Canada has been the most dominant team during the first four days of the World Games men’s lacrosse competition at PNC Field on the UAB campus. The Canadian team outscored four opponents, 95-37, and doesn’t have a winning margin under double digits.
The United States has been equally dominant in the win column but, for the most part, hasn’t displayed the same offensive flash as the Canadians. It’s been more of a workmanlike effort for the Americans.
On Tuesday, it’s time to see which style will capture the first six-person international competition as the top-ranked lacrosse teams in the world meet in the World Games championship. The game is slated to begin at 8:30 p.m. at PNC Field.
“Defense is probably the most important,” said Justin Guterding of the U.S. team. “Our saying is one stop equals two goals. You get a goal on one end, get a stop, get another, and that’s a two-goal swing right there.”
On Monday, in a 17-12 victory over Japan, the United States started slowly on the defensive end. Japan scored on 7 of 11 shots in the opening period. However, the U.S. was sharper, converting on 8 of 9 shots, including three by Guterding.
The rest of the way, however, the U.S. kept Japan from getting on a run.
“Obviously, Jack (Kelly, US goalie) is playing great,” Guterding said. “He keeps us in a lot of games and he’s able to separate us from some teams. Canada is going to be tough [for us] on the defensive end. That’s where the focus will be, for sure.”
Canada definitely creates problems on offense. The Canadians scored nine times in the second quarter of a 22-11 victory over Great Britain in the semifinals. Dhane Smith had six goals, which was just one less than he had in the first three games combined.
Guterding said the Americans look forward to seeing how they match up against Canada.
“This was the goal the whole time and let the game play on Tuesday night,” Guterding said.
Japan and Great Britain will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the bronze medal game. On Monday, Haudenosaunee Confederacy beat Australia, 19-12 in the fifth-place game and Germany won seventh place with a 16-11 win over Israel.
The women’s lacrosse competition opens on Tuesday with four games, including the U.S. playing a 3:30 p.m. game against Australia.
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