Dominant Canada aims for victory Americans still remember the upset

20 years ago, U.S. suffered one, only international loss

World Games notebook

July 20, 1998|By Jamison Hensley and Eduardo A. Encina

It is an anniversary that the U.S. lacrosse team won't be celebrating.

Twenty years ago, the U.S. national team lost its first international game, bowing to Canada in the World Championship final in Manchester, England. The Canadians, who play the Americans at 8 tonight to decide the top seed when the tournament begins Wednesday, upset the Americans, 17-16, in the first overtime game at the World Championships.

"It's still a great memory and it's about time again," said Stan Cockerton, the leading scorer in the 1978 tournament for Canada, who is part of the International Lacrosse Federation committee. "It's good for the sport to spread the wealth around a little."

That contest still ranks as the biggest upset in the World Games, especially since the United States routed Canada, 28-4, five days before the title game.

Since that loss, the United States has won 23 straight games to go to 53-1 overall and claim four consecutive titles.

However, Canada has been the most dominant team this week, defeating opponents by an average of nine goals. The Americans have won three games by an average margin of 7 1/2 goals.

U.S. keepers audition

The U.S. team held its final audition for the starting goalkeeper's job against Canada tonight. The United States started Sal LoCascio for a half and finished with Brian Dougherty, who had the better overall game with five saves and three goals allowed.

"I don't know about the goalie situation," U.S. coach Bill Tierney said. "If we have a problem, it's not in the goal."

In another development with the U.S. team, Casey Powell said yesterday that he plans to play in Wednesday's semifinals. Powell, the two-time Division I Player of the Year from Syracuse, tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a June 28 exhibition and has yet to play this week.

Ebb and flow of anger

The biggest altercation thus far occurred in the U.S.-Iroquois Nation game. In the third quarter, there was a helmet-to-helmet argument between the Bill Miller and J. D. Jones of the Iroquois Nation. It ended ended with Jones slapping Miller in the helmet.

Jones said: "There were a couple of questionable calls that got us riled up."

Miller said: "Everybody left it out on the field."

Pub Date: 7/20/98

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