BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh head men’s lacrosse coach and Team USA assistant Kevin Cassese is one win away from a gold medal at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships. The United States faces rival Canada Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET (7 p.m. in Denver) in the championship game, live on ESPNU and WatchESPN. Cassese is looking for his second straight world title. As a midfielder and team captain in 2010, he led the U.S. to a 12-10 championship game win over Canada.
“The overall experience at the FIL World Championship has been extraordinary,” said Cassese. “It has been an honor to represent the Red, White and Blue in this capacity, especially on our home soil. As a coaching staff, we have been pleased with the success over the first six games of the tournament. It’s great to be 6-0, but, our mission is, and always has been, to win a gold medal.
“Our rivals from the north stand in our way,” he continued. “We have tremendous respect for Canada and have been preparing accordingly. It should be an absolute battle Saturday night.”
Cassese owns several responsibilities on Team USA head coach Richie Meade’s staff. Cassese is the faceoff coordinator and goalie coordinator while handling rides, clears and the sub game. He was recently quoted in a Lacrosse Magazine story about U.S. faceoff specialists Chris Eck and Greg Gurenlian, who have dominated, posting a combined winning percentage over 80 percent.
The U.S. goalies have also impressed led by starter Jesse Schwartzman, who owns a miniscule 3.70 goals against average along with a 52.9 save percentage. The United States beat Canada 10-7 to begin the 2014 World Championships. Since, the closest a team has been to the U.S. is nine goals (a 16-7 margin over Australia). Team USA has also beaten Japan (21-3), England (20-1), Iroquois (18-5) and Australia in Thursday’s semifinals (22-3).
Cassese will be facing a familiar foe on the opposite sidelines as Taylor Wray is the defensive coordinator for Canada. Wray played with Cassese at Duke and coached under Cassese at Lehigh before moving onto the head coaching position at Saint Joseph’s.
The United States is vying for its 10th world championship of all-time in 12 opportunities. Canada has won the other two.
Follow along on social media throughout the tournament for consistent updates.