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Aug. 10, 2019 — U19 World Cup: USA 13, Canada 3

The U.S. Under-19 women’s lacrosse team has been so good, so devastating through pool play and knockout play that it was hard imagining anything — or anyone — stopping it. It was as unstoppable as an express train at full momentum, scoring 20 goals in three straight matches, winning all but one 15-minute quarter, and never falling behind in any match.

Turns out, early in the championship final of the U19 World Cup, that the only thing that could stop the States was the weather. After the Americans took a 3-0 lead at quarter-time, heavy wind and rain came over the pitch in Peterborough, Ontario, whereupon the Americans yielded two quick goals to Kylea Dobson and Annabel Child. The pro-Canada crowd went berserk; could the defending champions reverse a 13-5 result from a scant six days earlier?

In stepped the Americans’ talisman this tournament, Izzy Scane. The Northwestern freshman pumped in two goals 2:01 apart to fuel the U.S. Express, which kept on rolling to the tune of nine straight goals over the next three periods, winning the game and the gold medal 13-3. Not even a second yellow to Kasey Choma could dampen the States’ attack, as the incisive American attack kept on solving the Canadian defense.

Leah Holmes stamped her authority on this match with four goals to lead the Stars and Stripes. But tellingly for the American side, all six assists were recorded in the 30th minute or later; Canada was paying for its inability to defend against cross-fan skip pass in the second term, where the Leafs had been bailed out by its fine goaltender Cassidy Eckert.

Canada also tried a number of tactics to thwart Maddie Jenner in the draw circle, putting one and sometimes two players on her on the catch, and redefending like wolves trying to keep the ball from entering the attack zone. That tactic worked for a while thanks to Canada center Jordyn Sabourin, the product of Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.). Yep, the one player who knew best about Jenner through their time in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.

But through the second and third quarter, the U.S. Express left the station and wouldn’t be stopped. Caitlin Wurzburger had a goal and two assists during the American barrage. Wurzburger, a rising senior in high school, led the U.S. in scoring in this tournament with 21 goals and 19 assists. Strikingly, she had her 21 goals on just 25 shot attempts, shooting 84 percent from the field: an unheard-of percentage at this level.

 

 

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