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FIL U-19 championships: USA to face England in semifinals Friday

Thursday, 11th August 2011

Categories Girl's/Women's  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/11/11
From US Lacrosse

Following a rest day Thursday, Team USA will take on Team England at 12:30 p.m. Friday local time (6:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) in the semifinals of the Federation of International Lacrosse U-19 world championships at Hannover, Germany.

The winner of the U.S.-England game will face the winner of the Australia-Canada semifinal in the gold medal match. Australian and Canada will play at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

When the two teams met earlier in the round-robin phase of the tournament, the Americans gained a 16-5 victory keyed by a five-goal performance from attacker Cortney Fortunato.

With a stifling defensive effort, the U.S. beat Scotland, 13-1, in the quarterfinals Wednesday to remain perfect at 6-0.

“We wanted our defense to be very patient with their checking and to force the attacker to make the mistake. We did a great job of that,” said U.S. head coach Krystin Porcella. “They used their feet to play good defense and always had each other’s backs on their slides.”

Defender Caileigh Sindall won Player of the Match honors with four ground balls. Sindall and the rest of the American defense held Team Scotland to its lowest goal total of the tournament. Scotland came in averaging 16 goals per game, but was held scoreless until Natasha Rodgers scored with less than two minutes remaining.

Kelsey Duryea started in the cage for the U.S. and recorded two saves in the first half; Allie Murray (Downingtown East) relieved her at the half and added three saves.

It was the best day for the American defense thus far in the tournament. Overall, the U.S. defense has held opponents to an average 4.5 goals per game. No team has reached double digits against Team USA.

Midfielder Tatum Coffey and attacker Brigid Smith led the American attack with two goals apiece. Eleven different players scored for Team USA, which dominated possession and held the ball for much of the second half, thanks to crisp passing and the smothering American defense.

Midfielder and captain Taylor Trimble (Episcopal Academy) continues to be a force at the draw and on defense for the US.

“What we’re really looking for on defense is to force the attacker into a situation where she’s not comfortable, so they turn, or force a double,” Porcella said. “The girls have really bought into that system of defense, and they’re getting better and better with every game.”

The English team had a rocky start to the tournament, going 1-4 in the round robin, but rebounded with a 20-12 win over Japan in the quarterfinals. The victory avenged a 13-10 loss to the Japanese in the first round and earned Team England a berth in the semifinals.


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