday (Canada), College Sports Television (U.S.) and Eurosport 2 (Europe).

Quarter scores: 2-3, 6-5, 9-8, 15-10

Australia 21 - Iroquois 8

Australia Rolls Past Iroquois to Claim Bronze Medal

Brendan Mundorf (Denver Outlaws, UMBC) scored four first-half goals and assisted on two others to lift Australia to an 11-3 lead and eventual 21-8 victory over the Iroquois Nationals in the bronze medal game of the 2006 International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) World Championships today under cloudy skies at the University of Western Ontario's TD Waterhouse Stadium. The Australians (4-4) claimed their sixth bronze medal in ILF play (including the unofficial 1967 championships), and they avenged a 12-10 loss to Iroquois (3-3) in round-robin play at this event.

"It was good to come out here and take care of business. Our sights were set a little higher, but it was good to finish off the tournament with a big win like that," said Mundorf, who finished with nine points. "I think we underestimated them a little bit [in the round-robin game]." Australia appeared fully focused this time around.

Nathan Stiglich scored twice to key a 5-0, game-opening run for Australia. Mundorf fed him for a marker at 12:05, then followed with an unassisted goal at 8:36, leaving the Iroquois to ponder their five-goal deficit during the first media timeout. Brett Bucktooth countered with the first of his team-high six markers to help the Iroquois briefly close to 5-2, but Mundorf played a role in the next three goals to give Australia command, 8-2.

Bucktooth and Delby Powless scored early in the second half to bring the Iroquois Nationals within 12-5, but that would be as close as they would get. Mundorf, Josh Ardossi and David Whiteman tallied consecutively in the third period's final seven minutes to provide a 10-goal margin and pave the way for an uneventful final quarter.

"We just didn't have it today," said Powless, whose two goals shared for the team lead with Bucktooth and Cory Bomberry. "They played well. We made a bunch of mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot. We did a lot better on ground balls and faceoffs - the fundamental things [in the round-robin game]. They made good on their chances. They controlled the ball and controlled the entire game, pretty much."

Peter Inge (11-14) and Ryan Stark (9-13) dominated the faceoff and gave the Australians a decided edge in possessions. Australia outshot the Iroquois 39-18 and had two separate scoring runs of 5-0.

"We came over here to play in the gold-medal round," said Australian coach Peter Brown. "We prepared so well from a physical perspective that we had a shot at it. In hindsight, we hadn't played enough together. The first time our 23 played together was the first game against the U.S.

"We have some great kids at home. It's a matter of rebuilding and identifying what our weaknesses are," Brown said in regards to prepping for the 2010 ILF championships in England.

Quarter scores: 6-2, 11-3, 15-5, 21-8

England 12 - Japan 7

England Sink Japan, avenging defeat from four years ago.

Dave Elwood's side finished up its 2006 World Championships schedule with a decisive victory over Blue Division rivals Japan, on the North London Fields this morning.

The team got up at 6am the last two days to prepare for the early face-off slot of 9am, and the tactic seemed to pay dividends with Pete LeSueur, Matt Beadle and Phil Brauch all contributing to a 3-2 1st quarter lead. LeSueur's finish was the pick of the early goals - dodging lefty from X, getting five yards above GLE before spinning back and shooting the ball righty, using himself as a screen. Japan would need England's assistance to create their own offence, and it looked like Tom Wenham's defence was going to oblige in the early running, picking up a string of penalties to keep the opposition in the game with two extra-man goals.

Once England settled down in the second quarter the penalties that Japan needed so badly started to dry up, and after Nsayuki Kadota squeezed off a nice high to high lefty overhand shot on the run to claw Japan back to 4 - 3, England would embark on a three goal run that effectively finished the contest. Paul Flowers stuffed a high bounce shot under the bar from 12 yards after a nice front-side skip from LeSueur. Seven minutes later LeSueur encored his earlier question mark dodge with unerring accuracy - apparently the repetition did Japan's keeper Takohiko Shinohara little good, the ball creeping in off the near post. Mark Reynolds then isolated his defender on the low right post, eventually ducking underneath him and finishing over Shinohara's off-stick shoulder.

Japan couldn't create in settled six-on-six as the England longsticks went about their business with aggressive efficiency, and any hope of a transition game was being snuffed out by Nathan Singleton and Sam Patterson, the former pursuing the ball all over the park, leaving a trail of (legally) abused Japanese players in his wake.

The teams exchanged goals for the next twenty minutes, Japan picking up goals off two precious face-off victories and then adding a reminder of how good they can be when allowed time and space, with an attackman isolating behind and feeding a middie sliding down the backside of the crease. Dispersed between these Japanese strikes were two goals from Phil Brauch, who really established his right to left split dodge today and seemed to enjoy the extra lift that the hard ground gave his bounce shot, and another classic Dave Bryant speed sweep, which Shinohara dipped on as it screamed past the top of his stick and into the top corner. AJ Beard would pad the England lead to 11 - 6 minutes later, running a 'J' cut and timing up a backdoor sneak with skipper Tom Caplin.

Japan would get on the scoreboard once more, a late penalty on Andy Linton allowing them to find some space inside, but England would have the last say, Singleton stripping a Japanese clearing midfielder and feeding Caplin, who had time and room to pick a spot from 10 yards. Fittingly, the last serious action of the day involved England keeper Ben McAllister, who tipped over a last-second shot to round off a strong tournament.

The squad ran to their travelling support at the final whistle - as their coaches embraced on the sideline. It has been a long time since the squad and staff began the journey to Ontario, and the group looked visibly relieved to have made it through, 5th spot comfortably stowed in the locker for the next four years.

Quarter scores: 3-2, 5-3, 8-5, 12-7

July 14th // July 15th // July 16th // July 17th // July 18th // July 19th // July 20th // July 22nd // England v Japan // England v Germany // England v Japan 2 // Canada v USA