Raffa Helps Team USA Claim Gold

July 21, 2012

TURKU, Finland - Maryland men's lacrosse rising sophomore Charlie Raffa won 10 faceoffs to help propel the U.S. under-19 men's national team to a Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 World Championship on Saturday, with a 10-8 victory over Canada.

The win for the U.S. capped a comeback run through the tournament after dropping a pair of pool play games to the Iroquois and the Canadians one week ago.

Team USA dominated on faceoffs, winning 17-of-22 as a team with Tyler Barbarich winning seven to go along with Raffa's 10. Tournament MVP Matt Kavanagh scored two goals and added two assists.

The U.S. kept its streak alive of winning every gold medal since sanctioned U19 international began in 1988. Canada, which beat the U.S. 15-13 in overtime in pool play, finished in second place for the fifth time in tournament history. The Iroquois Nationals placed third after an 18-1 win over England earlier Saturday.

The U.S. outscored Canada 4-0 in the second quarter, winning 7-of-8 faceoffs in the same period to take a 6-2 halftime lead. Canada scored three straight to open the second half and cut the U.S. lead to 6-5, but the U.S. scored three of the next four to make it 9-6 heading into the fourth quarter. Kavanagh, Connor Buczek and Ryan Tucker scored during the run.

Mike Tagliaferri made it 10-7 with 3:17 to go before Wes Berg tacked on the last goal of the game with nine seconds to go.

Zach Oliveri made five first-half saves and Kyle Turri made four in the second half while Canada goalie Brennan Donville finished with 10.

Kavanagh, Tucker and defenseman Stephen Jahelka were named to the All-World team. Kavanagh was named most outstanding attackman, Warren Hill (Iroquois) was named most outstanding goalie, Lyle Thompson (Iroquois) was named most outstanding midfielder and Canada's Danny MacDermott was the tournament's most outstanding defender.

US Lacrosse contributed to this release.

For complete information about the U.S. U19 team, including a roster, please visit