Every Day is Game Day for Team USA


The U.S. team downed Scotland 18-2 on Monday night, its third win in as many days. They'll play a fourth straight game on Tuesday, meeting England at 6 p.m. local (live on ESPNU at 11 a.m. Eastern)

NETANYA, Israel — During Team USA's pregame meeting before its showdown with Australia last Saturday — the first of four games in four straight days — longstick midfielder Joel White set the tone for the mindset of how the team is approaching the grueling Federation of International Lacrosse Men's World Championship schedule.

"He said how lucky we are," said attackman Marcus Holman. "We get to wake up this morning, it's game day. We get to wake up tomorrow, it's game day. The day after that, it's game day, for four straight days. You don't get opportunities like that unless you're playing on the club circuit and you have a tournament on the weekend. We're kind of bringing back some of our boyish enthusiasm for the game."

U.S. team head coach John Danowski tapped into that feeling before Monday night's game against Scotland. Playing in its smallest venue yet at the tournament, and with a late 9:45 p.m. local start time, Danowski challenged his team to go out and play with the excitement they had the first time they ever got to play a night game as a young player.

They responded with a thorough 18-2 victory over Scotland behind six goals and an assist from Ryan Brown and three goals and three assists from Tom Schreiber. The U.S. had assists on 14 of its 18 goals in the game.

Tuesday they'll do it again, playing England at 6 p.m. local time in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU at 11 a.m. (Eastern) to complete its four games in four days stretch.

"It's pretty cool win, lose or draw you can wake up and it's a new day and it's a new game," said White. "It doesn't matter who the opponent is. We're really worrying about ourselves and just trying to get better each day. We have one more game to play to see who we play on Thursday and go from there."

The U.S. clinched the No. 1 seed in the Blue Division with Monday's win and earned a bye into Thursday's semifinals.

But first, Tuesday will start with the same routine it always does as they prepare for England. And it will include some lighthearted pregame dancing by Marcus Holman. Holman loves music and dancing and Kyle Hartzell has filmed him the last couple of games showing his moves in the team's hotel hallway. That's not going to change now.

"I guess I've got to keep the mojo going," Holman said.

That's the fun part, but Tuesday will mark a fifth tough game in just six days for the U.S. players.

"That's what you train for," Holman said. "We've been working out and training since we made the team in January. Jay Dyer's done a great job with our strength and conditioning programs and we have a great staff that helps us prepare and recover, so I think we're covered in those bases. When you strap on the helmet and gloves and grab your stick you've just got to be ready to rock and fly around."

After all, as White says, it's game day.

"When you can wake up and say it's game day, it's not that tough to get jacked up."



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