Team USA Tops England 21-8; Advances to Gold Showdown
OSHAWA, Ontario -- The U.S. Women's National Team advanced to its ninth Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup final with a 21-8 semifinal victory over England on Friday. The U.S. will seek a record seventh gold medal in Saturday's 3 p.m. ET final against Canada.
Team USA took a 3-0 lead just 3:09 into the game on goals from Katie Rowan (Syracuse University), Kelly Berger (James Madison University) and Sarah Bullard (Duke University), setting the tone for an up-and-down contest. England stayed within reach of the unbeaten American squad for much of the first half, finding most of its success on the fast break. Emily Gray cut the U.S. lead to two at 7-5 with 8:00 left in the half on a one-on-one transition opportunity.
The U.S. took control from there, reeling off five straight goals, three of which came on free-position shots, and taking an 11-5 lead into halftime. England would come no closer than five goals in the second half as Danielle Etrasco (Boston University) paced the U.S. attack with three goals and an assist in the final frame. Team USA scored nine of the game's final 10 goals to pull away for the 13-goal win.
Team USA continued its dominance in several statistical categories, outshooting the English 33-11 and picking up 13 ground balls to England's six. Lindsey Munday (Northwestern University) led all scorers with four goals and two assists, while Etrasco finished with four goals and one assist. Defender Gina Oliver (Ohio State University) earned player of the match honors with four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Rowan contributed two goals and two assists in the win. Her second helper propelled her atop the U.S. Women's National Team career assists list with 33, passing Kelly Amonte Hiller and Danielle Gallagher (32). Katrina Dowd (Northwestern University) added three goals and an assist, continuing her pursuit of Quinn Carney's U.S. team single tournament goal record. Dowd has registered 23 goals in six games, just one shy of Carney's 24-goal effort (over eight games) at the 2005 World Cup.
Team USA (6-0) will face host Canada (5-1), which earned its first gold medal game berth with an 11-7 win over Australia in the second semifinal match. The U.S. defeated Canada 13-2 in a pool play game on Tuesday, limiting the Canadians to just six shots and forcing 14 of Canada's 26 turnovers in a dominant defensive effort. Team USA owns a 9-0 all-time record against Canada in World Cup play, with a combined score of 122-26.