Babies power U.S. to final

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:47 PM ET

The United States used babies to power its way into the world lacrosse championship final tomorrow with a 13-10 semifinal win over Australia at TD Waterhouse Stadium yesterday.

"Casey Powell and Doug Shanahan played better than most of the guys in the game today," said U.S. coach John Desko.

Powell's wife Lisa Marie, who accompanied her husband to the tournament last week, gave birth to Bella Marie Wednesday night at St. Joseph's Health Care London.

"She can now play for Canada," Powell joked. "She was born on Canadian soil."

And American faceoff man Shanahan became a new father a couple of days ago.

"It does add a little excitement with new members to the family," said Desko. There's some new uncles on the team too. Powell's brothers, Mike and Ryan, are players.

Powell said he was eagerly returning to the hospital, where he had spent the night during the birth. The U.S. had a bye Wednesday. Powell said his wife came to London because she wasn't due until the 27th. He acknowledged he played well because "I've been happy all day."

Powell scored the U.S.'s first goal yesterday as if in celebration of the event.

But the focus will be Saturday's final and a shot at their seventh straight world title. The last time they were beaten was by Canada in 1978.

"Hats off to the Aussies," said Desko. "We were up 8-2 (in the second quarter) and they didn't panic.

In the third quarter, down 8-4, Australia scored three straight to come within a goal.

"Shanahan won some faceoff and we took it from there," Desko said.

Ryan and Mike Powell scored a goal each and Mike had two assists. Shanahan had two goals.

Wes Green and Brendan Mundorf were Australia's snipers notching three each. David Whiteman had two.

Australia now goes to the bronze medal game tomorrow.

The U.S. continued to alternate goalies Chris Garrity and Trevor Tierney, as is Desko's practice, so their opponents tomorrow won't know who will be the starter.

Desko also used his entire bench. Casey Powell said liberal substitutions made it difficult to "get into a flow." He called the U.S. play "sloppy."

England defeated Germany 19-4 in the first game at TD Waterhouse Stadium. England's Mark Reynolds fired six goals and Matthew Beadle had a hat trick to pace the team.

The win qualifies England for a run at fifth place.


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