USA, Great Britain and Canada win in historic day one of competition at The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland
FROM THURSDAY 27 JULY 2017 GAMES
USA 20 v 0 PolandLacrosse made its debut in The World Games, a non-Olympic multi-sport event hosted by the International World Games Association, as the U.S. women’s national team blanked Poland 20-0 in the opener Thursday in Wroclaw, Poland.
Attacker Alyssa Murray (Syracuse ’14) wasted no time making her presence felt. An alternate on the U.S. team that locked up its eighth FIL Women’s World Cup title just five days ago, Murray was activated for The World Games and led Team USA with 12 points on three goals and nine assists.
Despite the lopsided result — the U.S. outshot Poland 49-0 and won 18 of 22 draws — the home side earned a standing ovation for its effort. Poland, which first established a women’s program in 2013, did not participate in the World Cup and had only played in a few European tournaments before Thursday. (The more seasoned Polish men’s team has competed in the last two FIL World Championship events.)
Polish goalie Marta Neumann made 10 saves, five in each half.
Six teams are competing in The World Games, which features a 10-on-10 format with 35-minute running halves. Great Britain and Japan are playing at 1 p.m. (7 a.m. EST), followed by Canada and Australia at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. EST).
Attacker Brooke Griffin (Maryland ’15) added three goals and three assists for the U.S. Becca Block (Syracuse ’13) and Alice Mercer (Maryland ’16), traditionally defenders who are operating in more of a full-field capacity given the rules, scored three goals apiece.
Gussie Johns (USC ’18) got the start in goal for the U.S., allowing All-World goalie Devon Wills (Dartmouth ’06) to play the field. Wills won three draws and caused two turnovers.
U.S. Goals: Alyssa Murray 3, Brooke Griffin 3, Becca Block 3, Alice Mercer 3, Taylor Cummings 2, Kelly Rabil 1, Kristen Carr 1, Marie McCool 1, Jen Russell 1, Megan Douty 1, Ally Carey 1.
U.S. Assists: Alyssa Murray 9, Brooke Griffin 3, Taylor Cummings 2, Michelle Tumolo 1.
U.S. Goaltending: Gussie Johns (0 saves, 0 GA, 70 mins)
Poland Goals: None.
Poland Assists: None.
Poland Goaltending: Marta Neumann (10 saves, 20 GA, 70 mins)
THE WORLD GAMES UPDATE
Thursday, July 27
United States 20, Poland 0
Great Britain 9, Japan 5
Canada 15, Australia 10
Friday, July 28
United States vs. Great Britain, 10 a.m. (4 a.m. EST)
Poland vs. Australia, 1 p.m. (7 a.m. EST)
Canada vs. Japan, 4 p.m. (10 a.m. EST)Great Britain 9 v 5 Japan
In an all-round performance, seven players were in the goals for GB to come out on top against a young spirited Japanese side.
The World Games are overseen by the International Olympic Committee and viewed by international sporting bodies as a precursor to Olympic inclusion and the Olympic Games.
The World Games is used by the IOC to test new and exciting sports with a mind on helping to increase the diversity and popularity of the Olympics in to new channels.
Along with some minor changes to field size and timings, the main difference for lacrosse at TWG2017 is a switch to 10 a-side for the Women’s game from 12.
The reduction in player numbers, and aligning the numbers to match the men’s game are recognised as some of the first steps towards a more Olympic-friendly sport for the IOC.
After the opening ceremony in the morning, and a 20-0 victory for USA against hosts Poland in the curtain-raiser, Team GB faced a Japan team completely different from the one appearing in Guildford last week.
After a slow start in which Japan took the lead, Emily Gray created a bit of history to be the first GB player to score in the World Games from a free position.
And after going behind again soon after, England’s Liv Wimpenny, Scotland’s Julia Paterson and Wales’ Iona Dryden, all found the net to begin to assert Team GB dominance at 4-2 at the half.
In a much better second-half, Laura Warren scored twice, Dryden bagged a second and Claire Faram and Sophie Morrill both got on the scoresheet to round off a good start for Team GB.
In fairness to Japan, they were competitive throughout, keeping Emilie Chandler honest in goal for GB as she finished with eight saves for the match.
Their endeavour until the end was rewarded with two goals in the final few minutes but Team GB eased to a 9-5 victory and now face the daunting prospect of World Champions USA tomorrow (9am UK Time) with all their marquee names making the trip to Poland.
Their win capped off a historical day for women’s lacrosse, which was making its debut at the World Games, an international multi-sport event featuring over 3,250 athletes from 111 countries.
The United States and Great Britain were also winners earlier in the day, beating Poland and Japan, respectively.
“We’ve had a fantastic experience at The World Games and in Poland thus far,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “This is a great opportunity for our sport.”
Canada continued their dominance over Australia, a team they defeated twice at the recent 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in England, including a thrilling 8-6 overtime win in the semi-finals.
Midfielder Kay Morissette added three assists, while Holly Lloyd and Tessa Chad, who were both making their senior national team debut after acting as alternates during the World Cup, contributed two points each.
Canada’s balanced offensive attack saw 10 players find the score sheet, including rookies Quintin Bullen and Claire Mills, who both scored their first international goal.
“Today was a great team win,” said head coach Scott Teeter.
“This is a really exciting style of lacrosse to watch. It’s fast paced and allows the girls to play with creativity,” he added, referencing the rules changes in place that allow only 10 players on the field at once, as opposed to the usual 12 players.
Rebecca Lane and Ashtyn Hiron each scored a hat-trick for the Aussies, while Sarah Mollison added five points of her own, including one goal and four assists.
Canada’s next game will be against Japan, who are ranked No. 10 in the world despite only losing one game at last week’s World Cup. They narrowly missed out on the championship quarter-finals, falling 8-7 to Israel.
The Japanese gave Great Britain, a squad with athletes from England, Scotland and Ireland, a good run in their first World Games match this morning, losing 9-5.
The game gets underway Friday, July 28 at 10:00AM EST. While it is not being webcasted, fans are encouraged to follow along using the TWG2017 real-time statistics system.
Thursday, July 27 vs Australia (15-10 Win)
Friday, July 28 at 10:00AM EST vs Japan
Saturday, July 29 at 4:00AM EST – Semi-Final (1 vs 4)
Saturday, July 29 at 7:00AM EST – Semi-Final (2 vs 3)
Sunday, July 30 at 3:00AM EST – Finals (5 vs 6)
Sunday, July 30 at 5:30AM EST – Finals Bronze (3 vs 4)
Sunday, July 30 at 8:00AM EST – Finals Gold (1 vs 2)