SAN DIEGO (June 23, 2023) – In their first game of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, the Haudenosaunee Nationals (1-0) controlled both ends of Torero Stadium with a commanding 18-5 win against England (0-2). Austin Staats was the star of the show, shredding England’s defense with eight goals and an assist.
The scoring started with his older brother, Randy, notching the first goal of the game with a horizontal whip. England would respond with a pair of goals, putting them up 2-1. Their lead was short-lived, as R. Staats would cash in on the next play in transition to tie things up. Lyle Thompson, who assisted R. Staats’ second goal, slipped down the middle for an unassisted marker, taking a lead the Haudenosaunee would never relinquish.
The lefties began to take over for the Haudenosaunee, with A. Staats beginning his explosive game with a pair of goals. Sean Goldsmith would have the final say in the first quarter for England, but the Haudenosaunee were up 5-3 after the first fifteen minutes of play.
Staats bullied into his defender to get to the crease and score his hat trick goal. Later with three defenders pressing him, A. Staats got the ball to Zach Miller for his first goal of the contest, then A. Staats capped the half with his fourth of the game. The Nationals defense blanked England’s offense in the quarter. Halftime came with the Nationals up 8-3.
Miller scored off a pick set by A. Staats to start the third quarter. A. Staats continued his offensive flurry with a twister on his wrong side of the field, then Jacob Piseno hammered the ball home in transition, putting the Haudenosaunee up 11-3, and scoring his first goal as a member of the HNL Men’s Team.
In the dying seconds of the quarter, Lyle Thompson would float off his defender and beat the crease collapse with a five-hole goal, responding from an England strike by Christian Scarpello (PLL Waterdogs). The teams traded sides of the field for one last time, with the Nationals up 12-4.
Both teams swapped their goalies in, with Jack VanValkenburgh standing between the pipes in relief of Warren Hill. Daniel Watson got the ball past him on the first shot he faced, but it would be the final time England found the back of the net in the game. L. Thompson kicked off a six-goal run, with A. Staats punctuating his team’s win with a natural hat trick. The Haudenosaunee Nationals won their first game in Pool A by a final score of 18-5.
Staats’ nine points (8G, 1A) led the team in scoring, followed by L. Thompson (3G, 1A) and R. Staats (2G, 2A) with four points apiece. W. Hill finished with four saves in three quarters, and VanValkenburgh stopped a pair of shots.
The Nationals next face the United States at Torero Stadium on Saturday, June 24. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. ET with coverage set for TSN in Canada and ESPN+ for US viewers.