It was a long four years, but the U.S. men’s national lacrosse team is back on top of the world.
USA defeated Canada, 12-10, on Saturday at the World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England, to take the gold medal away from the team that had dethroned the United States in 2006.
A crowd of 4,651 at the University of Manchester was treated to a thriller. USA started fast and built an 8-4 halftime lead. But Canada rallied to take a 9-8 lead early in the fourth quarter and still led 10-9 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Duke star Ned Crotty, the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy winner who had a quiet tournament, took over late. He tied it at 10 on a rising shot off a feed from Mike Leveille with 8:24 left and gave the U.S. the lead for good on a bounce shot made as he fell.
USA regained possession on a Canada turnover with four minutes left and did not give the ball back. Leveille scored an empty-netter with 1:19 left to seal the United States’ seventh gold medal in the event.
Although the four Long Island players on the U.S. team did not score Saturday, midfielders Max Seibald (Hewlett, Cornell) and Matt Zash (Massapequa, Duke) were superb in running the field and helping the U.S. maintain possession in the final minutes, even after Canada pulled its goalie to chase the ball.
Midfielder Paul Rabil and Leveille led USA (6-1) with three goals each. Rabil was named MVP of the world championships. Stony Brook University star Kevin Crowley scored a goal for Canada (5-2).