USA beats Canada for gold at World Championships; Brampton LAX star makes All-World team

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Published July 4, 2023 at 9:16 am

“We left it all out there” was the response from Canada Lacrosse after a tense gold medal final at the 2023 World Lacrosse Championships in San Diego Saturday, won by the host Americans 10-7.

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 as the Americans raced out to an early 2-0 lead. After Canada tied it on goals from Dhane Smith and Clarke Petterson, the U.S. scored the final goals of the second quarter to go into the break up 4-2.

Canada got back on level terms again in the third quarter on goals from Josh Byrne and Oshawa’s Dyson Williams before the USA snapped back at Snapdragon Stadium with another pair (with a third from O’Neill, Williams’ teammate at Duke University) to regain their two lead.

The fourth quarter was a wild affair with seven goals in the books. Canada got to within one on Byrnes’s second of the quarter and third of the game with five minutes to play but the Americans, once again, found the net twice late to put the game away.

O’Neill, the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, scored two goals in the fourth to complete his five goal game, with Smith scoring the other Canadian goal.

This is the sixth straight gold medal game between the two arch rivals, and the fourth championship for the USA since 1998. Canada has won three world tiles, in 1978, 2006 and 2014.

In the bronze medal game, Haudenosaunee used a four goal second quarter to go up by three at the half and another four spot in the fourth to pull away from Australia to win 11-6.

This is the third straight bronze for the Haudenosaunee, who were beaten by Canada 12-7 in the semi-final.

Four Americans made the All-World team at the tournament, including MVP O’Neill and Michael Sowers in the midfield, JT Giles-Harris on defence and goaltender Blaze Riorden. Canada placed three players on the team: attacker Jeff Teat of Brampton (18 points), midfielder Byrne (12 goals) and defender Graeme Hossack of Port Perry.

Haudenosaunee had two players named: attacker Austin Staats (who led all scorers with 30 goals and 38 points) and defender Jacob Piseno. Japan’s 21-goal scorer Shiya Tateishi (midfield) also made the All-World squad.

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