LIers lead USA lax to World Championship
Team USA is still tops in the world.
The United States, led by Matt Kavanagh's (Chaminade '11 - LI, Notre Dame) two goals and two assists, topped previously undefeated Canada, 10-8 to win its seventh consecutive gold medal in the 2012 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Turku, Finland.
Kavanagh finished the tournament with 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points and was named both Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Attackman.
After Canada opened up the scoring, Joey Leonard (Hicksville '11 - LI, Towson) got the Americans on the board 9:35 into the contest with his tenth goal of the tournament on an assist from Kavanagh. The Chaminade graduate continued to dish and less than three minutes later assisted on Ryan Tucker's (Gilman '11 - MD, Virginia) tally to give USA a 2-1 lead.
With both squads even at 2-2 to start the second quarter, Kavanagh found the back of the net for his team-leading 19th goal of the tournament off an assist from Leonard.
From there on in, USA would never relinquish the lead.
Steven Pontrello (St. Augustine Prep '11- NJ, UNC), Daniel Eipp (Groton Dunstable '10 - Mass., Harvard) and Kyle Keenan (Smithtown West '11 - LI, Duke) would score in a second quarter in which USA shut out the Canadians, 4-0.
Zach Oliveri (Connetquot '11 - LI, UMass) started in net for US and only surrendered two goals. Kyle Turri (West Islip '11 - LI, Duke) replaced Oliveri at the half to finish out the game - much like the duo has done all tournament.
Canada threatened to start the second half, putting three quick goals past Turri in the first 4:50 to cut the USA lead to 6-5. But Keenan's feed to Connor Buczek (St. Xavier '11 - OH, Cornell) put a stop to the surging Canadians at 7-5. Canada fought back to cut the deficit to a goal agaian, but Kavanagh's second of the game followed by a quick goal by Tucker just a minute and a half later but the contest out of reach at 9-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Canada held the distinction for being the first team to defeat the United States in international competition, with an 11-9 overtime victory in pool play back on July 14. USA's neighbors up north finish the tournament with a 5-1 record and the silver medal.
The Iroquois Nationals, which fell to USA on Thursday 12-7, won the bronze medal with an 18-1 victory over England.
All-Worldly: Kavangh, Tucker and Stephen Jahelka (Garden City '11 - LI, Harvard) were named members the 2012 All-World Team following the tournament.