The playoff picture is beginning to take shape as the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship heads into its fifth day on Sunday, June 24 with 12 games across four-time windows.
Many teams need to keep their momentum going, but there are a few blockbusters on the schedule, including Puerto Rico vs. Israel at 4 p.m. PT and the Haudenosaunee vs. Canada at 7 p.m.
All 12 games will be on ESPN+ in the United States.
10 a.m. PT
Austria vs. Hong Kong, China – SDSU Rady Field
Uganda vs. Wales – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
Switzerland vs. Germany – SDSU Morgan Stanley Field
Hong Kong, China earned an impressive win on Saturday by taking down previously undefeated Scotland and showing the power of its team’s togetherness. To keep its playoff hopes alive in Pool E it needs to keep its momentum going against Austria, which is still looking for its first win.
Wales is 1-1 in Pool B after falling to Japan yesterday. It needs to hold serve against Uganda to set up a Monday matchup against France that could decide second place. Uganda played well against France on Saturday, tying the game in the second half.
Germany held off New Zealand in a must-win game yesterday and needs to do the same again against Switzerland today in its pursuit of the second spot in Pool D. Switzerland has had a day off after losses to New Zealand and Jamaica, and will look to use the rest advantage to give Germany a tough battle.
1 p.m. PT
Philippines vs. Czech Republic – SDSU Rady Field
Italy vs. Scotland – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
Puerto Rico vs. Israel – SDSU Sports Deck
The Philippines is looking for its first win in San Diego after two narrow losses to Israel and Puerto Rico in Pool C. The Czech Republic recorded its first win against Sweden on Saturday after jumping out to a 10-0 first half lead.
Italy can put a stronghold on the top spot in Pool E with a victory against Scotland to move to 3-0 after already banking impressive wins wins against Mexico and Hong Kong, China. It won’t be easy against a Scotland team that has two quality wins against Mexico and Austria. If Scotland can stun a star-studded Italy team, it can feel a lot better about its playoff hopes after falling to Hong Kong, China on Sunday. Otherwise, it will have to watch two Pool E games from the sidelines on Monday hoping for results to go its way.
Puerto Rico and Israel are both undefeated in Pool C, and the winner of today’s matchup likely seals its spot in the playoffs as the pool winner, although Israel would have to hold off the Czech Republic on Monday. Both teams have found a winning formula, setting up one of the most exciting matches of the entire pool play slate.
Puerto Rico has the second-best offense in terms of goals per game while Israel has the second best defense. The other side of the matchup also features two top ten units among the teams in the field. The two teams are also both winning face-offs at around a 50% rate in a matchup that could come down to the margins.
4 p.m. PT
England vs. United States – USD Torero Stadium
Denmark vs. Japan – SDSU Rady Field
Poland vs. New Zealand – SDSU Sports Deck
The United States can wrap up Pool A with a win on Sunday against England to improve to 4-0. The team withstood a fierce challenge from the Haudenosaunee on Saturday, needing a late second-half run to pull away for its third win. England has played Australia and the Haudenosaunee so far in Pool A.
Japan can also finish Pool B undefeated with four wins if it can keep rolling against Denmark. Japan has been one of the most complete teams on the field so far, with the best scoring offense and defense, posting a combined scoreline of 47-3. Denmark is still searching for its first win after falling to France yesterday.
Poland is hungry for its first win in Pool D after strong efforts in two losses to Jamaica and Germany. New Zealand pulled away from Switzerland in its first game but could not find a way to slow down Germany yesterday. It shapes up to be an exciting Pool D game between two physical teams.
7 p.m. PT
Canada vs. Haudenosaunee – USD Torero Stadium
Peru vs. Ireland – SDSU Rady Field
Korea vs. Latvia – Wolf/Epoch Field
The Haudenosaunee turned heads across the lacrosse community against the United States despite an eventual 9-7 loss by going toe-to-toe with a team that has never lost a pool game in the Men’s Championship. The Haudenosaunee have another chance to topple the established order in what should be another thrilling game against Canada. The Canadians had two days off after their first game against the USA and came back with a vengeance on Saturday to run past Australia for a 10-3 win.
Ireland has a front-loaded schedule with four games in four days, but it can sweep Pool F competition with a win against Peru to finish at 4-0. It won’t be easy on tired legs as Ireland took double overtime to hold off Latvia yesterday, and Latvia and Peru battled to the final whistle in the team’s opener on Thursday. Peru has lost two games by a combined two goals and has a day of rest to give an undefeated Ireland team all it can handle.
Latvia is looking to rebound in Pool F after the heartbreaking loss to Ireland after an extremely physical effort. It will look to improve to 2-1 against a Korea team that has two games under its belt against Korea and the Netherlands. If Latvia can win, it sets up an exciting Pool F finish on Monday against a 2-1 Netherlands team.