U.S. Teams Sweep Saturday Games at Champion Challenge

ORLANDO, Fla. The U.S. men's and women's national teams swept Saturday's competition at Champion Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. On the men's side, Team USA defeated Army, 15-7, in its first exhibition since naming the 23-man roster that will travel to Manchester, England for the FIL World Championships this summer. On the women's side, the U.S. Elite Team cruised to a 23-7 victory over Notre Dame, while the U.S. Developmental team downed Florida, 17-8.

Sunday's games (see schedule at the bottom) involving the Elite women's team vs. Duke and the U.S. men's team will be televised on a delayed basis by ESPNU. See the TV Listings page for details.

U.S. Women's Elite Team 23, Notre Dame 7

Team USA took charge from the opening whistle, scoring six unanswered goals in the first seven-plus minutes, and never let up in a 23-7 win over Notre Dame at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

After the U.S. raced to a 14-3 lead at halftime, Notre Dame scored four of the first five goals in the second half -- including two from former U.S. U-19 standout Shaylyn Blaney -- to close within 15-7.

But Team USA countered with its own decisive run, scoring eight unanswered goals in the final 16:22 to defeat the Irish, who are ranked No. 9 in Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I preseason poll.

Lindsey Munday (5g, 2a), Katie Rowan (5g, 1a) and former Notre Dame standout Jillian Byers (3g 4a), playing up from the Developmental squad, led the offensive charge.

The U.S. held advantages in ground balls (20-9) and draws (16-15), while goalies Devon Wills, Megan Huether and Amy Altig combined for seven saves.

Blaney, Gina Scioscia and Ansley Stewart scored two goals apiece for Notre Dame. Irish goalie Ellie Hilling, a freshman, made 10 saves in the loss.

U.S. Men's National Team 15, Army 7

Fueled by a dominant fourth quarter, the U.S. men's national team dispatched Army, 15-7, in the second game of Champion Challenge. Attackman Brendan Mundorf scored a game-high four goals, while midfielder Kyle Dixon netted three goals and an assist in the victory.

Army took advantage of Team USA penalties in the third quarter and closed within two goals on a Garret Thul extra-man goal that made it 9-7 at the 2:52 mark. Thul's goal, the freshman's second of the quarter, came off a pristine, back-door skip feed from Jeremy Boltus, who led all Black Knights with four points (2g, 2a).

Team USA regrouped, however, for a spirited fourth-quarter run to put the game out of reach. Dixon's third goal of the game, an extra-man tally from the left alley, started the run 29 seconds into the quarter to put the U.S. ahead 10-7.

Five minutes later, Ryan Powell busted through two Army defenseman and goalie Tom Palesky on a restart to feed Ryan Boyle on an open cage to make it 11-7.

After an unassisted goal by Matt Striebel made it 12-7 with 12:35 remaining, Stephen Peyser delivered the dagger. Peyser won the ensuing faceoff, forged forward and sent a left-handed rifle into the top-left corner to give Team USA a 13-7 advantage.

Mundorf and Kevin Cassese scored for the final margin. Team USA held advantages in ground balls (39-20) and shots (33-19).

U.S. Women's Developmental Team 17, Florida 8

McKinley Curro scored four goals, as the U.S. Developmental team defeated Florida, 17-8, in a physical, penalty-laden affair to close out the first day of games at Champion Challenge.

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2010-01-31



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