Teams are finding their groove as the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship heads into its fourth day on Saturday, June 24 with 12 games across four time windows.
It’s only day four, but some teams with playoff aspirations are already feeling pressure in a series of high-stakes games across the day
All 12 games will be on ESPN+ in the United States.
10 a.m. PT
Germany vs. New Zealand – SDSU Rady Field
Poland vs. Jamaica – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
Latvia vs. Ireland – SDSU Morgan Stanley Field
The first window of the day features one of the biggest clashes of the championship so far in Pool D between Germany and New Zealand. With Jamaica’s 2-0 start, Germany likely needs a win to keep its playoff aspirations alive as a second-place finisher. New Zealand still has a match with Jamaica on Monday, but a win means New Zealand can improve to 2-0 and send Germany to 1-2.
New Zealand has a day of rest after its impressive 12-6 win over Switzerland and Germany needs to find its best form after allowing Poland to turn an 8-1 deficit into a 9-7 deficit in the second half in its second game. The pressure is on Germany’s attackers to improve on their conversion rate – the team has the third most shots per game but the 20th best shooting percentage.
Jamaica has been one of the stories of the tournament with its 2-0 start in Pool D, but has no respite against a Poland team that awoke in the second half to put a legitimate scare into Germany in an 11-8 loss. Jamaica’s defense will need to slow down Christopher Crapanzano who fired in four goals on Friday.
Latvia had an extremely clutch performance on day two, scoring two goals in the final minute to upend Peru in Pool F. If it can stun Ireland, one of the best performing teams of the tournament so far with a +18 goal differential after two wins, Latvia can give itself a massive boost towards a playoff spot. No matter the score, every goal matters as only four second place teams out of five make the playoffs.
1 p.m. PT
Scotland vs. Hong Kong, China – SDSU Rady Field
France vs. Uganda – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
Wales vs. Japan – SDSU Sports Deck
Hong Kong, China had a tough 13-5 loss against Italy in its first game, and likely needs to win out to make the playoffs. The most difficult leg of the task may be the matchup against Scotland, who narrowly escaped Mexico, 9-8, in the final seconds on Thursday before rolling past Austria on Friday. Pool E is a fascinating litmus talent of the talent hierarchy across three continents, and if Hong Kong can control the ball and go on a few runs, it could get the result it needs.
France rebounded well from its Japan loss to defeat Denmark, 13-4 on Friday. Uganda will be hoping for a similar effect after falling to Japan in its first match, and will get a chance to showcase its talent, although it must slow down France’s talented trio of James Barlow, Kevin Bertrand and Justin Rosenberg.
Japan has rolled through its first two games in Pool B against France and Uganda by a combined 33-2 scoreline and can virtually cement a spot in the playoffs with a win against Wales. It took an overtime winner for Wales to shed Denmark in its opener, so the first-place finishers in ELF qualifying will need more to keep pace with a Japan team that can produce fireworks at will.
4 p.m. PT
Australia vs. Canada – USD Torero Stadium
Philippines vs. Puerto Rico – SDSU Rady Field
Austria vs. Mexico – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
Australia battled hard but was ultimately undone 12-3 by the United States in its second game after a solid 8-4 win over England on Thursday. Canada has been brooding for two days after its 7-5 loss to the United States and will be looking to reassert itself against the rest of Pool A competition as quickly as it can.
The Philippines received no favors with the schedule – after dropping an 8-4 contest to Israel it faces essentially a must-win game against Puerto Rico to keep its playoff hopes alive. Puerto Rico has looked ready for a deep run with two comfortable wins against Sweden and the Czech Republic behind a high-octane offense, so the pressure is the Philippines on both sides of the ball to raise its game.
7 p.m. PT
Haudenosaunee vs. United States – USD Torero Stadium
Netherlands vs. Korea – SDSU Rady Field
Czech Republic vs. Sweden – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field
The Haudenosaunee made a statement in their opening game against England, winning 18-5 with a breathtaking array of stick skills and shotmaking. They can make the biggest statement of them all against the United States on Saturday, and it starts with finding a way to keep the diverse and prolific American attack in check. It will be a great temperature check for the Haudenosaunee’s title hopes in the Pool A environment.
Korea opened its campaign with a loss to a strong Ireland team and will look to rebound the same way the Netherlands did. After losing to Ireland 12-6, the Netherlands ground out an 8-7 win over Peru, with a composed final few minutes to protect a one-goal lead. The door is wide open for second place in Pool F and if Korea is to have any chance, it needs a win.
Both the Czech Republic and Sweden have faced stiff opposition in Pool C, which makes the matchup against each other even more important to find a win. The Czech Republic finished second in ELF qualifying while Sweden finished ninth.