July 19: England Holds Off Scotland for Fifth

July 19: England Holds Off Scotland for Fifth

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – To the victor went the spoils: a team picture in front of a scoreboard showing England 15, Scotland 13; a parting gift of whiskey from their rival neighbors; and a brief taste of cheap beverages from an ice-filled cooler. "It tastes pretty good," England midfielder Chris Brady said.

England methodically built a six-goal lead with less than eight minutes left in fourth quarter and then held off a four-goal Scotland run in the final 4:23 to win the fifth-place game of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship,presented by Trusted Choice, on Saturday afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Nick Watson scored three goals with two assists, Aaron Prosser had a hat trick, Colin Clive had two goals and an assist and Brady won 10 of 20 faceoffs to spark the English, who raced to a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes but didn't lead by three again until midway through the third quarter. Tommy Kirkland forced three turnovers and had five ground balls and Ben McAllister made 13 saves.

Former Stony Brook attackman Jordan McBride scored five goals for Scotland in the loss.

England savored the win, especially after an 0-5 start to the tournament that forced them into a tilt with Israel on Thursday that determined if they would finish in the top six and stay in the tournament's top division for 2018, when England hosts the event in Manchester.

"We had our backs against the wall against Israel. It was kind of the same sort of thing today. We can't be the England team that lost to Scotland," England coach Matt Bagley said. "We have to win. We'll save that for someone else. But all credit to them, they are a fantastic side."

Said Brady: "It's not for us. It's for the guys that are going to play in the next one."

Scotland, meanwhile, posts its best finish in world championship history in the sixth-place slot in its fifth appearance, and is pegged for the top Blue Division at the 2018 world championship, replacing Japan, whom they beat Thursday in a fifth-place game semifinal in overtime.

"This was bonus ball for us," Scotland faceoff man Stefan Wyroslawski said. "Our target was knocking a team out of the Blue Division and we did that. It was a privilege to get a chance to knock out the Auld Enemy, and see how we could do. They are a fit team, they handle the ball well. I'm a faceoff guy, so they mixed it up a bit on faceoffs. [Brady] was quick with his hands, and I ended up having to turn it into a physical ground ball."

Scotland won 15 ground balls to England's five in the fourth quarter but the English got possession at the end to run out the clock with a two-goal lead.

After outlasting Israel in overtime to get a chance to play for fifth-place and taking Saturday's game, England rebounded, winning three straight against Germany, Israel and Scotland after losing to the Iroquois, Canada, Australia, the United States and Japan in the first four days of the tournament.

"The first week was a bit of a nightmare," said Brady, a Manchester native. "Everyone was a bit down. We knew we played all right in some of the games. It was just those key moments weren't so good. The feeling now is unbelievable."