Canada upsets United States, 8-5, for world lacrosse title

Canada midfielder Kevin Crowley (center) goes behind his back for one of his five goals. The 2012 first-round draft pick of the Wings helped the Canadians avenge a loss to the Americans in their first matchup of the tournament.
Canada midfielder Kevin Crowley (center) goes behind his back for one of his five goals. The 2012 first-round draft pick of the Wings helped the Canadians avenge a loss to the Americans in their first matchup of the tournament. (KARL GEHRING / Denver Post)
Posted: July 21, 2014

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Unfortunately for the United States, history did not repeat itself against Canada in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

The United States took the opening game of the tournament, beating Canada by 10-7. But the Canadians learned from that loss and defeated the United States, 8-5, to win the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

The upset loss was the first of the tournament for the Americans (6-1), and it marks just the third time in the tournament's history - this was the 12th world championship - that the United States didn't come out on top. This was Canada's third championship, as it also beat the United States in the finals in 2006 and 1978.

"The outcome obviously isn't what we wanted it to be, but overall it's been an unbelievable experience," said backup goalie and Springfield, Delaware County, native Drew Adams. "I think that's what makes it even tougher to deal with."

Kevin Crowley, a 2012 first-round draft pick of the Wings, was the hero for Canada, scoring five goals, and goalie Dillon Ward - who was named tournament MVP - shut down some good scoring chances by the Americans with tough saves in the second half.

Crowley had scored only three goals in the previous six games of the tournament for Canada before Saturday's effort.

"It's surreal right now, it hasn't even set in," Crowley said. "It was a great performance all around."

Much like when the teams first matched up on July 10, Canada took an early lead, finishing the first quarter up, 2-0. In the first meeting, Canada built a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter only to see the United States storm back with eight unanswered goals.

That didn't happen this time, as Canada controlled the ball for the majority of the game, and when the Americans were able to get a shot on net, Ward was there.

The few times Canada did make a mistake, it seemed the United States just gave the ball back.

"They played to their strengths," faceoff specialist and Springfield native Greg Gurenlian said of Canada. "They're less athletic than us, they're less skilled than us, and they held the ball for six or seven minutes at a time."

Crowley netted a hat trick in the first half, scoring all of Canada's goals in the first 40 minutes of action. His third goal was the most impressive. After the United States had cut Canada's lead in half early in the second quarter on a goal by Kevin Leveille, Crowley extended the lead with a behind-the-back goal when U.S. goalie Jesse Schwartzman left the net to chase a pop-up.

"Sometimes you just close your eyes and hope for the best, and that was one of those times," Crowley said.

The Americans got a second goal from Leveille, bringing them to within 3-2 early in the third quarter, but they could get no closer.

After a big save by Ward on a Paul Rabil shot that would have tied the game, Crowley scored his fourth goal, and the Canadians quickly scored four more to take an 8-2 lead.

The United States scored three quick goals midway through the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 8-5. Leveille scored his third goal during the run, but the Americans would run out of time in the comeback effort.

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