U.S., Canada Advance to Gold Medal Game with Semifinal Wins

PHOTO BY GREG FIUME

Team USA's Kayla Treanor unleashes an underhand shot on Australia goalie Adden Cunningham.


TOWSON, Md. — The underdog tropes trickled out of each team’s camp as the medal round neared.

Australia coach Trish Adams said the team would continue to “punch above its weight.”

“Any given Sunday,” England coach Phil Collier professed.

The stark reality reinforced in the World Lacrosse Women’s Championship semifinals Thursday, however, is that Canada and the United States exist in a class of their own.

For the third time in nine years, the North American rivals will play for the gold medal Saturday at Towson after both prevailed Thursday.

Kayla Treanor became the all-time leading scorer in U.S. world championship history, as the U.S. breezed past Australia 17-2 in the first semifinal.

Canada had a much tougher go of it against England, advancing to its third straight final with an 11-9 victory in a nail-biter nightcap.

“Canada is an incredible team. They’ve gotten better throughout the tournament,” U.S. coach Jenny Levy said. “It’s a new game. The game has no memory. Tonight will not matter. The last time we played Canada will not matter.”

“Tomorrow is a well-deserved off day. All teams have been going through all the way straight. Five games in five days,” Canada coach Scott Teeter said. “We’ll throw the U.S. everything we got at them. I’m sure they’ll do the same for us.”

The U.S. and Canada will meet in the gold medal game Saturday at 12 p.m. Eastern (ESPN2). Here’s how they got there.







TREANOR SURPASSES IDOL IN U.S. WIN

Kayla Treanor was less impressed by her record than the name of the player she passed to become the No. 1 scorer in U.S. history.

Treanor scored six goals — two shy of a U.S. single-game record — and added two assists to earn Player of the Match honors in a 17-2 rout of Australia.

The 28-year-old attacker now has 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) in seven games in this tournament and 76 points (43 goals, 33 assists) in 15 career world championship games dating back to 2017, surpassing Katie Rowan on the all-time list.

“Katie Rowan is an idol of mine. She’s one of the reasons I started playing lacrosse and the reason I wore 21 at Syracuse,” said Treanor, who also moved past Quinn Carney for No. 1 on the career goals list. She’s two assists shy of the record shared by Rowan and Lindsey Munday. “Just to hear Katie had that, it’s cool to be in the same sentence as her.”

Thursday’s performance was peak Treanor, as the U.S. funneled through her an offense that operated at peak efficiency. Provided copious opportunities thanks to the mastery of Taylor Cummings and Ally Mastroianni on the draw, a suffocating 10-man ride and stout goalkeeping by Liz Hogan, the U.S. shot out to a 13-0 lead and never let up.

Treanor highlighted the flurry with a double-fake, behind-the-back finish at goal line extended that left Australian defender Steph McNamara visibly frustrated and baffled in the first quarter.

“Kayla has had the best year of her career this year. She’s been on fire since the fall,” Levy said. “She’s been dominant. What she’s doing on the field in this [world championship] is no surprise to me at all.”

Treanor credited Levy for her work fostering connections between players off the field and building team chemistry.

“I’m having a lot of fun and just enjoying the moment,” Treanor said. “I get to play with some of the best players in the world. They make me look good. We’re having fun and it shows on the field.”

Charlotte North added four goals in the onslaught. Cummings and Mastroianni combined to give the U.S. a 17-5 edge on draw controls. The U.S. scored on 17 of 28 possessions (60.7 percent offensive efficiency), while Australia’s 16 possessions yielded almost as many turnovers (nine) as shots (12). Hogan and Caylee Waters combined to make eight saves.

It wasn’t all good news for the U.S., as Kylie Ohlmiller fell hard to the turf after a collision with Australian defender Ashtyn Hiron in the fourth quarter. She was down for several minutes while team medical staff assessed her and Levy clutched her hand. Ohlmiller had to be helped off the field after suffering a lower leg injury. Her status is uncertain for Saturday’s final.

