The brotherly Powell connection put the U.S. in the driver's seat with seven goals yesterday in a 21-13 win over the Iroquois Nation at the world lacrosse championships at TD Waterhouse Stadium.
The U.S. is 4-0 with just Japan left to play today.
Ryan and Casey Powell scored three goals each, while Mike had one to go along with seven assists.
"We're in good shape," U.S. head coach John Desko said. "We have no injuries. I see some other teams are down three or four players."
The win ensured a bye for the U.S. in Thursday's crossover round. A day off will be welcomed, Desko said, noting the extreme heat.
"In college and pro, the players are used to playing one game a week. Here it's every day."
If there's any solace in losing, it's apparent at this tournament where teams from the various countries are building their field lacrosse programs. As they improve yearly, they want their scores to be closer when the worlds are held every four years.
"21-13 is not a bad score with the U.S.A.," Iroquois co-coach Mouser Henry said.
"Most of their teams is made up of three- or four-time all-Americans with some pro experience. That's where they are."
Henry sat a couple of his players late in the game to conserve them for today's important match with Australia. The Iroquois, 2-2, will have a shot at third place if they can beat the Aussies.
"If we lose, we'll play the U.S.A. for sure," Henry said.
"Our guys are upbeat. We gave up eight goals on transition or a man up. That was the game right there. I'll make adjustments (today)."
Iroquois got two goals apiece from Brett Bucktooth and Delby Powless.
Desko said Canada provided the U.S. with "a big scare" on Sunday by almost beating them. The U.S. won 13-12 on a buzzer-beating goal.
With the heat and the scare, it was emotionally tough to get ready for the Iroquois yesterday, Desko said.
But the U.S. still managed to jump out to a quick 6-0 lead.
"After that, we were able to relax," Desko said.
The crowd of about 800 was again strongly supported by a demonstrative native community that was accorded prominent recognition in the opening ceremonies last week.
In yesterday's first game at TD Waterhouse, England defeated Japan 9-8 on three-goal efforts from Peter LeSueur and Mark Reynolds in front of about 500 people.
England built up a 9-5 lead at the end of the third quarter and the Japanese made it interesting by scoring three early in the fourth, but couldn't put the equalizer past England goalkeeper Ben McAllister.
Shinya Maruyama scored three goals for Japan.
The Japanese loss puts them in jeopardy of dropping out of the top six elite nations for the next world championships in Manchester, England, in 2010.