Powell brothers lead U.S. attack

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

The U.S. men's lacrosse team sure has a lot of fire-Powell, er, power.

Down in the dumps and trailing Australia by two in the first half, the six-time defending world champions roared back with nine second-quarter goals -- five from the three brothers with the famous lacrosse surname Powell -- en route to a 20-8 win over the boys from Down Under in both teams' world lacrosse championships opener yesterday afternoon before about 1,000 at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

Michael Powell, the youngest gun of the threesome, finished with five goals and big brothers Casey (three goals) and Ryan (two) combined for half the potent American attack. The three musketeers from West Carthage, N.Y., (a 6 1/2 -hour drive to London) are tickled to be playing their first major lacrosse tournament together.

"Casey is 30 and Ryan's 28, so I just missed playing with Ryan at Syracuse (University) by one year," said 23-year-old Michael Powell. "We all scored a couple. The way it works is when Ryan scores one, then I want one, too. It's like there's one pork chop left on the dinner table -- just like when we were growing up at home."

Judging from the opener, Michael Powell has reversed his role from the 2002 worlds at Perth, Australia, where he scored seven goals and set up 20.

"I'm more of a setup man but I'm definitely not afraid to shoot," Michael said. "Australia seemed to try to take the pass away so we just let a couple go and got off some good shots."

Ryan Powell, making his first appearance at the outdoor worlds, thought it was important for the U.S. to face a team with a quick push like Australia in its first game. The Stars and Stripes haven't lost at the worlds since 1978 and don't want complacency here.

"That's what we needed early -- we hadn't played a team with the emotion Australia showed in that first quarter and we didn't have a good start," Ryan Powell said.

"We responded in the second but it showed us we have to be ready for every game or we could be wiped out by anyone."

Both teams were a little bewildered by the officiating and the large number of penalties after just coming from the more permissive pro game. Michael Powell joked that, after one questionable call, he asked one official if the crew had ever seen the game before.

"Us and the Canadians play a rougher style of game and it's different than what they're used to here," he said.

The Aussies weren't pleased about the power plays they gave the U.S. and weren't particularly adept at adjusting to the less passive style.

"I just got back from (the Major Lacrosse League) and it's totally different from the way they call the game here," said Australia attacker Brendan Mundorf. "Here, they're calling slashes for hitting a guy in the glove. Little stuff like that."

U.S. 20

AUSTRALIA 8


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