U.S. Advances to Championship After Getting Tested by Australia


Belle Smith and Izzy Scane celebrate a U.S. goal. The duo combined for 10 goals to help the U.S. beat Australia and advance to Saturday's world championship game.

QUICK RECAP: U.S. 21, Australia 6

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — After posting back-to-back shutouts in its first two playoff games, things didn’t go quite as smoothly for the United States in the semifinals of the World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship. Still, the U.S. pulled away in the second half for a 21-6 victory over Australia.

Maddie Jenner won the first three draws of the game, leading to three U.S. goals to open the game. But then Australia’s Madison Copeland scored on a free position goal, an unusual feeling for the U.S. defense. It was the first goal the U.S. defense had given up in over 133 minutes.

The U.S. was sloppy on offense for a stretch, but a big save by goalie Rachel Hall prevented the Aussies from pulling to within a goal.

Izzy Scane had a first quarter hat trick for the U.S. and she and Caitlyn Wurzburger answered Australia’s goal, but Australia’s Indyah Williams scored with just 11 seconds remaining in the opening quarter to give the Aussies momentum.

The second quarter was played in a driving rainstorm and neither team seized control of the game. Emma Schettig and Michaela McMahon did string together back-to-back goals after Williams had scored again to make it a 6-3 game.

Australia was down by just four goals until Wurzburger gave the U.S. a 9-4 halftime lead on her goal with 2:29 left.

“I think we knew we were going to tested like that after playing the first game we had with Australia,” said U.S. defender and co-captain Ally Murphy. “We knew the type of offense  they had and I think we did a pretty good job of pressuring them.”

“Australia is a tough team,” said U.S. head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. “They really battled and they challenged us. We needed that. I thought we played better in the second half. Our pace of play was much better. I’m excited with the momentum we gained in the second half.”

Wurzburger scored early in the third quarter to ignite a four-goal U.S. run to grasp control for the red, white and blue. Scane scored twice during that run and finished the game with six goals.

Scane was held to just one goal in the pool play game against Australia, a 12-4 U.S. win.

“I was trying to come into this mentally just knowing what we’ve been doing all week and try to focus on that instead of the first time we played them,” said Scane.

Scane’s contributions, along with four goals each from Wurzburger and Belle Smith, helped the offense top 20 goals for the third straight game.

The U.S. also dominated on the draw, winning 23 of 30 in the game with Maddie Jenner taking most of them. Jenner won 14 herself and Bri Gross picked up seven off the circle.

Hall and Madison Doucette combined for eight saves in net for the U.S. giving the U.S. a strong outing in two of the most important phases of the game once again.

“We did a pretty good job on the draw control and I thought our goalie play was excellent,” said Amonte Hiller. “My favorite thing is that we got better as the game went along.”

The U.S. will face an even sterner test on Saturday in the championship game.

Host Canada rallied with five straight goals in the fourth quarter to beat England 10-7 in Thursday’s other semifinal. That sets up a championship game final between Canada and the U.S. for the second straight time. Canada upset the U.S. 9-8 in the 2015 world championship to end a string of four straight championships for the U.S.

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