The United States used a five-goal second half run to come from behind and beat Australia, 14-11, for its fourth straight Under-19 women's lacrosse world championship today in Hanover, Germany.
Covie Stanwick (Notre Dame Prep) and Cortney Fortunato each scored twice and Jen Cook (McDonogh) added a free-position shot with about 10 minutes left to polish off the five-goal run and give the U.S. a 12-8 lead.
Stanwick and Fortunato finished with three goals each and goalie Kelsey Duryea made some terrific saves in leading the U.S. to its fourth straight win over Australia in the title game. The U.S. (8-0) has lost only one game in the five U-19 world championship tournaments -- to Australia in the final at the inaugural event in 1995 in Haverford, Pa.
Coach Krystin Porcella's U.S. team defeated Australia, 20-7, in pool play Tuesday, but the Aussies got the jump on the U.S Saturday scoring the first goal and taking a 6-3 lead on the third of Nelly Mollison's five goals. (Nelly is the cousin of Maryland star Sarah Mollison.) The Aussies controlled 16 of 27 draws in the game.
"Australia came out and wanted it," Porcella said via email. "They were winning every draw and grounds balls. They moved some players around. No. 13 (Darcy Justice Allen) was playing center and was drawing a lot to herself. No. 3 (Rebecca Lane) won a lot of long draws. In our first meeting, we were more successful in those two areas from the start."
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 and Stanwick 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 to take the lead, 12-8.
"Mikaela Rix and Tatum Coffey (the player of the match)'s hustle on draws and ground balls made the difference overall," Porcella said of the turnaround. "Covie Stanwick made two critical crease rolls for back-to-back goals that gave us the lead."
Australia cut the lead to three three times after that but could not get closer as the Aussies finished the tournament 5-2 with their only losses to the United States.
Duryea, who finished with nine saves, got a little more help from the defense in the second half, Porcella said.
"Australia had some pretty open crease rolls in the first half and Kelsey did not have much of a chance to make saves," said the coach. "The defense strated to make adjustments and slides. We put Caleigh Sindall on No. 1 (Mollison) in the second half -- who had a bunch of goals. We tried to limit her touches on the ball."
The U.S. team also included local players Alyssa Blevins (C. Milton Wright), Dani Lazo (St. Mary's) and Erin McMunn (Winters Mill). Porcella, who coaches at John Carroll, played at Loyola and faced another coach with a Loyola connection Saturday as Greyhounds coach Jen Adams assistsed her sister Trish Adams in coaching the Aussies.
In the bronze medal game, Canada, whose team includes McDonogh senior Sofia Robins, defeated England, 14-5.
NOTE: Thanks to Lacrosse Magazine's Clare Lochary for the stats from her live blog from Hanover.
Celebration photo courtesy of Martin Hebgen, event photographer for the FIL
Photo of Covie Stanwick by The Baltimore Sun