MANCHESTER, England _ Canada plays Australia in the world field lacrosse semifinals Thursday and, even though Canada prevailed 19-5 in the round-robin match, it won’t be taking the Aussies ligh tly.
Head coach David Huntley has first-hand knowledge that upsets are possible in the sport. He played for Canada in 1978 when it lost 28-4 to the United States in the first round and somehow managed to edge the Americans in double overtime in the title game.
“We obviously had a good game against them the first time,’’ says Huntley. “I’d like to think we can play as well again. If we do, hopefully we take care of business.
“We’ve had games here that we could have taken things for granted and we haven’t. We’ve taken care of business consistently so I would expect the result we want.’’
Australia defeated Scotland 20-11 on Wednesday to lock down the semi against Canada. Japan got the other semi against the U.S. by beating the Netherlands 14-8.
The Aussies left Canadian attackers with welts and bruises in the first meeting.
“They’re an athletic bunch,’’ says John Grant. “We just have to play our game and stay focused and we’ll be fine.’’
Faceoff specialist Geoff Snider won’t be easing off.
“We’ll stick to the game plan coach Huntley and the staff have put together for us,’’ he said. “The one thing about the Australians is that they are very proud, very athletic and as tough as nails.
“The last game we had against them we won handily but we didn’t come of it unscathed. They are a very competitive group. We need to be as prepared for the Aussies as we were for the U.S., Japan, England and Germany.’’
Adam Sear is one of the top Australian shooters and plays at the University of Maryland.
“It’s going to be a tough game,’’ he said. “Canada has a good team.
“We’re going to have to play smart and composed. There’s no other way to put it. We’re going to have to play pretty damn well to beat them. We’ll come out as best we can and see how it goes.’’<
Sear and his teammates won’t be the least bit intimidated.
“They are big names, you know,’’ he said. “They’re all professionals and that type of stuff and we’re kids from the other side of the world just trying to play lacrosse.
“We don’t look at the number or the name on the backs of their jerseys. We just go out there and play. No disrespect to them at all. It’s just the way we approach things and we’ll see how it goes on the field.’’
Team Canada media contact