The United States and Canada, the top two seeds in the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, both won their semifinals convincingly on Thursday at Snapdragon Stadium to set up another chapter in their storied rivalry.
The teams will meet in the gold medal game, with Canada seeking to prevent the USA from repeating for the first time since 2002 while claiming its third ever title. The United States is on the hunt for its 11th title and third captured on home soil.
The gold medal match is set for 4 p.m. PT on Saturday at Snapdragon Stadium and will be televised on ESPN2 in the United States, TSN in Canada and around the world via ESPN International.
The No. 1 United States had its way with No. 4 Australia in the semifinals, winning 11-2. Eight players scored for the USA in a typical balanced win. Michael Sowers and Ryan Conrad each had two goals and an assist.
No. 2 Canada held off No. 3 Haudenosaunee in a wire-to-wire 12-7 win in the semifinal. Canada’s balanced attack was too much for the Haudenosaunee defense to handle with five different players recording multi-point efforts. Dhane Smith had three goals and an assist and Dyson Williams had three goals.
The Haudenosaunee and Australia will meet in the bronze medal match for the third consecutive men’s championship at 1 p.m. PT at Snapdragon Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU in the U.S..
The rest of Thursday’s action featured four teams ending their campaigns in San Diego and a host of exciting placement games. The remaining 22 teams not playing in the medal round will finish their tournament on Friday.
10 a.m. PT
Ireland vs. Germany – SDSU Rady Field – 11th place
Czech Republic vs. Sweden – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field – 23rd place
1 p.m. PT
Hong Kong, China vs. Netherlands – SDSU Rady Field – 13th place
New Zealand vs. Korea – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field – 25th place
Italy vs. Puerto Rico – SDSU Sports Deck – 9th place
4 p.m. PT
Poland vs. Wales – SDSU Rady Field – 19th place
Latvia vs. Peru – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field – 21st place
Jamaica vs. Israel – SDSU Sports Deck – 7th place
7 p.m. PT
Philippines vs. Mexico – SDSU Rady Field – 15th place
France vs. Scotland – SDSU Wolf/Epoch Field – 17th place
Japan vs. England – SDSU Sports Deck – 5th place
The Philippines won its fourth game in a row and second in placement play with an 11-4 win over Scotland.
John Dugenio provided maximum impact for the Philippines with four goals and an assist while winning 15 of 17 face-offs. Matt Speciale added a hat trick.
Poland held off Peru in an exciting 10-8 battle.
Lucas Hucal delivered a Herculean effort with six goals and an assist for Poland. Goalkeeper Will Powley made nine saves. Andrew Ortega had five points for Peru.
Italy, the No. 7 seed, had its way with No. 11 Germany in a 14-5 win.
Christian Cuccinello was back to his best, with three goals and four assists for Italy. Jeff Trainor added two goals and three assists for Italy.
Mexico picked up an impressive win against France, 10-8. Mexico had finished fourth in Pool E while France finished third in Pool B.
Will Cabrera scored another four goals, including the go-ahead tally with just over five minutes to play. Matthew Murakami had nine saves for Mexico and his opposite number for France, Joseph Varela, posted ten.
Denmark defeated Uganda 7-5 to finish in 29th place in a rematch of a Pool B battle. Uganda finished in 30th place.
Goalkeeper James Robertson made nine saves and Lou Lillelund had a had trick for Denmark.
No. 12 Puerto Rico upset No. 9 Ireland, 7-6, in placement play – Puerto Rico finished second in Pool C and recorded a win against the Pool F winner.
Joshua Balarcel scored the game-winning goal with 27 seconds to play in a thrilling finish after the game was tied for the previous four minutes.
Six different players scored for Puerto Rico, with Kevin Lewis scoring twice. Both goalkeepers performed well, with Will Mark making seven saves for Puerto Rico and Joe Walsh making 10 saves for Ireland.
Switzerland pulled away from Austria in the fourth quarter to win 7-4 and claim 27th place with its second win in the tournament. Austria finished in 28th place.
Thierry Frei had two goals and two assists for Switzerland while Luis Zurkirchen added two goals and an assist. Goalkeeper Andre Bremgartner helped secure the win with 11 saves on four shots on goal.
Wales enjoyed a dominant second half to hold off Latvia, 8-5. Ben Stringer had his second four-goal game of the tournament.
Ryan Richters had another double-digit save effort for Latvia with 14.