Shibata sparkles for Japan 10-7 win over Scotland is a first for his country

July 17, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Naotaka Shibata scored all three of his goals in the second half as Japan won for the first time in the World Games, defeating Scotland, 10-7, to open the 1998 World Championships yesterday at Homewood Field.

Japan (1-0), which is competing in its second World Championships, went 0-6 in the 1994 World Games, losing by an average margin of 19 goals. Japan outshot Scotland, 49-23, in a battle between two of the pre-tournament favorites to win the Red Division.

"Clearly this is the first step," Shibata said through an interpreter. "But our final goal is to win the Red Division."

Scotland (0-1) had a 5-2 lead midway through the second quarter before Japan held the Scots scoreless for 37 minutes.

Canada 18, England 9: Gary Gait is still one of the most explosive lacrosse players in the world and his Canadian team sent a strong message to the United States.

That was the central theme last night as Gait and Canada blitzed England in a Blue Division encounter that followed the formal opening ceremonies for the 11-nation event. Gait, 31, flashed many of the moves he made famous in college at Syracuse, finishing with five goals and two assists.

Gary's brother, Paul, also had a good night with three goals and Tom Marechek had four goals and one assist for the winners.

Australia 13, Iroquois Nation 9: It wasn't exactly a vintage performance by a slow-starting Australia team in the first Blue Division round robin game, but standout Australia midfielder James Buchanan was more than content with his team's victory.

"We don't want to peak too soon," said Buchanan, whose three straight goals in the second and third quarters stifled the upset-minded Iroquois squad and gave Australia a 7-5 lead. "We wanted a good start in the championships and we got our win. The Iroquois is a much-improved team from 1994. They have more youth and depth."

After Buchanan showed the way, Nathan Roost took over for Australia and scored three goals the rest of the game to finish with a game-high four goals.

Germany 14, Czech Republic 10: Germany broke a 9-9 tie after three quarters on a goal by midfielder Christian Zwickert and outlasted the Czech Republic.

Zwickert's goal was followed by the third of the game for midfielder Patrick Hein, and midfielder Jason Jankowski added the first of his two fourth-period goals for a 12-9 German lead.

Germany dominated the first and fourth periods, led by attackman Jonathan Damm, who scored four times, and attackman Taylor Simmers, who added two goals and two assists. Germany outshot the Czechs, 13-2, in the first period to take a 5-1 lead.

The Czechs scored five times in the second period and finally tied the game on a goal late in the third period by attackman Petr Novotny, his second of the day.

The Germans were routed by the Czechs, 29-1, in the European Championships last year.

"This was the biggest win in German lacrosse history," coach Cabell Maddux said of the first win for Germany in World Championship play. "We wanted to jump on them early and wear them out. It paid off in the end. They were tired in the fourth quarter."

Sweden 7, Wales 6: Sweden opened a three-goal lead and held && on when a last-second shot by Wales went wide.

In the intense heat, neither team was able to muster a solid attack in the fourth quarter. That wide shot with a second remaining was the only shot attempt by Wales in the final three minutes.

Wales goalie John Horrigan, from Towson University, stopped 19 shots.

Jamison Hensley, Bill Free and Ryan Basen contributed to this article.

U.S. tonight

Opponent: Australia

When: 8

TV: HTS

Series: U.S. leads, 9-0 Last meeting: U.S. won, 21-7, in 1994 World Championship final

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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