Steady Vets Lead Team USA to FIL Final
OSHAWA, Ontario -- You can build a team with all the talent in the world. But one thing that you can't replicate, no matter how hard you try, is the calm that comes with the experience of having been there.
In advancing to Saturday's gold medal game at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup, the U.S. women were able to rely on just that experience.
Lindsey Munday had another big game for the U.S. with
four goals and two assists in a 20-7 World Cup semifinal win Friday
Team captain Lindsey Munday and defender Gina Oliver helped anchor a 21-8 victory over England, which made things a lot closer than the final score indicated.
Oliver was named the Player of the Match after scooping four ground balls and causing three turnovers for the Americans, who scored 14 of the game's final 17 goals, including a 9-1 run to close after England pulled within 12-7 with back-to-back goals early in the second half.
"I don't think concerned would be the right word," Team USA coach Ricky Fried said. "We have to give [England] credit for what they were doing. They like to play fast and north-south, and they were doing that extremely well.
"But we have the advantage in depth and athleticism, so we know that teams who play that way can get goals, but they usually can't sustain it for 60 minutes."
Early in the game, England had done a good job of breaking Team USA's full-field ride, making over-the-top passes that led to some 1-on-1 breakaways that exposed goalie Devon Wills. At one point, England had it as close as 7-5.
"I think we were being a little reactive instead of seeing what they were doing," Oliver said. "We just had to understand where they were trying to put the ball and stop that. Our ride is something we hang our hat on, so sometimes we're over-aggressive for a reason."
As the defense put the clamps down on England, the Team USA offense went to work, littering the scoreboard again with goals and assists out of 10 different players. Munday had four goals and two assists, while Danielle Etrasco scored four times to go with an assist. Katrina Dowd had three goals, leaving her one shy of tying the Team USA record of 24 in a tournament, set by Quinn Carney in 2005.
Dowd also had an assist in the contest, with Katie Rowan (2g, 2a), Kristen Igoe (1g, 2a), Sarah Bullard (2g), Kelly Berger (2g) and Sarah Albrecht (1g, 1a) all contributing. Kristen Carr had three draw controls for the U.S. Bullard, Igoe and Caitlyn McFadden won two each.
"Our goal for this tournament has been to continually raise the bar for ourselves," Munday said. "We're not looking at the score to determine if we're successful. We're looking at how we played and if it's how we want to leave the field."
England will face Australia in the bronze medal game Saturday afternoon. Laura Merrifield, Sarah Taylor and Emily Gray scored two goals apiece in the semifinal loss. Sophie Brett had a goal and an assist, while Gray contributed four draw controls.