Facing its first real challenge at the Federation of International Lacrosse Under-19 Women's World Championships, the United States used a five-goal second-half run to come from behind and beat Australia, 14-11, for its fourth straight title Saturday in Hanover, Germany.
Covie Stanwick (Notre Dame Prep) and Cortney Fotunato scored two goals each, and Jen Cook (McDonogh) added a free-position goal with about 10 minutes left to polish off the five-goal spurt and give the U.S. a 12-8 lead. Australia, which led by as many as three goals in the first half, would pull within three goals three more times but could not get any closer.
Stanwick, an All-Metro attacker headed to Boston College, and Fortunato, who will be a junior at Northport High School on Long Island this fall, each finished with three goals and Cook, an All-Metro attacker headed to Maryland, scored two.
The U.S., coached by Krystin Porcella (John Carroll), finished 8-0 and has lost only one game in the five U-19 world championship tournaments — to Australia in the final of the inaugural event in 1995 in Haverford, Pa. Since then, the U.S. has beaten Australia in all four championship games.
The U.S., averaging 16.4 goals per game, went into the title game having outscored its opposition by an average of 11.9 points. Canada, which won the bronze medal, came closest in pool play, falling 13-6. No team scored more than seven goals against the U.S. until the title game. Until then, the U.S. had given up an average of only 4.6 goals per game.
In pool play Tuesday, the U.S. defeated Australia, 20-7, but the Aussies got the jump on the Americans Saturday, scoring the first goal and taking a 6-3 lead on the third of five goals from Nelly Mollison, the cousin of Maryland star Sarah Mollison.
The U.S. answered with goals from Mikaela Rix and Kelly McPartland before Mollison added another goal to make it 7-5. Brigid Smith (Good Counsel) scored on a free position to pull the U.S. within one. Stanwick then tied the game at 7 going into halftime.
After Australia took an 8-7 lead to open the second half, the U.S. went on its five-goal tear. The Aussies finished the tournament 6-2, with both losses coming against the United States.
The United States team also included defender Alyssa Blevins (C. Milton Wright), midfielder Dani Lazo (St. Mary's) and attacker Erin McMunn (Winters Mill).
Sofia Robins (McDonogh) helped Canada to its 14-5 victory over England for third place. It was the third bronze for the Canadians.