August 6, 2011

Team USA Improves to 3-0 in U19 World Games

by Clare Lochary |

Covie Stanwick had two goals and two assists Saturday in the U.S. U19 team's 15-3 victory over the Haudenosaunee in the women's world championships.

Read Covie's player blog here.

© Kevin P. Tucker

HANNOVER, Germany -- Team USA used a deliberate attack to pull away from the Haudenosaunee and secure a 15-3 victory Saturday at the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Under-19 Women's World Championship. Led by midfielder Mikaela Rix (three goals), the Americans employed intricate passing and careful shot selection to gain their third consecutive win.

"It helped us out a lot, because yesterday [against Canada], we kept forcing everything," midfielder Kelly McPartland said of Team USA's switch to a settled attack. "It helped us to calm down, or settle in, pull the ball out, work it around and wait for the perfect opportunity."

Nine different players scored for Team USA. The players worked the ball around on nearly every possession; none of the goals came on fast breaks. The most dramatic goal came in the second half, when attacker Cortney Fortunato got pinched between the crease and her defender and started to fall over. On her way down, she pitched the ball one-handed over her shoulder into the cage, beating Haudenosaunee keeper Marissa Gabriel (four saves). The umpires briefly conferred to determine if Fortunato had stepped in the crease, but the goal was ruled good and the U.S. gained an 11-5 lead.

"I tried to inside crease roll my girl, and I ended up falling and shot it kind of over my back," said Fortunato, who scored two goals.

With a team of all-stars who are accustomed to going to goal early and often when playing for school and club teams, adjustments had to be made to create a more balanced attack that can compete for an international title.

"We were having some moments here and there where it was a little hectic. We wanted to take a step back for us today and have a solid, controlled, calculated attack," said U.S. head coach Krystin Porcella. "As a result, it was a little bit lower-scoring game than we're used to, but we gained so much more for our next games and working towards the championship in terms of discipline and finding just a little bit more of who we are as a team."

Goalie Allie Murray got her first start of the tournament and contributed three saves. Kelsey Duryea came in at halftime and made two stops in the second half.

Porcella added that sportsmanship is always a priority in FIL play, but never more so than when playing the Haudenosaunee, the people who created the game that has evolved into modern lacrosse.

"It's really an honor to play a team like this. They started this, and we're fortunate to have picked it up," Porcella said.

Haudenosaunee midfielder Vivian Curry (1g) was named player of the match. Curry appeared shocked by the selection, as both teams burst into applause and cheers at the news. After the game and award ceremony, the American and Haudenosaunee players took dozens of pictures together. The American girls crowded around Haudenosaunee defender Shaina Skye, a tribal princess who wore a beaded crown and sash off the field. The Haudenosaunee players zeroed in on American midfielder Madison Acton.

"Some of their girls had seen Maddy Acton on the cover of Lacrosse Magazine and wanted pictures with her. And one of their girls is a princess and all our girls wanted a picture with her," Porcella said. "And honestly, that friendship is what it's all about. It's the coolest part of this whole event."

FIL U19 Women's World Championships

Team USA 15, Haudenosaunee 3

USA - 13 - 2 - 15
HAU - 2 - 1 - 3

Goals: USA - Rix 3, Cook 2, Fortunato 2, Stanwick 2, Trimble 2, Acton, Coffey, McPartland, Treanor; HAU - Curry, Ferguson, Scanlan.

Assists: USA - Cook 2, Stanwick 2, Fortunato, McMunn, Smith.

Saves: USA - Murray 3 (2GA), Duryea 2 (1 GA); HAU - Gabriel 4 (13 GA), Gibson 0 (2 GA).

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