The Federation of International Lacrosse Under-19 World Championship took place in Canada over the past two weeks, and tournament champions Team U.S.A. relied on a core composition of Quakers throughout the six games.
Five individuals — four athletes and a coach — represented Penn in the Canadian province of British Columbia as the U.S. defended its title in the Under-19 World Championship.
The four players were all rising sophomores: Tyler Dunn, Noah Lejman, Simon Mathias and Alex Roesner donned the Red, White and Blue, all under the tutelage of Red and Blue associate head coach Patrick Myers.
Play began with the U.S. faced against tournament hosts Canada on July 7, with other Blue Division group games played against Australia, Iroquois Nationals, and England over the ensuing week. The Americans, led by barnstorming performances up front by Roesner, won every game in their group by blowout margins ranging from seven to 14 points.
Roesner scored 11 goals and registered three assists in his team’s four games of group play, while fellow classmate Mathias also lit up the score sheets, notching five of each himself.
The U.S. played their first knockout game Thursday night, with a run to the final on Saturday nothing short of expected. After all, the U.S. had won all eight of the Under-19 World Championships since the event’s conception in 1988.
A repeat matchup against Australia was hardly a contest as the Red, White and Blue ran out 23-1 winners.
The final was much more intense, with many spectators even giving up hope on the Americans as they trailed hosts Canada the entire game, including an 8-2 deficit at halftime. But the U.S. fought back and took their only lead of the game with just eight seconds to play, winning the championship 13-12.
Roesner finished the tournament with 18 goals. Mathias registered nine goals and six assists, while Dunn scored four and assisted once.
The tournament is sure to give the Quakers a boost heading into the 2016-2017 season, and a much-needed one at that, following a bitter end to their spring season with a tight loss to Yale in the first round of the Ivy League tournament.
With new experience to tout, and an international championship under their belts, the men’s lacrosse team could head into the new year with a head full of confidence and hopes of winning even more.
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