July 27, 2012

U.S. Women's National Team Tryouts Set for This Weekend

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com

Between 36 and 40 players will be selected for the 2012-13 U.S. women's national team after three days of tryouts this weekend at UMBC. That group will then compete for spots on the 18-player 2013 U.S. World Cup team.
© JC Pinheiro

Eighty-one of the best women's lacrosse players in the country will descend upon UMBC Friday through Sunday for the tryouts for the 2012-2013 U.S women's national team. From the field of 81, the selectors will choose a roster of 36 to 40 who will compete for a spot on 18-player team that will participate in the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup in Oshawa, Can.

"We're going to have a lot of tough decisions to make, which I think, as a coach is a great place to be," Team USA coach Ricky Fried said.

The Americans won the gold medal in the last FIL World Cup, held in 2009 in Prague, Czech Republic. Of the 18 players on that roster, 12 are returning for this year's tryout, including attackers Lindsey Munday and Sarah Albrecht, and defenders Gina Oliver and Amber Falcone, all of whom were All-World players in Prague. Munday was elected team captain of the current squad earlier this month during the team's trip to Canada for the North American Cup Challenge, a three-team tournament that is a part of the run-up to next year's world championship.

"It's a huge honor. I'm so fortunate to be a part of this team. I think everyone feels that," Munday said.

Sis players from 2009 U.S. World Cup team have since retired from international competition, the most recent being midfielder Acacia Walker, who announced her retirement on Thursday. Walker, named head coach at Boston College in May, participated in the North American Cup Challenge and has been in the U.S. national team program since 1999, when she played on that year's gold-medal winning under-19 team.

Twenty-six attackers, 26 midfielders, 21 defenders and eight goalies are scheduled to participate in the three-day tryouts. Both goalies from the 2009 team, Devon Wills and Megan Huether, are in the latest tryout pool, although Huether will sit out this weekend's events due to a concussion she suffered during an exhibition game in Buffalo, N.Y., just before the North American Challenge Cup.

The players will be evaluated over the course of two days of drills and scrimmages by Fried and the five members of the U.S. team staff, as well as six other selectors, all of whom are NCAA coaches. All 12 evaluators take part in the discussion of players, and each gets a voice in determining whether a player makes the team or not.

The roster will be announced on Sunday afternoon, and the selected players will compete in the annual Stars and Stripes Tournament to be held on Oct. 5-7 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Following Stars and Stripes, the coaching staff will cut the roster to a 24-player training team, and then select the 18 players for the final 2013 FIL World Cup roster after Champion Challenge in January 2013.

All tryout sessions this weekend at UMBC are open to the public. The schedule:

Friday: 1:30-5 p.m., 6:30-9 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-Noon, 1:30-4:30 p.m., 6:30-10 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m.-Noon

Check back to LaxMagazine.com for coverage of U.S. women's national team tryouts, and Sunday for the official team announcement.

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