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July 23, 2015 — An auspicious start for the U-19s

This evening in Scotland, the United States U-19 women’s lacrosse team faced an early challenge from its continental rival Canada to open pool play in the FIL U-19 Women’s World Championship.

The American side, featuring all high-school players, was facing a Canadian side which boasts at least nine players with one year of NCAA experience each. This includes Selena Lasota, the brilliant Northwestern second home who is a rising sophomore.

But as things turned out, the opening game featured two phases: one in which Lasota played, and the other in which she didn’t.

The U.S. side, tied 7-7 at the interval, took full advantage of Lasota’s second yellow card in the opening 30 seconds of the second half to run out 15-9 winners. Lasota, who played center for Canada, was a key to the Leafs’ success in the first term with three assists and three draws controlled.

But the Americans got three goals and three assists from Miranda Ibello, the attacking midfielder from Lutherville Maryvale (Md.). Ibello also got four draw controls, while teammate Francesca Whitehurst from Baltimore Roland Park (Md.) had five draw controls as well as a pair of goals.

This evening was the first of four straight days’ worth of pool matches to open the competition, and the result is sure to be not only a psychological advantage for the young Americans, but also a motivation for Canada, who was able to hang with a half with their neighbors to the south.

If these two meet again in the Championship Bracket, I think the score will be a fair sight closer.

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