A dominant defensive effort carried the United States to a 13-2 victory over the Haudenosaunee at the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s U21 Championship in Limerick, Ireland. The U.S. improves to 3-0 in the tournament while the Haudenosaunee fell to 1-1.
Liam Entenmann made his second start of the tournament in goal and made five saves while allowing just one goal in three quarters of action. Alec Stathakis also helped limit the Haudenosaunee possessions by winning the first six faceoffs of the game and 11 of 16 overall. Ryan Schriber and Jackson Bonitz also won their lone faceoffs for the U.S. squad.
The U.S. defense even helped generate some offense with a pair of goals from players primarily playing in defensive midfield roles. Jake Caputo, who carried out the USA flag before the game, scored in the first quarter off a pass from Patrick Hackler in an unsettled situation after the Haudenosaunee committed an offsides violation. In the third quarter, Hackler scored a goal that was set up by a caused turnover from defensive midfielder Danny Parker. Caputo also added an empty-netter in the final minute of the game while playing offense.
Offensively, it took a while for the U.S. to get on track, but after Trey Deere scored with eight seconds remaining in the first half for the first Haudenosaunee goal of the game, the U.S. quickly reseized momentum in the second half.
Brennan O’Neill was left alone and buried a deep outside shot from the right wing in the opening minute of the third quarter, igniting a six-goal quarter for the USA that stretched its lead to 11-1. The U.S. then sat on its lead for much of the final quarter to coast to the victory.
O’Neill was one of five U.S. players with two goals and he added two assists for a team-high four points. Also scoring twice were Graham Bundy Jr., Caputo, C.J. Kirst and Shane Knobloch. Cole Kirst had a pair of assists for the U.S. as well.
The U.S. will have an off day on Sunday before wrapping up pool play against Australia (1-1) on Monday at 4 p.m. local (11 a.m. Eastern). The U.S. can clinch the top seed in Pool A if Australia loses its game on Sunday against the Haudenosaunee or with a head-to-head win over the Aussies.
Game stats available at: https://www.worldlax2022.com/results