NETANYA, Israel –Tom Schreiber took a pass from Rob Pannell with one second left and buried a shot to lift the United States over Canada 9-8 in the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship gold medal game Saturday morning. The victory avenges the U.S.’s loss to Canada in the 2014 championship battle.
"It is one of those things where it's shame when one team has to lose," said U.S. team head coach John Danowski. "The Canadian team played so well for so long, but at the end of the day our guys made one more play."
Helping lead the U.S. back to the top of the lacrosse world from Duke were U.S. head coach John Danowski along with former Blue Devils greats Ned Crotty, Matt Danowski, Will Haus and Jordan Wolf. Former Blue Devil defenseman Taylor Wray was on the Canadian coaching staff, serving as the defensive coordinator for the stellar group that held the U.S. to single digits.
It was a great effort from the U.S., with Crotty dishing out a pair of assists, Danowski registering a goal and an assist and Will Haus helping anchor a defense that held Canada to just two second-half goals.
The United States jumped out to a 2-0 lead early before Canada reeled off four straight for the 4-2 advantage after the first quarter. Ryan Brown, who ultimately finished with a hat trick, made it a one-goal game one minute into the second quarter off of an assist from Crotty and Danowski tied it up 4-4 eight minutes later.
Canada responded with two more unassisted tallies and did well to control the pace of play to take a 6-4 lead into halftime. Despite trailing by two at the break, the U.S. was buoyed by being able to hold Canada scoreless on a nearly six-minute possession at the end of the half. That defensive effort was only magnified in the second half as the U.S. buckled down on defense against the talented Canadians.
Just like it had in the second quarter, the U.S. scored consecutive goals to make it 6-6. Crotty provided the assist on the tying score on a man-up Marcus Holman goal.
The back and forth continued with Curtis Dixon putting Canada back in front, only to have Brown unleash a rocket to make it 7-7. Virginia’s Mark Cockerton again launched Canada in front 8-7 with 5:17 remaining.
This is where the already stellar game got interesting. Canada, after forcing a U.S. turnover, was whistled for an offside call, giving the U.S. the ball back. Brown took advantage and tied it 8-8.
Trevor Baptiste proceeded to win the ensuing faceoff allowing John Danowski to call a timeout. The U.S. got a few good looks off, but couldn’t connect until Schreiber broke loose from his man on a pick from Crotty and dropped in the Pannell pass with one second remaining.
The championship is the 10th overall for the U.S. as the two countries added another epic chapter to their storied rivalry. Canada defeated the U.S. to win the 2014 world championship in Denver and the two countries have alternated the championship since 2002 with the U.S. winning in 2002, 2010 and 2018 and Canada winning in 2006 and 2014.
A - Rob Pannell, USA A - Ryan Brown, USA A - Curtis Dickson, Canada M - Tom Schreiber, USA M - Austin Staats, Iroquois Nationals M - Ben McIntosh, Canada D - Michael Ehrhardt, USA D - Graeme Hossack, Canada D - Ryland Rees, Canada G - Dillon Ward, Canada
Outstanding Attackman: Curtis Dickson, Canada Outstanding Midfielder: Tom Schreiber, USA Outstanding Defender: Michael Ehrhardt, USA Outstanding Goalie: Dillon Ward, Canada
MVP: Michael Ehrhardt, USA
Israel 12, Puerto Rico 1
In the seventh place game, Josh Offit was outstanding with a goal and an assist in a 12-1 victory over Puerto Rico. Current Blue Devil JT Giles-Harris represented the Duke on the Puerto Rican team, which finished eighth of 46 countries in its first time competing as a nation on the world stage.