Robinson, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound defenseman whose shoulder-length hair reflects his alter ego as an avid surfer, and Mundorf both wound up in the penalty box. It set the tone for a 16-penalty slugfest, with the U.S. pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 16-7 victory.
“They gotta earn respect from us and we gotta earn respect from them. We don’t want to give them too much, and we don’t want to give them too little,” said Robinson, a Wembley Lacrosse Club export who is one of the top defensemen in NCAA Division III at Stevenson. “We just tried to beat ’em up a little bit and run with ’em.”
The strategy kept the game close. Matt Diver’s second man-up goal with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter pulled Australia, which defeated Japan in double-overtime Friday, within five at 11-6.
But Team USA, bolstered by a 17-for-23 combined faceoff performance by Chris Eck and Greg Gurenlian and an inspired effort on both ends of the field by Paul Rabil, finished the game on a 5-1 run that included Rabil scoring on a hidden-ball trick.
Rabil and Dave Lawson scored four goals apiece, Marcus Holman had three goals and an assist, and Rob Pannell added two goals and two assists.
“Teams want to be physical. Their defense checked hard and played hard. We were a little stagnant at times offensively,” Holman said. “We stayed with it and got some good goals.”
Team USA amassed nine minutes on nine penalties. Australia had seven penalties for 5 minutes, 30 seconds.
“You can’t take a ton of penalties,” Lawson said. “That’s something we definitely need to improve on.”
Team USA improved to 2-0 and moved into first place in the Blue Division. The U.S. will play Japan on Sunday. Australia fell to 1-1 and will meet England.