TURKU, FINLAND -The United States under-19 men's lacrosse squad retained its title as the world's top team today as it defeated Canada, 10-8, in the gold medal game of the 2012 Federation of International Lacrosse World U-19 World Championship. The U.S. squad avenged the loss it suffered to Canada in group play earlier in the week.
The U.S. has won every U-19 world title since the tournament began in 1988 and has only lost two games in international competition. Team USA capped a comeback run to the gold medal after dropping contests to both Canada and the Iroquois Nationals during pool play.
Duke University sophomores Kyle Keenan and Kyle Turri both helped lead the team to the top prize. Keenan had a goal and an assist in the victory, while Turri made four saves in second half action. The Blue Devils duo joins former players Matt Danowski, CJ Costabile and Justin Turri as gold medalists in the U-19 FIL World Championship competition. Also helping Team USA to the pinnacle once again was Duke Assistant Equipment Manager Jay Bissette.
Team USA dominated on faceoffs, winning 17 of 22 as a team - Charlie Raffa won 10 and Tyler Barbarich seven - and tournament MVP Matt Kavanagh scored two goals and added two assists.
The U.S. outscored Canada 4-0 in the second quarter, winning 7 of 8 faceoffs in the same period to take a 6-2 halftime lead. Canada scored three straight to open the second half and cut the U.S. lead to 6-5, but the U.S. scored three of the next four to make it 9-6 heading into the fourth quarter. Kavanagh, Connor Buczek and Ryan Tucker scored during the run.
Mike Tagliaferri made it 10-7 with 3:17 to go before Wes Berg tacked on the last goal of the game with nine seconds to go.
Zach Oliveri made five first-half saves and Kyle Turri made four in the second half while Canada goalie Brennan Donville finished with 10.
Kavanagh, Tucker and defenseman Stephen Jahelka were named to the All-World team. Kavanagh was named most outstanding attackman, Warren Hill (Iroquois) was named most outstanding goalie, Lyle Thompson (Iroquois) was named most outstanding midfielder and Canada's Danny MacDermott was the tournament's most outstanding defender.