August 12, 2011

U.S. Races Past England in FIL U19 Semifinal

by Clare Lochary | | Live Blog Replay

Goalie Kelsey Duryea won player of the match honors to lead the U.S. U19 team to a 19-5 defeat of England in the FIL semifinals. The Americans will play for the gold medal in Hannover, Germany, at 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. Eastern time) Saturday.

©Greg Carroccio

HANNOVER, Germany — Starting the game with a 9-0 run, the U.S. Under-19 team raced to a commanding 19-5 win over England in the first semifinal of the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 Women's World Championship. With the victory, Team USA advances to the championship game and earns a chance to defend its three consecutive FIL titles.

"It's just the best feeling ever," said midfielder and team captain Taylor Trimble, who score twice. "This is the day and the moment we've been waiting for this entire time. Tryouts were exactly a year ago, and we're ready to really get this done and get the gold and bring it home."

American goalie Kelsey Duryea made three saves in the first half and won player of the match for her efforts. Duryea has been a stalwart for the U.S. throughout the tournament but dazzled in today's semifinal, where a few early saves iced the English attack. Her flashiest stop came when she was caught out of the crease in a two-on-one situation and had to leap backwards towards the ball, extending her stick in one hand to make the save.

"She wanted to do more today," said U.S. coach Krystin Porcella. "You could see it in her in warm-ups, and you could see it in her in the game. It was an amazing play and that inspires the whole team, and it changes the momentum for the whole team. She was the person who gave us that energy and excitement."

Big plays aside, the American defense focused on systematically slowing Team England's speedy attack. The U.S. beat England, 16-5, in the round robin, but defenders were unsatisfied with giving up a handful of fast-break goals.

"The last time we played them, they got some odd-man jumps on us, so we wanted to catch the slides early and try not to slide low to high, and to stop them from the beginning," Duryea said.

Today's five-goal output tied England's tournament low from the round robin game, and two of their five goals came on free position attempts. No other defense held England to single digits throughout the tournament.

On attack, Cortney Fortunato led all scorers with five goals on just six shots. The English defense attempted to press Fortuanto, the Americans' leading scorer, out and away from the crease, but her sharp cuts made up for it. She went on a three-goal run during 1:38 of the first half.

"She always throws a fake in before she shoots, so she just had a great game today," Porcella said.

Attacker Erin McMunn added two goals and three assists. The U.S. dominated at the midfield, too, winning 20 of 26 draw controls. Hannah Nugent led the English with three goals, and goalkeeper Izzy McNab made seven saves for Team England.

Team USA will play the winner of the second semifinal, a match between Australia and Canada, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (9:30 a.m. Eastern time). At press time, the winner had not yet been decided due to weather delays. Originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, the second semifinal was played in driving rain and stopped after 19:00 for a lightening delay. After waiting out the delay, the sodden field was ruled too dangerous to play upon, and the game was set to be restarted at 8:30 p.m. The score at the time the game was stopped was Australia 4, Canada 0. The Australians edged the Canadians, 11-9, in the round robin.

"It's definitely surreal to know we're heading to the championship," Duryea said. "We've been waiting for this moment for a year now. You get chills talking about it. And we're ready."

BOX SCORE: U.S. 19, England 5

Goals: Fortunato 5, Lazo 2, McMunn 2, Smith 2, Treanor 2, Trimble 2, Acton 1, Coffey 1, Cook 1, Rix 1.
Assists: McMunn 3, Coffey 2, Cook 1, Smith 1, Stanwick 1.
Saves: Duryea (3 svs, 2 GA); Murray (5 svs, 3 GA).
Draw Controls: 20-26.

Goals: Nugent 3, Hitchcock 1, Taylor 1.
Assists: Sims 1, Taylor 1.
Saves: McNab (7 svs, 19 GA).
Draw Controls: 6-26.

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