Skaneateles native and Christian Brothers Academy graduate Erica LaGrow has just helped Team USA win the gold medal at the Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup, held in Prague, Czech Republic.
In the title game on Saturday, the Americans beat Australia 8-7, breaking out of a 3-3 halftime tie with five unanswered goals before hanging on as the Aussies staged a late rally.
LaGrow, a midfielder, attended CBA, then reached national attention at the University of North Carolina, where she was a four-year starters with 80 career goals and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a senior in 2008.
A year later, LaGrow was named to Team USA, already the owner of five World Cup titles as it went to this year's event, though none of the current players on the roster had any World Cup experience.
In all, 16 teams participated. The Haudenosaunee tribe joined the U.S., Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, South Korea and the Netherlands in the field.
The U.S. began by beating England 17-8 and Canada 11-4 in round-robin play. Following a 26-12 win over Japan, the Americans had its first encounter with Australia, which would prove important for the team's confidence.
Down 5-0 early, and 9-4 at halftime, the U.S. ignored the pressure and stormed all the way back, blanking Australia in the second half and winning it 10-9 to finish a perfect 4-0 in the early rounds.
In the quarterfinals, Team USA ripped Ireland 22-5, then crushed England 20-3 in the semifinals to set up another memorable battle with the Aussies.