England finished fourth at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship after a valiant performance in the bronze medal game defeat against USA.
A 7-1 second-half against the American heavyweights had players and supporters dreaming of a famous comeback but ultimately fell short going down 8-11, nevertheless equalling England’s best ever performance at an Indoor World Championship.
It capped a memorable final few days to the tournament highlighted by the redemption victory over Israel in the quarter-final after cruelly losing in overtime in the pool stage.
That victory represented a huge success for the programme, maintaining a place in a potential blue group for 2023, a record-equalling finish, and a shot at a medal match.
After a tough start in the pool stages against the top 3, followed by the overtime defeat, a quick turnaround was needed going in to the play-in matches.
A strong performance against Finland in the first play-in game gave the side their first win at the Championship, 15-6, and lifted spirits ahead of the crunch fixture against Israel.
Another nip-tuck juggernaut contest followed, and with the scores tied at 7-7 midway through the fourth quarter, another overtime match was looming.
But a Sam Clare goal snuck England ahead, and then the defence and Scigliano in goal saw off all the Israeli pressure before a Caleb Kueber empty net effort completed the win and propelled England to a semi-final.
Eventual winners Canada once again proved too strong in the semi-final, before the bronze medal game against USA rounded off the Championship.
After falling 1-10 behind at the half, a stirring final 30 minutes finished the two weeks on a high, despite defeat, bringing the game to within just three as the buzzer went to end the game and England’s Championship.
England’s performance certainly won new fans throughout the Championship, proved invaluable in giving experience to our English-based players, and increased exposure for box lacrosse in England.