Campbell River’s Selena Lasota scored a hat trick and was named player of the match as Team Canada stunned top-seeded USA 9-8 to win its first world title in the U19 Women’s World Lacrosse Championships last weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The U.S. had won the last four world championships, while Canada was playing in the gold-medal final for the first time.
Following the tournament, Lasota was also named to the World U19 team, joining teammates Erica Evans and Lydia Sutton on the 12-member squad.
Lasota and Team Canada both saved their best for last in the final, played early Saturday morning, PDT.
The 2014 Carihi grad, who recently completed her first season of NCAA Division I play for the Northwestern Wildcats, scored the go-ahead goal with 19 seconds left in the first half as Team Canada rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead into the break.
She closed out Canada’s scoring with her third goal, a key insurance score at 10:39 of the second half that gave the team a 9-7 lead. She also finished with two assists as the Canadians held off a late U.S. rally.
Team Canada may have sent a message in the teams’ opening game of pool play nine days earlier, when it played the U.S. to a 7-7 draw through one half. But the U.S. pulled away for a 15-9 win and rolled into the final with an unbeaten record.
Meanwhile, Team Canada needed two overtimes to slip past Australia and three overtimes edge England on its way to a second-place finish in the pool. Beginning Tuesday, however, the Canadians morphed into a juggernaut.
Back-to-back shutouts of Korea (20-0) and Scotland (18-0) earned Canada a semifinal rematch against Australia. There would be no repeat of the teams’ overtime nail-biter, though, as Canada dismantled the Aussies 17-4, knocking them from the gold-medal final for the first time since Australia won the inaugural U19 women’s championship in 1995.
To that point, Lasota had four goals and eight assists for the tournament. Her five-point showing in the gold-medal game was her best of the tourney.
Both Canada and Team USA finished with 7-1 records. Canada won seven straight after its opening loss to the U.S.
The changing of the guard began in the bronze final, where England upset Australia 10-9. It was the first championships without a medal for the Aussies, who claimed four straight silvers after winning gold in the 1995 debut tournament.