By Sean Burns | @burnsiah | FIL Scores/Schedules
In a physical battle that saw 16 penalties and no shortage of chippy moments, the United States improved to 2-0 in FIL World Championship Blue Division play, putting down Australia by a 16-7 score after a pair of rain delays.
The scoring for Team USA came largely from some young guns, as David Lawson (4G, 1A), Marcus Holman (3, 1) and Rob Pannell (2, 2) filled the score sheet, as did veteran Paul Rabil (4G). Drew Adams made six saves to earn the win in his first action of the tournament, after Jesse Schwartzman earned the win Thursday against Canada.
The face-off duo of Greg Gurenlian (10-for-13) and Chris Eck (7-for-10) also came up big for the U.S. in the win. The Sharks tried five different players at the X against the U.S. duo, but only Sam Bullock (2-for-3) was better than .500 on the night.
Australia kept the game close early, matching the first two U.S. goals. But a 3-0 run to close the first quarter gave the gold medalists a cushion that wouldn't dip below three goals for the rest of the contest. Matt Diver had a hat-trick and Alex Brown scored two more for the Sharks, who dropped to 1-1 in pool play. Warren Brown went the distance and made nine saves in net.
From the start, the flags were flying as the squads went toe-to-toe nearly two hours after the scheduled start time due to thunderstorms in the area. After the dust settled, the United States totaled nine infractions for nine minutes, against seven and 5:30 for Australia. Defenders Michael Evans, Mitch Belisle and Kyle Hartzell each had two minutes of down time.
The United States was able to withstand the situation, however, allowing just two extra-man goals in the seven opportunities, both of which came in the third quarter.
Tied atop the Blue Division with the Iroquois Nationals at 2-0, Team USA continues group play on Sunday against Japan at 7 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. MT). Australia looks to get back on track with a date Sunday against England at 10:30 p.m.
Follow Team USA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @USLacrosse and using #USAMLAX. Follow the World Championships using #WorldLax. Get the team’s full game schedule here, and the full World Championship broadcast and streaming schedule here.
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