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U.S. cruises to top seed for semifinals


MANCHESTER, England -- The U.S. men's lacrosse team yesterday clinched the top seed in Thursday's semifinals with its fourth straight victory at the World Lacrosse Championships.

The Iroquois National Team was no match for the U.S. defensive pressure and offensive onslaught, falling, 26-6.

The Americans' round-robin game tomorrow against England will not affect the seedings.

Midfielder Vinny Sombrotto, playing in his fourth World Championships, was named game MVP for his hat trick and overall solid play.

Tournament points leader Mark Millon had four goals, and Bill Miller (Mount Washington Lacrosse Club),Tim Soudan and Ryan Wade (Severn) scored three apiece. Rob Shek (Towson State; Mount Washington) got his first two goals.

Coach Tony Seaman of Johns Hopkins was pleased with his team's performance, especially its shooting, which had concerned him the previous two games.

"I was happy with the shooting today," he said. "It's easy to get selfish in games like this, and our guys didn't do that."

The United States limited the Iroquois to two goals in three of the quarters and shut them out in the third quarter while the offense doubled its eight-goal halftime lead.

When the Iroquois were able to clear the ball, Paul Schimoler (first half) and Larry Quinn (Johns Hopkins; Maryland LC) were solid in the goal.

The U.S. team played without Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins; Mount Washington) on defense. Asked about the veteran's absence, Seaman said that Pietramala, who sprained his foot in the mud against Australia on Sunday, could have played, but, "We just thought it would be better to give him a full day's rest. He will play tomorrow."

Asked about tomorrow's game against England, which the United States also will face in the semifinals, Seaman said: "We want to keep the flow going and work on our shooting. Whatever happens, we'll play them again, so we'll just go play."

England (2-2) earned its fourth-place seeding and semifinal berth with a 20-1 victory over Japan in yesterday's second game.

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