Scouting the Opposition - FIL World Cup Blue Division
|Australia won the 1986 and 2005 Fil World Cup titles, and is expected to be a tough foe in Ontario for the Americans.|
A version of this article appears in the June 2013 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.
Best finish: 1st (1986, 2005)
Names you know: Jen Adams, Courtney Hobbs, Sonia LaMonica, Sue McSolvin, Sarah Mollison, Stacey Morlang, Karen Morton, Hannah Nielsen, Marlee Paton
Skinny: Australia lost to the U.S. 8-7 in the 2009 championship game. Ten players return for the 2013 edition, which also features three players from the Australians' 2011 U19 team: Isabelle Pickett, Elizabeth Hinkes and Stephanie McNamara. Adams has hinted this may be her last FIL competition. McSolvin, a goalie, is playing in her sixth World Cup. Coach Max Madonia, who led Australia to a gold medal in 2005, is back at the helm.
Update: July 7 - Inside Lacrosse is reporting that Jen Adams will miss the World Cup after suffering a torn ACL.
Best finish: 3rd (1982, 2009)
Names you know: Dana Dobbie, Crysti Foote, Mandy Friend, Abbey Friend, Megan Takacs
Skinny: The Canadians' third-place finish in 2009 was their first medal in 27 years. The team has huge expectations in 2013 under coach Alexis Venechanos (Ohio State) and hosting its first World Cup. Canada has a deeper bench than ever before. Everyone on the Canadian roster played in the NCAA system, including Dobbie, one of Maryland's all-time midfield greats, and Takacs, a two-time MPSF Player of the Year at Cal who led the Bears with 48 goals this season.
Best finish: 2nd (1989, 1993)
Names you know: Sophie Brett, Lucy Lynch, Laura Merrifield, Ruby Smith
Skinny: The English are at the top of the rankings across the pond, having won the 2012 European Championships. Merrifield, a 6-foot-1 midfielder, was a first-team All-American at Maryland. Smith was a defender and team captain for the 2011 U19 team. She has since moved to midfield and was the leading scorer at the European Championships along with Brett.
Best finish: 4th (1997)
Names you know: Ros Lloyd, Laura Warren, Erin Walters
Skinny: Wales won the 2008 European Championship, but fell to England 11-5 in 2012. Lloyd, a doctor off the field, was the leading scorer for the Welsh in that game with three goals. The squad toured the U.S. twice in 2012, playing NCAA teams like Yale and Cornell to prepare for Oshawa. Warren played for Maryland (2002-04). Walters, a goalie, is a Garden City (N.Y.) High alum and played for Brown.