Campbell River’s Selena Lasota helped Team Canada to an historic berth in the gold-medal final Thursday as the Canadians overwhelmed Australia 17-3 in the semifinals of the Women’s U19 World Lacrosse Championships this week at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
The game bore little resemblance to the teams’ first meeting in the pool round last Saturday, which went to double overtime before Canada eked out an 11-10 win.
Canada will play for the gold medal this Saturday against the four-time defending champion U.S. team. It is the first gold medal appearance for Team Canada, which won bronze in the U19 World Championships in 1999, 2003 and 2011.
Lasota, recently named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year while helping the Northwestern Wildcats into the Elite Eight of the NCAA collegiate lacrosse championships, had one assist in the semifinal win and now has four goals and eight assists for the tournament.
She scored two goals and added four assists as Team Canada posted a second-place finish in the seeded ‘A’ pool with a 4-1 record in games through Tuesday.
Lasota added another goal and three assists in Canada’s 18-0 blanking of Scotland in the quarterfinals Wednesday. It was the second straight shutout for the squad, which pasted the Republic of Korea 20-0 Tuesday in their pool finale.
Canada drew a tough start in the tourney top-ranked USA. The Canadians played shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. for one half and carried a 7-7 tie into intermission. The Americans pulled away in the second half for a 15-9 victory that remains Canada’s only loss in the tourney. Lasota registered three assists in the loss.
Canada bounced back with a pair of extra-effort wins — 11-10 over Australia in double-overtime, and 9-8 over England in triple overtime. Lasota had a goal and an assist against the Aussies.
After Canada’s overtime wins over Australia and England, Australia outlasted England 14-13 in four overtimes, in the longest game in the history of the U19 women’s championships.
Lasota notched her second goal of the tourney as the squad then clinched second place in Pool A with a more comfortable 12-3 win over Wales.
The U.S. remains the tourney’s only unbeaten team. It dispatched England 20-4 in Thursday’s other semifinal. Australia and England will meet for the bronze in the tournament, which is held every four years.