Team USA Downs Australia, Advances to Championship


John Haus was one of nine different goal scorers as the U.S. pulled away in the second half for a 14-5 win over Australia to advance to the gold medal game at the FIL World Championship.


NETANYA, Israel — The United States is headed to the championship game of the Federation of International Lacrosse Men's World Championship after beating Australia 14-5 in the semifinals on Thursday night at the Wingate Institute.

The U.S. will meet Canada in the championship game on Saturday at 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. Eastern), and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Canada defeated the Iroquois Nationals 15-4 in the other semifinal, getting 13 saves from red-hot goalie Dillon Ward. The U.S. beat Canada 11-10 in a thriller during pool play on Sunday.

Thursday night's win over Australia was a much tougher grind than a 19-1 pool play win over the Aussies last Saturday. In that game, the U.S. scored 17 seconds into the game and poured in five goals in just over the first 10 minutes of play.

Tonight, the U.S. also scored early as longstick midfielder Michael Ehrhardt scored the first of his two goals just 18 seconds into the game, but Australia made the U.S. work for everything.

The game was tied 2-2 after one quarter of play and after the U.S. scored three straight goals, Australia answered with back-to-back tallies, pulling to within 5-4 on Christopher Robertson's goal with 7:37 left in the first half.

Jordan Wolf and John Haus scored late in the first half to give the U.S. a 7-4 lead at the break, and the U.S. finally pulled away by holding Australia to just one second half goal.

"It was a little bit off tonight I thought, but some of that has to do with your opponent," said U.S. team head coach John Danowski. "You tip your cap to opponent, but as they say, it's win and advance."

Marcus Holman had a team-high four points, all in the second half, on three goals and an assist to pace the U.S. offense. Ehrhardt, Ryan Brown and Rob Pannell each had two goals and Jordan Wolf had a goal and two assists as the U.S. once again featured a balanced attack. Seven different players scored the U.S. team's seven first half goals and twelve players had at least one point in the game.

The U.S. was dominant on faceoffs for the second straight game with Greg Gurenlian (8-of-10) and Trevor Baptiste (9-of-12) combining to win 77 percent of the draws.

U.S. goalie John Galloway improved to 6-0 in the tournament, making five saves.

Australia was led by Robertson with a goal and an assist and goalie Ryan Spark made 12 saves, including five in the first quarter to help keep the game tied.

Saturday's championship is the sixth straight time that the U.S. and Canada have met for the world championship with the U.S. winning in 1998, 2002 and 2010 and Canada winning in 2006 and 2014.

Gurenlian is one of eight U.S. players looking to bring home gold after earning silver medals in 2014 in Denver.

"I'm pumped," Gurenlian said. "I've sacrificed a lot to get here, just like all the other guys on this team have. My family has sacrificed a lot and this is exactly what I put the last four years into. Saturday is put up or shut up."

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