England 9 v 5 Wales
England defeated a resilient Wales 9-5 to advance to the RWLC17 Semi-Finals and set up a meeting with world #1 USA.
A blistering first-half in which England’s attack fired on all cylinders saw the team take a 6-1 lead into half-time, an advantage they never let go of.
Sophie Brett put up a hat-trick as she led the scoring in a potent England attacking line whose movement and accuracy caused Wales problems throughout.
Olivia Hompe, Laura Merrifield, Torz Anderson, Megan Whittle and Jenny Simpson with a double, all got on the scoresheet for England who will now take on the reigning at 6pm on Thursday.
Olivia Hompe, off the back of a hat-trick of her own against Canada, opened the scoring collecting a feed from Simpson.
After Wales equalised through Sophy Coombes-Roberts, England scored five unanswered goals as effective combinations sprung up all over the pitch.
Hompe, after her goal, was extremely effective playing from X dictating England’s play in providing multiple scoring opportunities first for Brett to get her opener, then reciprocating Simpson’s earlier assist.
Oxton teammates Brett and Charlotte Lytollis seemed to be in perfect sync as Lytollis twice found Brett in space to allow her to complete a first-half treble.
After the break, Wales began to drag themselves back into the game, Lloyd-Rout beginning to get some joy on the draw, and Laura Warren scoring after just 30 seconds.
Merrifield added to England’s tally soon after and the Hompe, Simpson combination fired again as England always kept Wales at bay until the latter stages.
It wasn’t until 15 minutes to go that Wales really turned the screw, Coombes-Roberts and Ellie Jones bringing Wales to within three as the tension in the stands reached its peak.
The crucial moment in the match seemed to come just as Wales were building a head of steam as Phoebe Smith scored for Wales but the goal was disallowed for an illegal stick and England got a let off.
After that, England slowed the game down, taking time out of the game and holding some long possessions to take the sting out of the game.
Torz Anderson then sealed the game for the English with a smart bit of trickery to completely deceive her marker and finish into the bottom corner and close the game out.
England will now face USA tomorrow at 6pm in the Semi-Final while Wales now go into the 5th/8th place play-offs starting with Israel at 5pm.
USA 20 v 3 Israel
USA eased to victory against #8 seed Israel as their attacking firepower and aggressive defence was too much for the Israelis.
Kayla Treanor and Alex Aust both posted six points (4G, 2A) and Megan Douty led in the defence with 3 caused turnovers.
In the opening stages, Israel did look to be making a relative fight of the game, Rachel Ozer and Alison Curwin both scoring to tie the game at 2-2 after 9:46.
However, the relative slow start from the US triggered them in to action to raise the game a number of levels, too much for the Israelis.
Ozer managed another Israel goal in the first-half but that was either side of 11 American goals, Treanor scoring four in a row as the score reached 13-3 at the half.
USA were then in full control after the break, controlling the game and not giving Israel little opportunity with only three second-half shots.
The reigning champions added another seven goals and ran out comfortable winners before facing England today in the Semi-Final at 6pm.
Australia 21 v 6 Scotland
Australia recorded their second win in two days against Scotland as they comfortably reached the Semi-Finals.
In contrast to Tuesday’s match, Scotland came flying out of the blocks, consistently gaining possession off the draw as Ailsa Stott dominated in the centre.
The Scots took the lead through Chess Gray and after 15:03 were only 4-3 down as Australia really struggled to gain settled possession, only scoring from fast breaks on turnovers as Scotland failed to capitalise on all their early ball.
After the early troubles, the Aussies then found their rhythm, scoring seven unanswered goals before half-time to take a commanding 11-3 half-time advantage.
The Australian dominance then continued after the interval, Abbie Burgess leading with a remarkable seven goals, often combining well with Nielsen who was brilliant from the X ending up with 3G, 4A also teaming up well with Sarah Mollison.
However, the Australians still struggled to win possession off the initial draw, Stott finishing with 75% draw success and three goals to be named MVP in a losing cause.
Australia now take on Canada in a repeat of the 2013 Semi-Final for a place in the Gold-Medal match, today at 3pm.
Canada 16 v 1 New Zealand
Canada show New Zealand what it takes to compete at the top flight as they beat New Zealand 16-1.
It was Canada’s turn to take prime viewing position for New Zealand’s fierce haka. However, not even the Haka can stop the might of the world ranked No.2 team. Canada opened the scoring just 57seconds into the game. Their scoring run went on for 10 more goals heading to half time 11-0.
The New Zealand team fought for every ground ball and looked like they had every chance of competing. They moved the ball well and transitioned it up field. Their game fell apart with the passing in the final third of the field, not quite connecting with teammates or sending balls stray. It was those half chances that allowed Canada to break quickly and ruthlessly.
Alie Jimerson, Dana Dobbie, Erica Evans and Taylor Gait all found the scored multiple times. Stand out performances came from Jimerson who had 5goals and made the keeper dance with her 1v1’s coming around the crease and Dana Dobbie who bagged a hat trick of goals and assists. Dana had the opportunity to display why she is one of the best in the world when she pulled off a behind the back feed on a scoring play and then her own behind the back shot both executed with class and were far from showboating. Sian Keyes did manage to get 1 past Allison Daley receiving a feed from teammate Briar van Woerden early in the second half.
New Zealand always knew this would be a tough game and the score line really doesn’t reflect how well they played. They competed athletically and could have caused problems for Canada had they managed to find the net a few more goals. Gary Gait noted how impressed he was by the NZBLAX ability, high praise to be valued from a true trailblazer in lacrosse.
The game ended 16-1 with Alie Jimerson taking the MVP award for her offensive efficiency.
Canada now face Australia in the semi-final, a rematch of their tournament opener. That game starts on Thursday 20th at 15:00.
New Zealand face Scotland next in what looks to be a very competitive match, the NZBLAX are on the hunt to break into the world top 7 ranks. They play on Thursday 20th at 14:00.