LIMERICK, Ireland – Twelve teams took the field on day three of the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s U21 Championship and four teams claimed their second win of the tournament.
China and the Netherlands both closed out thrilling contests to improve to 2-0, while Hong Kong, China and Puerto Rico joined them with convincing displays. Wales, which won by forfeit on day two, also owns a 2-0 record after a win in the team’s first taste of action.
Japan rounded out the sextet of winners by coasting in its first game in Limerick. Ten teams remain undefeated at the championship – the United States is 2-0, and Ireland, the Haudenosaunee and Jamaica all sit at 1-0.
Wales opened the action with a 12-4 victory over Chinese Taipei, and scored nine of the last 10 goals of the game after it was tied following the first 20 minutes. Aaron Eastwood scored five goals on seven shots on goal, and Owain Braddock also contributed five points with four goals and an assist. The Wales defense allowed just nine shots on goal.
Chinese Taipei midfielder Yao Kuang Hsieh won eight of 11 face-offs.
Hong Kong, China continued its impressive week with a 10-4 win against Uganda to improve to 2-0. Glen Toshouldered the offensive burden with four goals and an assist, while Dash Tsai added two goals and an assist. Hing Yui Tsang recorded his second straight game with three or more points with a goal and two assists.
Benjamin Ojok scored the first goal for Uganda in the nation’s tournament debut. Goalkeeper Andrew Asiimwe made nine saves.
China withstood a furious comeback from Poland to win, 9-8, and move to 2-0. China scored four goals in a row to lead 8-4 with just under 20 minutes to play but had to weather a 4-1 run from Poland and see out a one-goal game for the final four minutes. Damon Hsu led the offense with four goals and an assist, and Dylan Hsu scored a hat trick for the second consecutive game. Goalkeeper Haoxuan Cui made a crucial seven saves.
Lucas Hucal nearly completed the Polish comeback with two fourth quarter goals and finished the game with five total.
The Netherlands pulled away from Korea with a late run to win 11-8 for its second nail-biting victory . Korea led 6-3 at halftime, before a five-goal run in the third quarter gave Netherlands an 8-6 lead. Korea answered back to tie the game with under 10 minutes to play, but Christian Della Rocco put his stamp on the match with three consecutive goals to cap off a seven-goal effort, a tournament high. Goalkeeper Joshua Van Zuylen made 10 saves on 18 shots.
Ethan Ashley led the Korea offense with five goals and an assist, including the game-tying goal in the fourth quarter and a personal 4-0 run in the first half.
Japan dispatched Israel, 10-3, to pick up a win in its first match at the event since 2008. Japan relied on a balanced attack with four players registering multiple points, led by Sota Hakozaki and Kai Tanemura with three each. Midfielder Yusuke Takeda excelled on face-offs, winning 12 out of 13 for a tournament high 92%.
Israel goalkeeper Benjamin Friedman made 13 saves on 23 shots.
Puerto Rico closed the day with its second consecutive dominant showing, defeating the Czech Republic, 12-6, spurred by a 9-0 first half run. Christian Laureano contributed four goals and Joshua Balcarcel totaled three goals and an assist. Goalkeeper Jaden Algarin made nine saves on 15 shots and owns the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper with two games played at 76%.
Saturday features a packed slate of nine games, including four matchups between undefeated teams: China vs. Wales, Hong Kong, China vs. Netherlands, Jamaica vs. Ireland and the United States vs. Haudenosaunee. Additionally, Kenya will make its tournament debut in the first game of the day against Poland.
August 12 Results
Chinese Taipei 4, Wales 12
Uganda 4, Hong Kong, China 10
Poland 8, China 9
Korea 8, Netherlands 11
Japan 10, Israel 3
Puerto Rico 12, Czech Republic 6
August 13 Schedule
Times listed in Irish Standard Time. The games at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. will be distributed by ESPN, while the remaining games will be shown on Lax Sports Network.
11 a.m. // Kenya vs. Poland, Field 3
12 p.m. // China vs. Wales Field 2
1 p.m. // Czech Republic vs. Japan, Field 1
2 p.m. // Hong Kong, China vs. Netherlands Field 3
3 p.m. // Jamaica vs. Ireland, Field 2
4 p.m. // Australia vs. England, Field 1
5 p.m. // Sweden vs. Uganda, Field 2
6 p.m. // Germany vs. Latvia, Field 2
7 p.m. // United States, vs. Haudenosaunee, Field 1