USA Beats Canada to Win Men’s U21 Lacrosse World Championship for the 9th Time in Succession

By Matthew Wong
Matthew Wong
Matthew Wong
August 22, 2022 Updated: August 23, 2022

The 2022 Men’s U21 Lacrosse World Championships took place between Aug. 10 and Aug. 20 in Limerick, Ireland.

The U.S.A. beat Canada 12-10 in the final on Aug. 20 to win their ninth consecutive men’s U21 World Championship. America won all of its matches in both the pool and knockout phases of the competition to collect the winner’s trophy. America’s CJ Kirst scored five goals in the final and won the Most Outstanding Midfielder and Most Valuable Player of the Tournament awards, in addition to his gold medal.

Kenny Brower of America won the Most Outstanding Defender award, Liam Entenmann of America won the Most Outstanding Goalkeeper award, and Canada’s Ross Scott won the Most Outstanding Attacker award.

The Haudenosaunee team beat Australia 10-6 to take the bronze medal.

A total of 23 teams entered the tournament. These were divided into five groups for the Pool matches. Groups A to C comprising 14 teams were in competition for the Championship and the remaining nine teams in Groups D and E competed for the Platinum Championship.

In the semi-finals of the championship, the U.S.A. beat Haudenosaunee 10-2, and Canada overcame Australia 19-1, to set up a U.S.A. to Canada final.

In the final rankings, the top 12 ranking places are from the Championship groups, while the bottom two teams from those groups, Latvia and Poland are relegated to ranking positions 19 and 21 respectively.

The winner and runners-up of the Platinum tournament secured World Rankings of 13 and 14 respectively

Hong Kong Team’s Performance

Hong Kong competing in the Platinum Championship had an amazing tournament winning all of its pool matches: Korea (11-4), Uganda (10-4), the Netherlands (11-5), and Sweden (10-4).

Hong Kong went on to defeat Poland (7-6) in the quarter-final, and Sweden 6-3 in the semi-final to meet the Netherlands in the platinum group final.

Epoch Times Photo
The Hong Kong team (in white) successfully defeated Sweden 6:3 at the 2022 Men’s U21 Lacrosse World Championships held in Limerick, Republic of Ireland, on Aug. 18, 2022. (Courtesy of Hong Kong Lacrosse Association)

In the semi-final against Sweden, Hong Kong Ferris Liam, Choi Muk-yan, and Tsang Hing-yui each scored in the first 10 minutes, a third goal was added soon afterward for a lead of 3:0, laying the foundation for Hong Kong’s victory.

Even with minor setbacks in the second period, when Hong Kong suffered the loss of two players due to penalties for some minor fouls they still managed to attack hard. With a combined effort from Liam and Chan Chun-wai, they extended the lead to 4-1.

The lead was reduced to 4-2 after a goal from Sweden, Hong Kong scored again four minutes from the end of period two through the combination of Chan Chun-wai and Liam, restoring the 3-goal lead to 5-2 going into the third period.

The third period started with the Swedes mounting an all-out effort trying to reduce the deficit. They had some initial success by scoring one goal within two minutes of the restart. However, facing wave after wave of attacks from the Swedes, the Hong Kong goalie deserved all the credit as he managed to keep the lead intact. Hong Kong was thus able to maintain the lead at 5-3 to the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth period, the Swedes made an all-out assault to reduce the deficit during those final 15 minutes, but they failed in all their six attempts on goal. On the other hand, Hong Kong was able to score a final goal, again through the combination of Liam and Chan. The final score of 6-3, advanced Hong Kong to the platinum group final.

In the final, Hong Kong was unable to reproduce its earlier feat over the Netherland, losing 7-12, and finished as runner-up in the Platinum group achieving a World ranking of 14. Full results are shown here.

The next Men’s U2 Lacrosse World Championships will be held in 2025. In reply to a question, Hong Kong coach Chad Fairfoull explained the reason for the two divisions in the tournament. Teams in the platinum division were given dispensation to use some overage players and were therefore excluded from the Championship division.  He says,  Hong Kong will enter a team of fully eligible players for the World Championships in 2025, and will therefore take part in the Championship division.

Correction included explaining the reason for the two divisions in the tournament.

Matthew Wong