The United States defeated Canada, 10-7, to win the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship at Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday.
The title was the United States 11th overall in the competition, its third on home soil, and first back-to-back championship since 2002.
Brennan O’Neill, the lone collegiate player on the USA’s star studded team, was the story of the game with five goals.
“I feel good,” said O’Neill. “There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now than winning the gold medal with my boys. There’s no words to describe it and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. It was a great experience and a great team.”
The United States took the lead with an early strike from O’Neill.
Tom Schreiber doubled the lead with a nifty bounce shot moments later.
Canada responded with its first goal from Dhane Smith on an assist from Josh Byrne while Canada was on a man-up advantage. Minutes into the second quarter, Canada found an equalizer from Clarke Petterson on an intelligent find from Smith.
Sowers restored the USA lead and O’Neill scored his second with under five minutes to play to give the hosts a 4-2 lead they took into halftime.
Canada came with a renewed energy out of halftime and answered with a two goal run to tie the game. Josh Byrne got on the board after finding a yard of space, and then Connor Fields tied the game on a man-up advantage.
The see-saw continued as O’Neill completed his hat trick with a spectacular solo run, delivering a second-half one goal lead.
The two teams traded goals as the lead swung between one and two for the United States and tensions mounted. Kieran McArdle, Charlie Bertrand and O’Neill, with his fourth, woud extend the lead to two, but Canada kept answering inside a tumultuous atmosphere at Snapdragon Stadium. Byrne added his second and third around a Dhane Smith goal.
With time dwindling, O’Neill scored his fifth to bring the lead back to two. The United States won the ensuing face-off and Sowers put a stamp on proceedings with a goal to make it 10-7.