July 31, 2009

U.S. Developmental Tryouts Commence at UMBC

by Clare Lochary and Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

NCAA tournament hero Katrina Dowd, who was nearly a last-minute injury replacement for the U.S. World Cup team, will be among 64 players trying out for the 2009-10 U.S. Developmental team this weekend at UMBC.

© TD Paulius/Midwest Lacrosse Photography

The Team USA train keeps churning.

Just five weeks after the U.S. women's national team's gold medal-winning performance in the 2009 FIL World Cup in Prague, the program already has its eyes set on 2013.

That includes this weekend, when 64 of the nation's top players converge in Baltimore for the final round of tryouts for the 2009-10 U.S. Developmental team at UMBC.

Of the 64 players, who advanced via the US Lacrosse Women's Division National Tournament in May, just 24 will remain when the team is announced at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

A look at the 64 players, by position and college:

Jillian Byers, Notre Dame
Rachel Culp, Virginia Tech
McKinley Curro, Boston University
Alexandra Emala, Virginia Tech
Elizabeth Falco, Hofstra
Grace Gaeng, Maryland
Whitaker Hagerman, Virginia
Jackie Lyons, Massachusetts
Jenna Martino, St Joseph's
Colleen McCaffrey, Johns Hopkins
Kaitlyn Messinger, North Carolina
Shannon Smith, Northwestern

Kelly Berger, James Madison
Caroline Chesterman, Florida
Sarah Dalton, Boston University
Emily Dashiell, Louisville
Elizabeth Donegan, Colby
Christina Dove, Syracuse
Katrina Dowd, Northwestern
Lauren Dykstra, Lehigh
Cara Filippelli, Loyola
Alexandra Frank, Northwestern
Corrine Gandolfi, Hofstra
Julie Gardner, Virginia
Kristin Igoe, Boston College
Ashby Kaestner, Georgetown
Sarah Kuonen, North Carolina
Deirdre Lafferty, Cornell
Katie Lewis-LaMonica, Princeton
Nicole Musto, Drexel
Jamie Nesbitt, Stanford
Sarah Plumb, Dartmouth
Mallory Poole, C.W. Post
Erin Rawlick, Navy    
Jennifer Russell, North Carolina
Lauren Schmitt, Stanford
Lauren Schwarzmann, Johns Hopkins
Jaime Sellers, William and Mary

Bryana Borrelli, Hofstra
Alicia Burkhart, Oregon
Kristen Carr, North Carolina
Becky Clipp, Maryland
Corcoran Downey, Boston University
Katy Fitzgerald, North Carolina
Tara Gardner, Loyola
Caroline Helmer, Cornell
Angela Hughes, Johns Hopkins
Alyssa Kildare, Johns Hopkins
Jenny Martin, Boston University
Marie McKenna, Princeton
Alexandra Mundy, Vanderbilt
Kelly Munroe, Boston University
Colleen Olsen, Dartmouth
Riley Perry, Massachusetts
Brittany Poist, Maryland
Brigid Strain, James Madison
Lacey Vigmostad, Northwestern
Ashley Wood, Duquesne

Catherine Conway, Boston College
Rachel Klein, Boston University
Kendall McBrearty, Virginia
Erin Tochihara, Princeton
Julie Wadland, Dartmouth
Natalie Wills, Vanderbilt

What to Watch for

Besides a boatload of talent, these tryouts boast plenty of intrigue. Here are some storylines to keep an eye on:

Katrina Dowd

Katrina Dowd was the heroine of the NCAA tournament, scoring a flashy equalizer in Northwestern's OT semifinal win over archrival Penn. So when Team USA attacker Whitney Douthett went down with a knee injury days before the World Cup in Prague, head coach Sue Heether wanted Dowd to replace her. The rising Northwestern senior wasn't even on the official alternate list, but her record-breaking 22 NCAA tournament goals proved she was the best in the business. So Dowd got on a plane.

In the end, Douthett was healthy enough to play, so Dowd never made the official roster, although she was still a de facto member of Team USA. (Check out Sarah Albrecht's Prague Vlog and look for Dowd around 2:34. She's the one in the hood on the left, looking equal parts amused and appalled by defender Amber Falcone's butchering of Tricia Yearwood during a semifinal rain delay.)

"I got everything out of it that I could, with the exception of actual on-field playing
experience," said Dowd.

There are no sure things at a national team tryout, but in a program that values loyalty and dedication, Dowd might be as close as you get.

All-BU Backfield?

Boston University has built its reputation as a perennial NCAA Division I power behind a sharp-shooting and punishing offense that has included, among others, recent graduate Sarah Dalton, who is trying out this weekend. But with defenders Corcoran Downey and Jenny Martin -- a rising junior and senior, respectively -- and rising senior goalkeeper Rachel Klein among invitees, the Terriers' strongest asset in 2010 could be their defense. Throw recent BU grad and defender Kelly Munroe into the mix, and we could see some familiar combinations on the turf at UMBC.

Among the 64 invitees, BU leads all universities with six current or former players. North Carolina is second with five.

Been Here, Done This

Kelly Berger should be plenty familiar with her surroundings. After two years as an assistant coach at UMBC, the former James Madison star was recently promoted to head coach. Berger is also a four-year veteran of the U.S. national teams program, as a member of the Developmental team in 2005-06 and 2008-09, and with the Elite team from 2006 to 2008.

Parity Party

The NCAA Division I women's lacrosse ranks have swelled, with Florida and Jacksonville raising the number of teams to 90 in 2010. Four players trying out for the U.S. Developmental team this weekend are from Division I programs instituted within the last five years -- Alicia Burkhart (Oregon '09), Emily Dashiell (Louisville '11), Erin Rawlick (Navy '10) and Caroline Chesterman (Florida '13).

Also included among the 64 are a Division II product (C.W. post grad and 2008-09 Devo team member Mallory Poole) and a Division III product (rising Colby sophomore Claire Donegan).

AK on the Comeback Trail?

An interesting inclusion among the 64 invitees is Ashby Kaestner, the rising senior at Georgetown and an early Tewaaraton Trophy candidate for 2010. Kaestner's junior campaign came to a crushing end when she suffered a broken foot in the first half of the Hoyas' NCAA tournament first-round loss to Princeton. The injury came as she scored her third goal of that half to cut Princeton's lead to 7-4.

Catch World Cup, National Teams in Action

For those who could not catch the 2009 U.S. World Cup team in Prague, no worries. The team will remain intact as a standing Elite squad through Team USA's annual exhibition series that includes Stars and Stripes, Champion Challenge and the National Tournament, all US Lacrosse events.

The to-be-determined Developmental team will also participate in these three events.

deBeer Lacrosse is the official exclusive equipment and apparel supplier to the US Lacrosse Women's National Teams Program. Visit www.debeerlacrosse.com

US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) corporation, is the national governing body of men's and women's lacrosse. US Lacrosse has more than 300,000 members around the country. To learn more about the organization, please visit its Web site at www.uslacrosse.org.

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