U.S. captures Under-19 FIL World Championship


After a week of ups and downs the members of the United States Under-19 men’s national team proved they could step up when it counted most – in the tournament’s title game.

Strong runs in the second and third quarters helped the U.S. team continue its run of gold medals with a 10-8 victory over the Canada in the championship game of the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships on Saturday in Turku, Finland.

The Faceoff duo of Charlie Raffa and former Bridgewater-Raritan standout Tyler Barbarich won 17 of 22 faceoffs and tournament Most Valuable Player Matt Kavanaugh scored two goals and two assists to lift the team coached by Mountain Lakes’ mentor Tim Flynn.

It was the seventh consecutive gold medal for the U.S. Team which has won every FIL Under-19 tournament since the competition began in 1988.

A four-goal run in the second quarter gave the U.S. a 6-2 halftime advantage. Canada rallied with three consecutive goals to start the third quarter, but the U.S. national team never relinquished the lead.   

Kavanagh, Connor Buczek and Ryan Tucker scored three of the next four goals to give their team a 9-6 lead going into the fourth quarter. Mike Tagliaferri added a fourth-quarter goals to cement the U.S. victory.
The New Jersey contingent contributed to the overall effort. Barbarich won 7 of 9 faceoffs and former St. Augustine Prep standout Steven Pontrello added a first-half goal.

The U.S. win avenged a 15-13 overtime loss to Canada in pool play. The national team also avenged a pool play loss to the Iroquois Nationals with a victory in the semifinals. Iroquois took third place with an 18-1 win over England in the consolation game.


About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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