Australia lose to Canada in the Semi Final at the U19 World Championship

Semi Final U19 World Championship, Australia v Canada
Semi Final U19 World Championship, Australia v Canada  
Semi Final U19 World Championship - Australia v Canada
Semi Final U19 World Championship - Australia v Canada  

GAME 7 - SEMI FINAL

Australia 3 lost to Canada 17

They reckon possession is nine tenths of the law. In lacrosse, that fraction is probably on the low side – closer to ten tenths. If you have the ball, you have the opportunity to score. For the majority of the time you don’t have the ball, then it is with the opposition. And if they have it, then they can score. So that is lacrosse broken down to its most basic. Control the ball – win the game.

The official match statistics have the draw controls at Canada 12 to Australia 10. That is not how it looked to the casual observer. Maybe it was just that when Canada won the draw, they did control it. For the draws that went Australia’s way, they struggled to keep meaningful possession. Selena Lasota from Canada was awarded the player of the match. Given she was credited with 6 of the 12 Canada draw controls, maybe that was justified.

The beginning was fairly even. A free position goal from Canada was met by a quick Australian reply from Theo Kwas. But two more to Canada and a couple of missed Australian opportunities and Canada was quickly out to a 4 to 1 lead. Bridget Hogan, who had a great defensive game, drew the offensive foul but Australia lost the ball in transition. Canada was then able to convert for another goal. Theo Kwas then scored her second free position shot shortly after, therefore bringing the score to 2-5 Canada’s way. For a long period of time Canada controlled the ball, and as a result, controlled the game. The calls were going against us and Ashtyn Hiron earned a yellow card. Canada kept the defence under relentless pressure and on several occasions were able to find the free player in front of goal for the relatively simple conversion. Australia subbed goalies from Sharn Muffet to Eliza Morgan but there was too much happening up the field for this to have the necessary positive impact.

Canada scored the next eight goals in a row and Australia were just not having any effective time in the forward half. It wasn’t until Karri Somerville found Sarah Smith who finished with a quick stick goal late in the first half that Australia was able to score their third for the game. That was the last Australian score. The half time score was Canada 10 to Australia 3.

The second half began positively for the Australians but they were unable to capitalise on the opportunities. After a few unsuccessful Australian forays forward, the Canadians took it up the other end and opened up the second half scoring. They had stretched their lead to 12 to 3 when Audrey Fithall was forced to leave the field with a possible concussion from a heavy clash with a Canadian player. Already Canada were starting to burn some clock. Sasha Pollnitz then got a yellow and soon after her return Ashtyn Hiron was given her second yellow of the game, which meant an automatic red. She will miss the bronze medal game.

Taking advantage of the extra player, Canada took the score out to 17 to 3 before putting the cue in the rack and playing out the rest of game time.

The FIL U19 world championships were first played in 1995. Australia won the gold medal beating the United States. The Australian team was captained by current Australian coach Trish Adams. Another member of that team was current Assistant coach Jen Adams (Jen says she spent most of that tournament playing the role enjoyed this time around by Audrey Fithall – getting in the face of key opposition forwards). Since then, every gold medal game has been played between Australia and the US. By defeating Australia, Canada has now broken that run. It was a record highly valued by the Australians, and the emotions of the loss, of both the match, and of the opportunity to be playing in the championships finale, were evident post match. The players and coaches now have a rest day before they come up against England in the bronze medal game on Saturday. We are all behind the Australian team as they look to bounce back and return home with a medal.

A big thanks to the team representatives for their great match reports throughout the Championship!

 

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