Lacrosse World Championships 2010

World Championships report, 24th July

5th place playoff: England 14, Germany 9

England controlled much of the first half, and were deservedly up 8-2 at half-time. The German defence gave the English attackers far too much room and they took advantage of it with sharp shooting.

In the third quarter the Germans pressured back, getting two good goals back to go 8-4. But two identical back-to-back fast breaks from England helped them pull ahead to 12-7 and a more comfortable five-goal lead.

An impressive German fightback got them as close as 13-9, with the relaxed English defence seeming to go to sleep. And English penalties put them two men down in the closing minutes. Amazingly even with two men down, the long English clear managed to find its way to an open attacker in front of the open net: 14-9. With yet another penalty in the closing seconds, the German attack weren't able to find their way through England's three-man zone, and the final score stayed at 14-9.

The scoreline reflects the German team's improvement since the opening game of this tournament - and the German fans certainly enjoyed their showing in this game. They may only have one win to take home, but they showed themselves to be respectable opposition in this blue division. It will be interesting to see where they will be placed in the structure of the next 2014 world championships.

Australia 16, Japan 9

After struggling in their early games against England and Japan, Australia this time took control of this game and moved swiftly ahead to 9-2 in the first half. Their goalkeeper Sam Williams had a great half and stopped many of the kind of Japanese shots which went in in their last game. The Japanese team were quick and played hard but they couldn't get enough possession to stay level.

In the third quarter, Australia ran patient attacks and held the ball, taking time to place their shots and cranking them into the corners to go up 12-2. Japan had several shots but couldn't get past Sam Williams, until superb teamwork on the fast-break down the right wing brought them back to 12-3.

By the end of the third quarter the score was 14-4 but Japan were beginning to get more possession and their shots were getting more results, much to the delight of their fans. A fourth quarter fightback, aided by several Australian penalties, brought the Japanese back to 16-9 at the final whistle. A good showing from the Japanese team but Australia dominated the match when it counted.

World Cup Final: USA v Canada

From the start of the game, the USA dominated and got the first three goals without answer - until a couple of not-too-pretty Canada goals got the scores back to 4-4. Strength and power were the overriding qualities throughout the first quarter, rather than speed and grace.

Paul Rabil and Michael Leveille were influential in the second quarter, rifling shots in to go 3 goals ahead again, with Mundorf bagging another just before half-time to make it 8-4. Rabil did score another goal but was disallowed for warding with his free hand during his swim dodge. Geoff Snider had all sorts of problems with the faceoffs and gave the USA plenty of possession.

Canada continued to struggle to get the ball in the third quarter, but finally came man-up due to a cross check and a cheeky behind-the-back from John Grant Jr shot brought them back to 8-5. Very few penalties seemed to be called though, with many apparent cross checks, pushes, late hits and moving picks going unpunished. Canada used their momentum to claw back to 8-7, and in the closing seconds of the quarter back to 8-8.

Going into the fourth quarter, Canada broke down the USA attack and went up to score, taking the lead for the first time. They nearly got another on man-up in front of goal, saved only by the keeper's quick foot, but then Mundorf got the equalizer against slow defensive slides. Another such exchange and it was 10-10 with 8 minutes left.

The USA got one more to go up 11-10 with just a few minutes left, and held up possession to try to wind down the clock. As Canada became desperate to retrieve possession and pull back, they conceded a succession of penalties for holds, going man down and even pulling their keeper out in efforts to strengthen the defence and cause a turnover. There was even a stick check by the referees, showing plainly to the cameras that Rabil's stick pocket was too deep, before they politely gave his stick back and called simultaneous fouls on both sides which remained unexplained. But the USA got another goal, and held on to possession in the closing seconds, to win the final 12-10.

Teams // July 15th // July 16th // July 17th // July 18th // July 19th // July 20th // July 21st // July 22nd // July 23rd // July 24th