LIMERICK, Ireland – Four teams stamped their tickets to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s U21 Championship during Tuesday’s play-in games: Puerto Rico, Ireland, Japan and England.
They will take on the top four seeds from Pool A – the United States, Canada, Australia and Haudenosaunee – in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, set to begin at 10 a.m. IST. All four matchups will be televised by ESPN.
In the first play-in game, Japan bested Jamaica 10-8 after trailing by as many as four goals in the second half. Japan scored seven of the game’s last eight goals – included four unanswered – after entering the fourth quarter down by two. With the win, Japan takes the sixth seed and will face third-seeded Australia at 10 a.m. local time.
Japan will earn its sixth top-eight finish at the event in its first appearance since 2008. A win would give Japan the chance to finish in the top four for the first time.
Sota Hakozaki scored a hat trick to boost the offense, and Kenshiro Kuroda also contributed three points with two goals and an assist. Kai Tanemura scored two goals, including the go-ahead goal with 4:30 to play, while Yuseka Taneda made a massive impact on face-offs, winning 17 of 20.
Khairi Sears was Jamaica’s standout player with a personal-best four goals.
Ireland advanced to the quarterfinals with its fourth straight win in front of home support, a 9-4 victory over the Czech Republic. Ireland scored four out of the five goals in the second half and used a 3-0 fourth quarter to pull away after the Czech Republic cut the deficit to two.
With the win, Ireland is seeded seventh and will face No. 2 Canada on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Ireland will be making its second trip to the quarterfinals in its second appearance in the event, after finishing seventh in 2016.
Ireland’s Aidan Dempsey continued his stellar tournament with four goals and two assists, finishing the game tied for the second-most points in the tournament with 18. Conor Foley also scored four goals, bringing his overall point total to 17, tied for the fourth-most in Limerick. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Joe Walsh helped limit the Czech Republic offense with 10 saves on 14 shots on goal.
England coasted into the quarterfinals by defeating Israel, 10-2, leading 4-1 at the half and scoring six of the seven goals in the second half.
No. 5 England will now face the Haudenosaunee tomorrow at 4 p.m. England has made the quarterfinals in all eight of its appearances at the event and will look to garner its seventh top-four finish.
Three players scored two goals for England: Daniel Hilditch, Edward Loveland and Hugo Peel. Midfielder Daniel Madeley won 11 out of 15 face-offs and goalkeepers Jack Allen and Samuel Rogerson combined to make nine saves on 11 shots faced.
Puerto Rico closed the day with an emphatic 17-5 win over Germany, starting the game with a 6-0 run and never looking back with another 5-0 run in the third quarter.
Puerto Rico will face the United States in the last quarterfinal on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and becomes the third team since 2000 to advance to the quarterfinals in its debut appearance in the event, joining the Czech Republic (2012) and Scotland (2008).
Five players scored multiple goals for Puerto Rico, led by Owen Fasulka, who tallied four goals and an assist, and Joshua Balcarcel, who recorded two goals and three assists. Colin Baez was dominant on face-offs, winning 22 out of 25 to bring his tournament-high total to 57.
In the platinum bracket that determines 13th through 22nd place, Poland, Korea and the Netherlands all advanced to the quarterfinals with wins today.
Poland moved on with a 13-3 win over Uganda with Jared Heller totaling six points on five goals and an assist and eight face-off wins.
Korea defeated Kenya, 11-4. Ethan Ashley continued his strong campaign with five goals and an assist and finished the day tied for the most goals in the tournament with 16.
The Netherlands edged China, 13-11, in an exciting affair that featured seven lead changes. Christian Della Rocca amassed seven points on three goals and four assists go up by a six-point margin on the tournament leaderboard. With 27 points, he is tied for the most goals with 16 and has the most assists with 11.
August 16 Results
Championship Bracket Play-In
Japan 10, Jamaica 8
Ireland 9, Czech Republic 4
England 10, Israel 2
Puerto Rico 17, Germany 5
Poland 13, Uganda 3
Korea 11, Kenya 4
Netherlands 13, China 11
August 17 Schedule
Times listed in Irish Standard Time.
Championship Bracket Quarterfinals
10 a.m. // Australia vs. Japan, Field 1, ESPN+
1 p.m. // Canada vs. Ireland, Field 1, ESPN+
4 p.m. // Haudenosaunee vs. England, Field 1, ESPN+
7 p.m. // United States vs. Puerto Rico, Field 1, ESPN+
12 p.m. // Latvia vs. Korea, Field 3, LSN
3 p.m. // Hong Kong, China vs. Poland, Field 2, LSN
6 p.m. // Wales vs. Sweden, Field 2, LSN
5 p.m. // China vs. Uganda, Field 3, LSN