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2009 E-Lacrosse Feature: Team USA dethrones Australia

I really enjoyed watching the women's World Cup championship Saturday morning on the webcast from Prague in the Czech Republic. I spoke to a few college coaches who were watching the same way this week. The U.S. women held the Aussies to a low scoring output with a dominant defense, anchored by Devon Wills in the goal. Colorado's Caroline Cryer exploded on offense with three goals in the 8-7 win.

I am not one to boast but I once said, in this blog, that for the U.S. to win Cryer would have to be the MVP. She was edged out by Wills for the honor. I am also not one to dwell on my lesser moments, but I also wrote, just last week, that the Aussies would be too much for the Americans in the final, even after the U.S. "upset" the Australians in the round robin game. I really thought the Aussies had another year in their "dynasty", while, with the loss, they have no dynasty at all, just a great win in 2005.

In fact, I think what we witnessed in the earlier matchup between these finalists, was the shift from Australian domination, up 9-4 at halftime, to the youthful and talent-rich Americans, who won that game patiently 10-9, completely stopping the Australian juggernaut. The U.S. just finished the Aussies off today in the final with patient offense, great coaching, perfect defense and special performances by Wills, Cryer, Kristen Kjellman -- who may be the best player in the world -- and Michele Dejuliis, the leader of Sue Heether's American squad.

Team USA led throughout the second half after a 3-3 intermission. The Australians attempted a comeback with three straight goals, but Wills stopped the tying shot with less than a minute left. The U.S. was the better team, both days. We likely also witnessed the end of the career of Sarah Forbes, and the end of domination by the world's previously number one player, Jen Adams, who, could not, as I asserted the other day, score a goal at will, or at least not on Wills.

Congratulations to Team USA, the Czech hosts and the FIL for what looked like another set of great games!

June 27, 2009
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