U.S. Women Confident, Not Satisfied Entering World Cup


Team USA's Katie Schwarzmann ducks under the defense of Canada's Lydia Sutton during an exhibition May 27 at Yale headlining the US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament.

The final roster for the U.S. women’s national team was named in January following the Team USA Spring Premiere, where the U.S. World Cup training team defeated Florida and Notre Dame by a combined score of 42-24. 

For the first time, the 18 players, plus one alternate, selected to represent the United States in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women’s World Cup, July 12-22 in Guildford, England, reunited May 27 at Yale for their last hurrah on home soil. Team USA suited up against Canada’s final roster, and again, dominated their opponent, winning 20-7. 

Kelly Rabil led the U.S. offense with four goals, while Laura Zimmerman also added four points on one goal and three assists. Brooke Griffin and Aly Carey tallied hat tricks and Kayla Treanor also recorded three helpers. 

But the recently named captains, Devon Wills and Sarah Bullard, who both were members of the 2009 and 2013 world champion U.S. women’s national teams, with the latter also captaining the 2007 under-19 gold medalists, put the win in perspective. 

“To have a turn and be in that position is really huge honor and is also something Devon and I feel is a great responsibility to set the tone and continue what previous teams have started,” Bullard said. “We need to create greatness out of our team. We can’t expect it to come just because it has in the past and we’ve had a great tradition of winning. That doesn’t mean it’s going to come naturally to us just because we’re wearing Team USA.”

The U.S. women’s national team will be aiming for its third straight gold medal and eighth overall, but also understand its competition is rising. Three of Canada’s five first-half goals were on an open net against Team USA’s high-risk, high-reward ride. 

“We started off a little rusty and at times almost too amped up,” Wills said. “It was a great crowd, it was against Canada, the emotion was all there, but now we just have to control it.”

Rabil, a fellow veteran, also knows that her team has to stay humble because “the World Cup is a whole new ball game.” 

“We are confident, but not satisfied,” Bullard said. “We know we still have a long way to go and I think that’s one of the best qualities of both this team and the coaching staff. Yes, we won that game by a lot of goals, but none of us are satisfied with the performance. We come off talking about the things we can do better, not the fact that we won by 10-plus goals, and that is hopefully what will lead us to be successful.”

Fried is confident in his captains to get the pulse of the team with each game, but at the end of the day, the entire team needs to work together for the Americans to return home victorious. 

“We’re excited to show the world how this United States team is going to play, but at the same time, it’s something we have to go earn,” Fried said. “We need to stay focused, play to our standard. Don’t relax and don’t take it for granted.”

Added Bullard: “The fight in us…is at the core of everything you need to be successful in the World Cup.” 

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