Maple Ridge Burrards lacrosse products Ashley Bull and Megan Kinna are among a group of 41 women invited to selection camp for Team Canada. They are vying for a spot on a team that will take part in the 2017 FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Guildford, England.
Bull plays defence for Canisius College in Buffalo, while Kinna is a midfielder for Northwestern.
The Canadian team’s next selection camp will take place at Tierney Field on the grounds of the newly minted US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Maryland, later this fall.
The Team USA Fall Classic, which will be held during Thanksgiving weekend, will feature a series exhibition games against some of the best teams in the world. The defending world champions from the U.S. will be joined by Australia, 2005 gold medalists, and England, host nation of the 2017 tournament. The 2016 NCAA Division I lacrosse champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels, a powerhouse program in the college lacrosse circuit, will also take part.
“I don’t believe we’ve had a more competitive first tryout in the history of the senior national team,” admitted Team Canada veteran Dana Dobbie. “The level of talent on this roster, combined with the experience and knowledge from our coaching staff, is going to be a recipe for success.”
The team’s staff, led by head coach Scott Teeter and program director Gary Gait, were part of the group that helped filter through the 127 tryout applications that were received when the process started in late 2015. Of those applicants, 79 players were selected to participate in the team’s first identification camp, between August 17 and 21 at Syracuse University, after which nearly half of them were eliminated from contention.
“I was very impressed with the overall talent level during the tryouts,” stated Teeter, “but it made the selection of just 40 players very difficult. We still have a number of positional battles ongoing, which goes to show the depth of our program and how we’ve continued to develop as a lacrosse nation.”
The chairman of the Canadian national team programs, Dean French, whose has been involved with the high performance side of things for nearly a decade, has a theory as to why female lacrosse athletes from Canada have been getting better in recent years.
“It’s not surprising that many of the players selected have a background in both box lacrosse and field lacrosse. In 2015, 16 of the 18 players on Canada’s first U19 World Championship team had played both disciplines of lacrosse growing up.”
The select few that remain, many of whom are still actively playing NCAA lacrosse, will need to continue to hone their skills in hopes of being named to the final roster in the spring.
“Our women’s national team program, led by Gary, Scott, and his staff, are working hard to select the best team possible,” added Stu Aird, director of high performance and international relations for the Canadian Lacrosse Association. “With so many great players, it is surely an unenviable task, but we believe that the women fortunate enough to be chosen to represent Canada will be prepared to meet the challenge.”
Based on those currently on the list of players, the makeup of next year’s squad will be a passing of the guard of sorts, with youngster’s from last year’s gold medal winning U19 team visibly outnumbering those from Canada’s last senior women’s roster in 2013.
Lydia Sutton, who played for the senior team as a 17 year old in 2013, and Aurora Cordingley, who made the U19 team as a 15 year old in 2015, will lead the youth movement for a Canadian group looking to bring home gold from this event for the first time since its inception in 1982.
A few national team veterans are still in the running, including United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) members Dana Dobbie, Crysti Foote and Kaylin Morissette, as well as fellow 2013 World Cup alumnae Katie Guy, Emily Boissonneault and Katie Donohoe.
Lacrosse fans may also notice some familiar family names in the list, including Evans, Gait, Merrill, and Stroup.
“I’m looking forward to working with this team as we continue through this process,” remarked Teeter. “Our next camp will be another opportunity for us to work with the players to find the right combination for the World Cup.”
In addition to competing at the FIL World Cup, the 2017 national team will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their sport to a new global audience when lacrosse makes its multi-sport games debut at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. Canada will compete against the host country, as well as the USA, Australia, Great Britain, and Japan.