CANADA BEATS ENGLAND IN FREE POSITION FEST

Seven years ago, goalie Kameron Halsall and attacker Aurora Cordingley were key contributors as Canada upset the U.S. in the 2015 U19 women’s world championship. It was coach Scott Teeter’s first experience with a national team, one that led to a promotion coaching the senior team.

In a taut semifinal Thursday night against England — one in which half the goals were scored on free positions — Halsall and Cordingley stepped up in the biggest moments of an 11-9 victory.

England had pulled within two on a free-position goal by Megan Whittle and was threatening to make it a one-goal game when Halsall denied a sidearm free-position attempt by Olivia Wimpenny with 3:03 remaining.

Canada salted away nearly two minutes of the clock, then capitalized when England’s defense overextended itself trying to create a turnover. Cordingley broke through the pressure, bouncing the ball off the turf and into the goal as she fell to give the Canadians an 11-8 lead.

A last-minute yellow card on Canada’s Alie Jimerson added to the intrigue. Halsall made another free-position save.

England’s Olivia Hompe scored a man-up goal off a feed from Georgina Southorn to make it 11-9 with 28 seconds left. But Kaylin Morissette won the ensuing draw and Canada held on for the win.

“They called it for both teams tight. It was just a matter of who could make the most,” Teeter said. “I thought both goalies held their own on free positions, because there were just a lot of them.”

England shot 5-for-12 on free positions. Canada shot 5-for-7.

NOTABLE

  • Playing in her sixth world championship and 100th career international game, 40-year-old Laura Warren scored a goal and added an assist, three ground balls and a caused turnover to lead Wales to a 9-6 win over Puerto Rico in a consolation game. Sophy Coombes-Roberts spearheaded the Welsh offense once again with three goals, an assist and five draw controls. Iona Dryden added three goals and goalkeeper Sophie Allen made seven saves on 13 shots.

  • Zoe Dickson converted a free position with two seconds left to lift Scotland to a 9-8 win over New Zealand. Wales and Scotland will play for ninth place Friday. Puerto Rico and New Zealand will meet in the 11th-place game.

  • Germany and Ireland also advanced in the consolation bracket. Germany beat Mexico 8-6 and Ireland defeated Hong Kong 13-9. They’ll play for 13th place Friday.

CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
ALL TIMES EASTERN (ESPN+)

SEMIFINAL SCORES

United States 17, Australia 2
Canada 11, England 9

MEDAL GAME SCHEDULE

Bronze: Australia vs. England – Saturday 9:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
Gold: Canada vs. United States – Saturday 12 p.m. (ESPN2)

CONSOLATION SCORES

Germany 8, Mexico 6
Ireland 13, Hong Kong 9
Wales 9, Puerto Rico 6
Scotland 9, New Zealand 8

CONSOLATION SCHEDULE

Japan vs. Haudenosaunee – Friday 11 a.m.
Israel vs. Czech Republic – Friday 2 p.m.
15th Place: Hong Kong vs. Mexico – Friday 4 p.m.
11th Place: New Zealand vs. Puerto Rico – Friday 5 p.m.
13th Place: Ireland vs. Germany – Friday 7 p.m.
9th Place: Wales vs. Scotland – Friday 8 p.m.

PLATINUM BRACKET
ALL TIMES EASTERN (ESPN+)

SEMIFINAL SCORES

Netherlands 13, China 8
Italy 9, Latvia 7

SCHEDULE

17th Place: Italy vs. Netherlands – Friday 1 p.m.

CONSOLATION SCORES

Austria 8, Switzerland 4
Argentina 12, Jamaica 11
Korea 10, Spain 6
Norway 11, Sweden 3

CONSOLATION SCHEDULE

27th Place: Jamaica vs. Switzerland – Friday 9 a.m.
25th Place: Austria vs. Argentina – Friday 12 p.m.
23rd Place: Spain vs. Sweden – Friday 3 p.m.
21st Place: Norway vs. Korea – Friday 6 p.m.

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