Greg Horn in Entertainment. Discussion »
TURKU, FINLAND In what could easily be described as the most anticipated rematch in international lacrosse, the Iroquois Nationals took on the United States in the semifinals of the U19 World Lacrosse Championships in Turku, Finland today. At stake a chance to play Canada for the Gold Medal or to play England for Bronze.
Next They Take on England for the Bronze Medal.
Lyle Thompson opened the scoring for the Iroquois Nationals at 2:29 of the first quarter. At 3:32 Brendan Bomberry (Ky Tarbell) made it 2-0 for the Iroquois Nationals. Randy Staats (Thompson) gave the Iroquois Nationals a 3-0 lead at 11:40 of the first. At 12:11 the Team USA took a timeout to regain their composure. At 13:21 Joseph Leonard (Matthew Kavanagh) scored for the U.S. to make it 3-1.
Kavanaugh then made it 3-2 at 15:27 of the quarter. At 16:24 Kyle Isaacs and Leonard both took matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Isaacs was also called for an additional 30 seconds for holding. At 16:49 Ryan Tucker evened it up at 3-3 on the powerplay.
At 1:13 of the second quarter Steven Pontrello gave the American their first lead of the game. At 7:04 Randy Staats tied the game back up at 4-4. At 9:53 Seth Oakes was assessed an illegal body-check penalty and the US capitalized with a goal by Tucker at 10:06. Oakes would make it up by tying it up at 5-5 at 12:33.
The Americans came out strong in the second half scoring three quick goals on the Iroquois squad. All three goals came off the stick of Pontrello, giving the Americans a 8-5 lead. Connor Buczek (Kavanagh) made it 9-5 at 5:46. Zach Miller would stop the bleeding and make it 9-6 at 11:52. Kyle Keenan would score the Americans' tenth goal on the powerplay at 13:30. Staats (Powless) scored what would be the Iroquois Nationals last goal of the game at 17:52 on the powerplay after Tucker took a pushing penalty.
At 1:35 of the fourth quarter Kavanagh (Leonard) gave the US an 11-7 lead and then Pontrello would score his fifth of the game to make it 12-7. The rest of the game the Americans were able to capitalize on their possessions to keep the ball out of the Iroquois Nationals sticks for long periods of time.
“Although we're going to be playing for a bronze medal on Saturday instead of the Gold like we were shooting for, the guys have to be proud of what they accomplished at this tournament,”
Assistant Coach Delby Powless said following the game.
“We played against a very, very good team today and just couldn't get it done. The guys can keep their heads up because they represented the Iroquois Nationals organization really well.”
“As an organization we took a step forward,”
“The US knew they were in a dog fight and had to play well to win today. That has never happened before. We shook'em in that first game and earned a lot of respect from lacrosse people around the world. The guys deserved better than this today. Now we just have to regroup and be ready for the bronze medal game Saturday.”
The Iroquois Nationals will be taking on England on Saturday at 1 pm local time (6 am edt) for the Bronze medal. The Iroquois Nationals trounced England 24-2 in their opening game of the tournament. The US will face Canada for the Gold medal on Saturday at 4 pm local time (9 am edt).
posted July 19, 2012 5:50 pm edt