Grant, Duch help Canada edge U.S. at lacrosse worlds

Associated Press
7/17/2010 5:50:29 PM
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MANCHESTER, England -- John Grant and Rhys Duch scored three goals each and the defence, especially goaltender Chris Sanderson, was outstanding as Canada edged the United States 10-9 in first-round play at the world field lacrosse championships Saturday.

Next up for Canada (2-0) is Australia no Sunday.

"I'm sure we're going to see them again (in the medal round)," head coach Dave Huntley said after a physically punishing clash with the Americans. "I was really pleased with the way we played.

"We took great care with the ball and played great defence. We gave Chris a lot of balls he could see and he stopped most of them. Can't ask for anything more. And Geoff Snider was really terrific on the faceoffs."

Also scoring for Canada were Corey Small, Billy Dee Smith, Kevin Crowley and Garrett Billings.

Early in the third quarter, with Canada up 5-3, Sanderson made huge stick saves off shots by Mike Leveille and Drew Westervelt that kept the Americans from gaining momentum.

"It was a battle back and forth," Sanderson said. "It reminded me of a fight with the teams feeling each other out, trying things, seeing what works and what doesn't work but, ultimately, we were really strong on the ground balls, we played great defence, and that was the difference."

Grant scored the most amazing goals of the game. He put Canada up 4-3 early in the second quarter by shooting over his shoulder with his back to the net, and he gave Canada a 9-7 lead in the fourth by fending off a checker with one arm and flinging in a one-handed, underhand shot.

"We executed some of the things that the coaching staff has had us working on all week," he said afterwards. "When we were doing that, we were playing well.

"When we started getting away from what we've been working on, I thought we looked average. We definitely have to keep up the positives and keep down the negatives. But, all in all, it's a step in the right direction."

He had to laugh about the one-hander.

"I got lucky," he said. "I shouldn't have shot it but sometimes you get lucky and it was a good time for it."

Leveille and Westervelt scored two goals each for the U.S. side and Paul Rabil, Kyle Sweeney, Matt Striebel, Matt Zash, Kevin Cassese and Brendan Mundorf got one each.

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