BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The Panthers at The World Games 2022 made it a podium sweep in Birmingham, Ala. Head Coach Emily Boissonneault and Team Canada got revenge on the United States in the final Saturday, July 16, with a gold medal worthy win by the score of 14-12.
“To finally come out with the win and bring home gold means so much to us,” said Boissonneault. “We were really excited to play the sixes format as it is the future of World Lacrosse and a huge step to competing in the Olympics. It is a historic win for Canada Lacrosse, I am honored to be a part of it and am really excited for what this means for all the young lacrosse players in Canada.”
The United States’ second place finish gave Paige Petty and Haley Hicklen their silver medals and Abby Thorne’s Australian team earned the bronze medal by defeating Team Great Britain.
“There is no greater honor than representing your country on the international stage,” said Hicklen. “I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to grow the game alongside Paige Petty as well as the rest of Team USA, Emily Boissonneault, Abby Thorne and all of the amazing lacrosse athletes that competed in The World Games. We put on an incredible display of the fast paced, exciting, fun, and competitive sixes discipline. We turned heads of people in the lacrosse community, the IOC, and beyond. Sixes is the future of the game and I know it is a bright future ahead.”
Canada finished the tournament with an undefeated 5-0 record by beating Great Britain, Israel, the Haudenosaunee and Australia before the final. Boissonneault played in all five games and recorded three goals, one assist, four ground balls and a draw control in the smaller, faster sixes format.
As the second place finishers, the United States with Petty and Hicklen defeated Australia, Japan, the Czech Republic and Great Britain before falling to the team up north. Petty continued her scoring ways from the spring by netting five goals and adding two assists, one ground ball and one draw control. Hicklen, serving as the backup goalie, played all of her minutes out on the field rather than in the cage and scored one goal and picked up a ground ball to boot.
Thorne and her teammates secured a little revenge of their own in a “rematch” against Great Britain in another bronze medal game. Team England defeated Australia in the Women’s World Championships just a few weeks ago. Australia also came out on top against Japan and the Czech’s in pool play. Thorne, a defender, did score one goal as well.
“It was awesome to experience the new format of lacrosse that has the potential to be added to the Olympics,” said Thorne. “It was such a fast paced game and to walk away with a bronze medal from this new discipline was so exciting. The opportunity to represent my country was an honor and something I will cherish forever. Playing with and against the best in the world taught me invaluable mental and physical toughness. I am looking forward to the upcoming season and bringing the things I learned to Pitt.”
This was the first time sixes lacrosse made its appearance on the world stage as World Lacrosse looks to get the sport into upcoming Olympic games.