Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/19/12
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
There may not be any players on the USA U19 national team from Pennsylvania, but the two with Philly region ties made a huge impact today in a big win.
Steve Pontrello (St. Augustine Prep) had five goals and Tyler Barbarich (Bridgewater-Raritan, Twist Lacrosse, Univ. of Delaware) won 9 of 12 face-offs as the U.S. avenged a pool play loss to the Iroquois Nationals by winning the rematch, 12-7, in the semifinal round of the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships.
Midfielder Pontrello (North Carolina rising freshman) scored three straight goals to open the second half as the U.S. built a 9-5 lead just 5:46 into the third quarter after Connor Buczek tacked on another goal.
The U.S. won 16 of 22 faceoffs. Charlie Raffa also was 7-for-10 as he and Barbarich were helped often by wing play and ground ball efforts in front of an estimated crowd of about 1,200.
The U.S. (4-2) advances to play unbeaten Canada (5-0), a 15-4 winner over England in Thursday’s first semifinal, for the world title at 4 p.m. (9 a.m. EST) Saturday in Finland. Team USA has won all six gold medals contested since sanctioned U19 international play began in 1988. Canada beat the U.S., 15-13, in overtime last Saturday in pool play.
After allowing 15 goals to the Iroquois in the pool play loss on Tuesday, the U.S. allowed just two second-half goals and none in the fourth quarter, ending the game on an 8-3 run starting with 9:45 left in the first half on Ryan Tucker’s second man-up goal. Tucker had two goals and an assist.
Matt Kavanagh had two goals and two assist for the US.
The Iroquois (3-2) led 3-0 with 8:20 left in the first quarter, but the U.S. scored three times in the final six minutes of the opening quarter to tie it. It was 5-5 at halftime.
Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships
USA 3 2 5 2 – 12
IRQ 3 2 2 0 – 7
Goals: USA – Pontrello 5, Kavanagh 2, Tucker 2, Buczek 1, Keenan 1, Leonard 1; IRQ – Staats 3, B. Bomberry 1, Miller 1, Oakes 1, Thompson 1
Assists: USA – Kavanagh 2, Buczek 1, Leonard 1, Mahon 1, Tucker 1; IRQ – J. Powless 1, Staats 1, Tarbell 1, Thompson 1
Saves: USA – Oliveri 4, Turri 4; IRQ – Hill 15
Faceoffs: USA – 16 of 22, Barbarich 9 of 12, Raffa 7 of 10; IRQ – 6 of 22, Q. Powless 4 of 12, Miller 1 of 5, Harris 1 of 3, Thompson 0 of 2