June 28, 2011

College Prep: Team USA Passes Exam

by Brian Logue | Lax Magazine.com

Kelsey Duryea made seven second-half saves and helped spark the U.S. U19 team to a 14-9 victory over a team of college all-stars on Tuesday night.

© Greg Carroccio

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – The lessons began on the field, and continued after the final whistle, but the U.S. women’s U19 team was up to the task and defeated a team of college all-stars 14-9 in an exhibition game at the Episcopal Academy on Tuesday night.

With just over a month to go before the team departs for Germany for the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship, this was the type of challenge Team USA was looking for. The college all-stars featured two members of the 2007 U.S. U19 team – All-Americans Ali Carey (Vanderbilt) and Emma Hamm (Duke), a solid goaltender in former Penn State keeper Stephanie Ellis and plenty of size, speed and strength to go around.

That was evident when 6-foot-1 Emily Ellisen, a rising senior at George Mason, scored the opening goal for the college all-stars just three minutes into the game. Hamm added another goal a minute later and the U19 team trailed for a good portion of the first half before rallying to take a 6-5 halftime lead.

Team USA coach Krystin Porcella was happy to see her team get pushed, and even happier to see how they responded in the second half.

“What’s hard with this type of team is everyone is so good, they’re used to doing everything for their team,” said Porcella, who was an assistant coach on the 2007 U.S. women’s U19 team that won gold in Canada. “Trying to…not limit their role, but let them understand that their role isn’t to do everything on the team. Once we started to share the ball, move the ball a little quicker, I think it made it harder for the defense to keep up with us, which allowed those lanes wide open down the middle.”

After Courtney Campbell, a rising sophomore at Richmond, scored to pull the college all-stars within 7-6 with 23:06 to play, Team USA went on a seven-goal run over the next 17 minutes to put the game away. Duke recruit Taylor Trimble, playing on her high school’s home field, scored a goal and had two assists for Team USA during the run and finished with a team-high six points on three goals and three assists.

Cortney Fortunato, who led Northport to a New York state championship as a sophomore this spring, had two goals during the run and finished with three for the night. She had seven goals on Monday night when Team USA defeated a Philadelphia-based club team, the Phantastix, 21-7.

While the offense was crisper in the second half, the kick start might have been the play of Team USA goalie Kelsey Duryea. Duryea made two early saves, including one a free position shot by Hamm, picked off one pass from behind the cage and knocked down another. She finished the half with seven saves.

“She’s a really neat kid,” said Porcella. “She’s funny on and off the field. So when she makes that interception, she’s running down the field automatically. It kind of gives you that little boost, that little spark.”

The U.S. team wraps up its mini-training camp on Wednesday at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., and then goes its separate ways until getting back together for training camp on July 26 in Bel Air, Md. From there they’ll depart for Germany, hoping to keep a string of U.S. championships alive. The U.S. lost the inaugural FIL women’s U19 world championship in 1995, but has won the last three – capturing the title in 1999 in Australia, 2003 in the U.S. and 2007 in Canada.

Carey, who had three goals to lead the college all-stars on Tuesday, and Hamm, whose second goal of the game was a highlight reel over the shoulder shot in the final minutes, spoke to the U.S. team after the exhibition to share their experiences from 2007.

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