by Sean Burns | LaxMagazine.com
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Five goals from Kevin Crowley and a ball-control game plan that kept the dangerous United States team with the ball out of its stick for extended periods of the game led Canada to its third Federation of International Lacrosse world championship gold medal.
Canada beat Team USA in front of 11,861 fans at Dick's Sporting
Goods Park in the 2014 FIL World Championship, presented by Trusted
Canada dominated the ground game - scooping 35 ground balls compared to 22 for the United States, allowing the team to run extensive time off the clock after running out to a 3-1 lead at the half and 7-2 after three quarters. Team USA, which had not lost in the tournament and defeated Canada 10-7 on the opening night July 10, scored three late goals as it tried to mount a comeback, but it was too little, too late.
Canada, which also won titles in 1978 and 2006, made it three straight tournaments where the loser of the pool play game between the two powerhouses of the international game lost in the finals. The U.S. had won the 2010 world championship in Manchester, England.
Team USA's early game was marred by poor shooting, as they took nine in the first quarter but only forced Canada goalie and tournament MVP Dillon Ward to make three saves. He didn't have to make any in the second quarter, as Team USA only managed two shots but did score on one. He finished with ten saves on the day and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Kevin Leveille scored three for Team USA, bookending its day with its first two goals, then the final as time wound down. Rob Pannell, named Outstanding Attackman, had a goal and three assists.
Jordan Hall had a pair of assists for Canada and Cam Holding had another goal and assist as they kept the United States from winning its record 10th world championship.