World Lacrosse: Canada, USA prevail in semis to meet for gold

USA vs Australia in the semi-finals of the 2023 World Men’s Lacrosse Championship (Photo: World Lacrosse)

The 2023 World Lacrosse Championship has been one for the ages. Teams from various different countries have gone to battle for the ultimate bragging rights and that coveted gold medal. Some teams have emerged and put the lacrosse world on notice such as Japan, Jamaica, Australia and many others, but one fact has remained the same. Canada and the United States stand in a class of their own.

Going into Thursday night’s semifinal games, both Canada and the USA were powerhouses in the tournament, but had their toughest tests so far. Canada played the early game and they took on Haudenosaunee. Canada took that game 12-7. Let’s look at the cliffnotes shall we? Latrell Harris got the party going, and was followed up by Dhane Smith. Dyson Williams and Wes Berg notched one in the first for Canada, and Kyle Jackson tallied the lone goal in the first for Haudenosaunee. 4-1 Canada after one.

Smith got his second, Lyle Thompson got his first and Ryan Lee got his first in the second quarter to make ot 6-2 going into the break.

To the third we go. Clarke Petterson got his first, but Randy Staats answered. Williams got his second, and was followed by Smith’s hat trick. 9-3 Canada going into the fourth. It’s worth noting that the San Diego crowd started to boo in the third quarter as Canada really sulked the clock down. Smart strategy from the boys up north to limit a very dangerous Haudenosaunee team.

Berg got his second of the game to begin the fourth quarter, and this one was getting out of hand. Austin Staats got three straight to answer (giving him an absolutely stupid total of 27 so far in the tournament), but Curtis Dickson and Williams stopped the bleeding with Dickson’s first and Williams’ hat trick. Austin got his fourth, but that’d be all she wrote. Your final, 12-7 Canada.

With monster games from Dhane Smith and Dyson Williams, Canada moves on to the gold medal game.

In the second game of the day, Australia faced off against the undefeated United States team. You thought the Canada game was ugly at times, the USA said hold the phone. The USA took this one, 11-2.

Aussie fans were delighted as they got on the board first, but Charlie Bertrand answered right back for the US. Rob Pannell, Kieran McArdle and Brennan O’Neill also notched one for the US to make it 4-1 after one.

The US continued their dominance in the second and really sulked this one away. Ryan Conrad got his first and McArdle tallied his second. Australia got their second of the game, but that’d be it for the quarter. 6-2 USA going into the break.

Basic math tells us that the USA outscored Australia 5-0 in the second half. The US did this with absolutely stifling defense. Michael Sowers got his first and Conrad got his second. 9-2 US after three.

Two more goals from the USA in the fourth, the first from Sowers, his second, and the other from Matt Rambo courtesy of a gorgeous passing display from the US. Your final, 11-2.

The stage is set. The United States takes on Canada in the gold medal game this Saturday at 4 p.m. PT. Canada looks to avenge the loss they suffered against the USA in the 2018 tournament. The US looks to stay undefeated and repeat as gold medalists. This game will showcase the best lacrosse players in the world. Get your popcorn and hold on tight.

The Haudenosaunee and Australia face off for bronze at 1 p.m. PT.