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posted 10.03.2012 at 12.23 p.m. by Clare Lochary

Five Players to Watch at Stars & Stripes

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The 11th annual US Lacrosse Stars & Stripes event features 18 games over five days (Full Schedule) in Palo Alto, Calif., on the campus of Stanford University and nearby Burlingame High School. Team USA, Australia, Canada and England along with collegiate teams Cal, Stanford and Rikkyo (Japan). There are a lot of players to follow, but here are five to pay extra special attention to:

Megan Takacs, M, Cal/Canada
The senior midfielder will be pulling double duty during Stars & Stripes. She's on the roster for the Bears and for Team Canada. The 2012 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year set a school record for goals last season (53) despite missing three games due to injury. Takacs is a native of Woodside, Calif.

Karri Ellen Johnson, A, USA
The United States' top draw specialists from 2009, Kristen Kjellman and Acacia Walker, have since retired from the team, opening up interesting possibilities for players who can get those initial possessions. Johnson, a recent addition to the American roster, had a team-high 76 draw controls for Maryland in 2012. While she is new to the senior team, Johnson won a U19 gold medal with the 2007 team.

Ruby Smith, M, England
Smith was the only English player named to the 2011 U19 All-World team. The midfielder is making her senior team debut at Stars & Stripes.

Nicole Martindale, M/A, Canada
Martindale is the youngest player on the Canadian roster. The 5-11 high school senior has committed to play for the University of Denver. She plays for the Oshawa Lady Blue Knights, a Canadian club team whose home field is the Oshawa Civic Recreation Center, which will also be the venue for the 2013 FIL World Cup.

Lyndsey Munoz, G, Stanford's own blogger will be in the cage for the host Cardinal. The junior keeper had a 41.1 save percentage last season. Stanford hopes international competition in the fall will help re-establish the Cardinal as the premier team in the MPSF after an 8-10 finish in 2012. Munoz will see some familiar faces shooting at her: Stanford assistants Lauren Schwarzmann and Brooke McKenzie are national team players for the U.S. and Canada, respectively. Additionally, Cardinal head coach Amy Bokker is an assistant for Team USA.

Check back to through Sunday for coverage from US Lacrosse's Stars & Stripes event.