Scotland overcame a fierce Mexico effort at Rady Field on day two of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, winning 9-8 with a goal in the final ten seconds of the game.
Both teams had loud fanbases in support and the atmosphere was tense after Mexico erased an 8-6 deficit with two goals in the final four minutes.
Mexico then had a man-up advantage and looked to capitalize on their momentum, but the Scotland defense held firm and the team regained possession, calling timeout with 23 seconds to draw up a final play.
“I didn’t really get to where I wanted to on the field,” said Christopher Willox. “But I drew an early double, and Jack Crawley moved the ball back to me and everyone collapsed on our side. Thom Gilbrook was wide open on the back side and all I had to do was put it on his stick and he did the rest.”
Gilbrook fired in the winner, prompting an electric celebration in the moment that continued after final whistle.
It was an outpouring of relief after a stern test from Mexico, magnified by the sizable crowd from both sets of supporters.
“We brought some of our academy guys over from across the pond, and it was great to celebrate with them,” said Willox. “It’s breeding the next generation of national team players but also a great way to get fans out to the game. It’s easy to play like that with a big fanbase behind us.”
Mexico finished 38th in the 2018 Men’s Championship, but was more than game against a Scotland team that finished 11th five years ago. It took until the dying seconds for Scotland to have the last say in a rollercoaster affair.
“The one thing that we rely on as the identity of this team is we’re just grinders,” said Willox. “We knew this game wasn’t going to be easy, but we found a way at the end and that’s the most ‘Scotland Lacrosse’ win that you’ll see.”
“We have to keep looking forward,” concluded Willox. “One game isn’t going to get us where we want to go, so we’re on to the next one and hopefully we can keep executing down the stretch.”