Three Tar Heels Earn U19 World Championship Rings
Release: 07/21/2012

TURKU, Finland - The U.S under-19 men's national team captured the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championship on Saturday, beating Canada 10-8 to cap a comeback run through the tournament after dropping a pair of pool play games to the Iroquois and the Canadians one week ago.

Three members of the 2012-13 University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team earned gold medals at members of the U.S. squad — midfielders Steve Pontrello, Michael Tagliaferr and Brent Armstrong.  Rising UNC sophomore midfielder Chad Tutton of Canada earned a silver medal.

Pontrello and Tagliaferri each scored goals for the U.S. in Saturday's title game.  Tagliaferri's goal essentially clinched the contest for the Americans as he put the U.S. up 10-7 in the fourth quarter.  Tutton had a pair of assists for the Canadian side.

Team USA dominated on faceoffs, winning 17 of 22 as a team - Charlie Raffa won 10 and Tyler Barbarich seven - and 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.

Michael 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.

Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships
USA 2 4 3 1 - 10
CAN 2 0 4 2 - 8

Goals:  USA - Kavanagh 2, Tucker 2, Buczek 1, Eipp 1, Leonard 1, Keenan 1, Pontrello 1, Tagliaferri 1; CAN - Tinney 2, Berg 1, Comeault 1, Currier 1, King 1, Litner 1, O'Connor 1

Assists: USA - Kavanagh 2, Leonard 1, Keenan 1; CAN - Berg 2, Tutton 2, Evans 1, King 1, Litner 1

Saves: USA - Oliveri 5, Turri 4; CAN - Donville 10

Faceoffs: USA - 17 of 22: Raffa 10 of 13, Barbarich 7 of 9; CAN - 5 of 22, Currier 2 of 11, MacKay 2 of 9, Lindsay 1 of 2

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

UNC North Carolina Men's Lacrosse

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