TOWSON, Md. — Fast. Furious. Both ways the U.S. women’s national team wants to showcase its might during the World Lacrosse Women’s Championship at Towson University.
Both words also happen to make up the name of a movie the players watched during a two-hour, 34-minute weather delay that pushed the official start time to 10:04 p.m. Eastern Saturday night.
After a sluggish first quarter during which Australia was methodical with the ball, the U.S. scored eight straight goals in the second quarter to blow it open. There were no cars or drag strips, but the fast and furious display was enough for the U.S. to walk away with a 16-5 win just shy of midnight.
“Tonight was a challenge for both teams,” head coach Jenny Levy said. “Both teams had to come out and focus. … I really like how the team’s playing. We had 10 of our 16 goals assisted. We’re sharing the ball really well and doing a great job on the defensive end, too.”
The U.S., which is 3-0 in Pool A, led 2-1 after the first quarter, but Australia’s patience with the ball resulted in a lack of opportunities on the offensive end. That all changed in the second quarter when Taylor Cummings, Marie McCool and Ally Mastroianni went to work on the draw.
Cummings struck first in the second quarter, darting through traffic to finish herself. Off the next draw, McCool and Kayla Treanor orchestrated a perfect give-and-go, with McCool converting for a 4-1 lead.
The U.S. put the pedal to the floor, completing controlling the rest of the second period. Dempsey Arsenault scored after a shifty face dodge, Treanor assisted back-to-back goals by Ally Kennedy and Sam Apuzzo and three more goals in the final three-plus minutes of the half put the U.S. ahead 10-1 at the break.
“That second quarter was something we were striving for in the first quarter,” Apuzzo said. “It took us a little while to get going, but that’s the lacrosse that we are looking to play every single quarter.”
Australia halted the U.S. team’s momentum out of the locker room with goals from Rebecca Lane and Sarah Mollison cutting the score to 10-3.
The U.S. did score six of the final eight goals, but it wasn’t with the same fluidity the team displayed in the second quarter. Australia’s defense dug in and made it difficult in the middle of the field. Plus, longer Australia possessions limited more chances for the red, white and blue.
“When teams are trying to stall, we know our possessions are really important and we need to capitalize when we have them,” said Treanor, who was named the player of the match after finishing with two goals and four assists.
Australia plays Scotland on Sunday at 5 p.m. The U.S. is off, a much-needed respite after playing late into the evening on consecutive nights.
Saturday night’s best moments were fast and furious. But the entire 60 minutes weren’t pitch perfect — which just so happened to be another movie the team watched while waiting on the torrential rains and lightning that delayed another big win.