Attackman Bobby Griebe hadn't played in a lacrosse game with major implications since May 2002 when he helped Boys' Latin win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title, but there was certainly no rust evident last night.
Back in action after sitting out the spring as a redshirt at Towson University, Griebe scored four goals and added an assist as the United States opened the International Lacrosse Federation Under-19 World Championships with a 16-6 victory over Australia before 925 at Minnegan Field at Towson Stadium.
The Americans, the four-time Under-19 world champions and now 24-0 in tournament history, play Canada (1-0) today at 5 p.m. in what should be their biggest test of the tournament.
"I was anxious, but it felt good to be out there," said Griebe. "Our team came out a little flat. We were all just a little over-anxious. We just settled down in the second quarter and didn't look back from there."
Midfielder Bill McGlone, who just finished his freshman season at Maryland, added three goals, and attackman Matt Danowski added three more for the Americans.
Australia, which finished second to the U.S. team in the 1988, '92 and '96 tournaments, was said to be a good opening-night measuring stick, but they challenged only in the early stages.
"It's a good way to get started," said U.S. coach Bob Shriver, who coached Griebe at Boys' Latin. "You want to get it on and now we have a better feel. I think they [Australia] caught us off-guard. They're legit. They have a good shot of doing well."
The Americans were kept afloat early by goalie Mike Petit, who made eight saves in the first half before the U.S. team found its offense. Danowski fired home two straight low shots from long range to put the Americans in front 4-3.
Goals: A-Ardossi 3, Price 2, Le Guen; U.S.-Griebe 4, Danowski 3, McGlone 3, Nolan 2, Dowd, D. Thompson, Cohen, Zash. Assists: A-Ardossi 3; U.S.-Walsh 2, Dowd 2, Griebe, D. Thompson, Nolan. Saves: A-Willis 6, Tillotson 6; U.S.-Petit 8, Alford 2. Half: U.S., 7-3.