LANGLEY, British Columbia — History will have to wait four more years.
For the second time in five days, the U.S. men’s indoor team came tantalizingly close to knocking off the vaunted Iroquois Nationals, only to fall short. A 5-1 run bridging the third and fourth quarters propelled the Iroquois to a 9-7 victory over the U.S. in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship semifinals Thursday at Langley Events Centre in Langley, British Columbia.
Team USA has never defeated rivals Canada or the Iroquois in world indoor championship play. The U.S. was hoping to qualify for its first gold medal game in the quadrennial competition that dates back to 2003. Instead, it will vie for its fifth bronze medal Saturday. The Americans will play the loser of Thursday’s nightcap between the host Canadians and England at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST). The medal games will be streamed live on Lax Sports Network.
Unlike last Saturday’s preliminary game against the Iroquois, a 12-10 loss in which the U.S. had an early lead and then rallied with a late flurry, neither team could establish much of an offensive rhythm Thursday. Trevor Baptiste won 15 of 20 faceoffs and the U.S. outshot the Iroquois 49-45, but goalie Warren Hill (42 saves) backstopped a stout defensive effort in the Iroquois victory.
Among the bright spots for the U.S. were forwards Joe Resetarits (two goals, four assists), Kieran McArdle (one goal, four assists) and Gale Thorpe (two goals, two assists). Gowah Abrams made 36 saves in the loss.
Knotted at 2 at halftime, the U.S. took a 4-2 lead when Connor Kelly and Resetarits scored 22 seconds apart midway through the third quarter. A Thorpe tally made it 5-3 at the 4:08 mark.
After the Iroquois tied the game on a pair of goals by Tehoka Nanticoke and Miles Thompson, the U.S. countered with the lone goal of the night by forward Matt Rambo, who with Kelly had missed the teams’ round-robin encounter while playing in the Premier Lacrosse League championship.
The U.S. led 6-5 going into the fourth quarter, but the Iroquois struck quickly. Adam Bomberry tied it 32 seconds in, and then Kyle Jackson and Cody Jamieson scored in a span of less than a minute to put the Iroquois ahead 8-6.
Thorpe, the son of U.S. head coach Regy Thorpe, rung a shot in off the inside post on the power play to pull the U.S. within one. But the Americans would get no closer. Jordan Durston essentially iced the game for the Iroquois with an insurance goal with 2:35 remaining.
Jamieson finished tied with Resetarits for the game high with six points on two goals and four assists. The Iroquois will play either Canada or England in the gold medal game Saturday at 8 p.m. PST (11 p.m. EST), also on Lax Sports Network.