Read below to find out how the Australian team did in pool play of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men's Championship!
AUSTRALIA V. ENGLAND
On day two of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, Australia made their debut against England. The rivals have faced each other in every edition of the Men’s Championship and in 2018 Australia edged England out of the number four spot to close out the Championship.
England started the game strong with a 3-0 lead that ended in the second quarter with a goal from Connor McDonough assisted by Victoria’s own Mitchell Baker (Malvern). The goal was the catalyst for Australia’s 8-0 goal run led by Connor McDonough, Isaac Cahill, and Matt Heuston. The trio scored seven of Australia’s eight goals against England. McDonough scored again in the third quarter, Heuston had two goals and an assist and Cahill had three goals, two groundballs, and one caused turnover. England was unable to answer the goals until the fourth quarter when Sean Goldsmith scored with 1:42 left in the game.
On the defensive end, Victoria’s Sean Aaron (Camberwell) had a standout performance that led to him being named a World Lacrosse Top Performer for day two. Aaron finished game one with a 73% save percentage by stopping 11 of England’s 15 shots on goal.
Tim Graham (Malvern) had an impressive performance on the field with seven groundballs and winning 10 of 13 face-offs for Australia.
Additionally, Victoria was well represented on the field with outstanding performances from Jeff Melsopp (Footscray), Chris Moffat (Eltham), Lachlan Russell (Williamstown), Lucas Parsons-Quintiao (Footscray), Cal Gibson (Williamstown), and Campbell Mackinnon (Altona).
Australia’s 8-4 win over England tied the team with USA for the first-place spot.
AUSTRALIA V. USA
On day three, Australia faced the United States. Both teams had one win each and were tied for the first-place spot.
The game began with an unanswered five goal flurry from the United States. In the second quarter, a Victorian duo was able to get Australia on the board with a goal from Cal Gibson (Williamstown) assisted by Tim Graham. Later in the second quarter, Isaac Cahill was able to score another goal for Australia with an assist from Victoria’s Mitchell Baker. At the end of the first half, the United States was up 10-2 but with Victoria’s Sean Aaron coming off the bench, Australia was able to come back strong and clamp down on defense. The United States team was held to only two goals in the second half of the game. Brayden Panting was able to score one last goal for Australia in the third quarter. In the end, Australia lost to the United States 12-3 on day two.
After a difficult first half, Sean Aaron was able to take the field and shut down the American offense. The United States took seven shots on goal but were only able to score twice. Once again, Aaron had another outstanding game and finished with a 77% save percentage.
Victoria was once again well represented on the field with gritty performances from Jeff Melsopp, Chris Moffat, Lachlan Russell, Lucas Parsons-Quintiao, and Campbell Mackinnon.
AUSTRALIA V. CANADA
On day four of the Men’s Championship Australia faced Canada, who were looking to reestablish themselves in Pool A after losing to the United States on day one and having a bye round on day two.
The Australian team got off to a rocky start in the first half of the game. They were unable to stop the Canadian run, leaving the score 8-0 at half-time.
The Australians came back strong in the second half and hit a stroke of luck when Canada’s Graeme Hossack and Ryan Lee were called for penalties at the same time. Lachlan Walker and Victoria’s Mitchell Baker smartly took advantage of this to score Australia’s first goal of the game and Walker’s first goal of the Championship. Victoria’s own Sean Aaron and the Australian defense were able to hold Canada to a scoreless third quarter while Victoria’s Cal Gibson scored another goal for the Sharks. The Canadians were able to score in an extra-man opportunity, but the Sharks were quick to answer with one of their own. In the last minute of the game Canada’s Jeff Teat was able to score off another extra-man opportunity, closing the game with a score of 10-3 and adding his name to the World Lacrosse Top Performers list for day four.
Victoria’s Jeff Melsopp, Chris Moffat, Lachlan Russell, Tim Graham, Lucas Parsons-Quintiao, and Campbell Mackinnon showed their perseverance on the field against Canada.
AUSTRALIA V. HAUDENOSAUNEE
On day six of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, Australia and Haudenosaunee went head-to-head for the third seed overall in the Championship playoffs. Both teams were looking to reestablish themselves as top teams in the world after suffering tough losses to the United States and to Canada.
From the start, it was clear the game would be tough. Haudenosaunee’s Eli McLaughlin scored in an extra-man opportunity with an assist from Zedekiah Williams. After another goal for Haudenosaunee, Australia’s Brayden Panting put Australia on the board with an assist from Victoria’s Mitchell Baker. At the start of the second quarter, Connor McDonough tied the game for Australia. After exchanging goals, the first half ended with Haudenosaunee up with a score of 4-3.
The second half started with Haudenosaunee scoring two goals, but Victorian Jeff Melsopp was able to score with an assist from Victoria’s Campbell Mackinnon, helping Australia stay in the game. Australia’s Matt Wood and Lachlan Walker both scored, tying the game at 6-6. At the end of the third quarter, Haudenosaunee’s Jerome Thompson scored leaving the score 7-6. In the fourth quarter, the Australians were held to a scoreless quarter while Haudenosaunee was able to add three goals to the board. After a hard-fought game, Australia fell to Haudenosaunee 10-6.
Another game, another great performance from Victorians Cal Gibson, Chris Moffat, Lachlan Russell, Lucas Parsons-Quintiao, and Tim Graham.