PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — Last August, 36 players were selected from a pool of more than 100 of the nation’s top young women’s lacrosse players to join the 2019 U19 training team.
Megan Carney and Izzy Scane were not among them.
On Saturday, they both wore big smiles and gold medals around their necks after helping the U.S. reclaim the World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship with a 13-3 victory over defending champion Canada.
Carney and Scane were added to the roster after successful fall campaigns at Syracuse and Northwestern, respectively. They made their debut at the Spring Premiere in California in January and quickly became major parts of the team.
In Canada over the last two weeks, they showed their value time and again. Scane tied with Caitlyn Wurzburger for the U.S. lead at the tournament with 21 goals and Carney contributed 20 points, ranking second on the team with nine assists.
“I feel like everything happens for a reason,” said Carney. “Me and Izzy Scane looked at each other before the game and said there’s a reason we’re supposed to be here.”
Scane earned Player of the Match honors for the second time at the event, scoring three of the first five U.S. goals of the game, including a huge momentum-swinging goal in transition after Canada had scored back-to-back goals early in the second quarter to pull within a goal of the U.S.
“A dream come true,” Scane said. “If you asked me a year ago today if I’d be here winning a gold medal, I would not say that would be happening after getting cut to getting back on the team to competing against a really, really hard good team.”
Canada provided a quality measuring stick for a U.S. team that was dominant in the tournament. More than eight minutes into the game, neither team had scored with Canada content to sit back in its zone defense.
“Before the game we said we’re going come in and play our normal offense,” Scane said. “It doesn’t matter what their zone is doing. We’re just going to play it how we usually play it and look for the backside. We just tried to stay calm and when the ball got toward the middle we were finishing our shots.”
Leah Holmes, one of the youngest players on the U.S. roster, was the first to break through. The lefthander buried a free position shot from the right wing with 6:12 remaining in the opening quarter.
Scane added another barely over a minute later and Elle Hansen converted a free position opportunity with just 35 seconds left in the opening period.
“We knew we needed to stay calm and we needed to do what our offense allowed,” Hansen said. “We just kept doing what we know best.”
After Canada scored its two goals, Scane took over for the U.S., running through the Canadian defense for a transition goal to make it 4-2. After Bri Gross knocked down consecutive passes, Scane had the ball in transition again. She was fouled and buried a free position shot for a first half hat trick and a 5-2 lead.
Holmes and Hansen added scores before the break to make it 7-2 at the half.
“It was an amazing feeling to get our energy pumping and keep pushing as hard as we could the whole time,” Hansen said. “Having the whole team on our back getting so excited after goals was amazing.”
Canada trailed 7-5 entering the fourth quarter of its semifinal game against England on Thursday, but there would be no second half comeback this time around.
Holmes added her third goal of the game just 41 seconds into the half and then team co-captain Elizabeth Hillman, playing just her second game of the tournament due to a knee injury she suffered the day before the first game, scored. Belle Smith and Carney scored before the third quarter ended to make it 11-2 and there was no getting through the U.S. defense.
The U.S. backline of Gross, Ally Murphy and Brooklyn Neumen joined Team USA midfielders in pressuring Canada every time it touched the ball, forcing the Canadians out of their planned offense time and again. When they did get opportunities, U.S. goalies Rachel Hall and Madison Doucette were there. The duo, which finished with the top two save percentages in the tournament, combined for six saves.
Canada’s Annabel Child scored with 5:09 left in the game to break a 38-minute scoring drought for the Canadians, but as the clock wound down the U.S. team knew it was ready to celebrate and help erase the memory of the disappointing end to the 2015 tournament when the favored U.S. squad suffered a tough 9-8 loss.
For a young, budding star from Texas that got cut in her initial effort to make the U.S. team, the feeling of being a world champion was overwhelming.
“It hasn’t hit me yet, but when it does it’s an amazing feeling,” Carney said. “I can’t believe this is happening. It’s definitely a dream come true.”
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