Women’s National Team Assembles Experienced Staff To Help Build On Recent International Success

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Gary Gait
The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) is pleased to announce the appointments of the coaching and support staff members that will help guide the senior women’s national team this at this summer’s 2017 Rathbones FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup and 2017 World Games.
A group of highly qualified coaches, with plenty of collegiate experience, will join head coach Scott Teeter’s (Shelburne, Ont.; Canisius College) staff. They will look to build on the recent international success that our Canadian women’s field lacrosse program has had, which includes winning gold at the 2015 FIL U19 Women’s Field Lacrosse World Championship.
“We have assembled a knowledgeable and experienced group of coaches that will help our players reach their potential and compete at the highest level,” stated Teeter. “We’re confident that they can help us build a winning culture and bring home another gold medal.”
The coaching and support staff, along with the 25 players remaining on Team Canada’s training squad, will gather in Syracuse, New York for a training camp this weekend.
Following the camp, the coaches will narrow down the group even further in order to select the final roster (18 athletes, 2 alternates) that will travel to Guildford, England for the FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup. An announcement on the final roster will be made in the coming weeks.
The coaching staff will be made up of the following individuals:
Gary Gait, Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator (Victoria, B.C.)
As one of the most accomplished lacrosse players of all-time, Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame member Gary Gait will bring an unmatched level of experience to the coaching staff. After a successful collegiate playing career at Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.), where he led his school to three NCAA Division I championships, Gait went on to have memorable careers in both the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Major League Lacrosse (MLL). Over the course of his 18 seasons in the NLL, Gait captured the league championship three times and was named league MVP in five consecutive seasons from 1995 to 1999. On the field, he played six seasons in the MLL, capturing the league championship three times. Gait’s success was not limited to the professional ranks, having also won the Minto Cup in 1988 and the Mann Cup on three separate occasions in 1990, 1997 and 1999. On the international stage, he donned the maple leaf at five Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) world championships, bringing home three silver medals and one gold.
Gait began transitioning into the coaching ranks while he was still an active player. From 1994 to 2002, he was part of the University of Maryland (College Park, MD) women’s lacrosse dynasty that won seven consecutive NCAA championships (1995-2001). He was then a player-coach with the MLL’s Baltimore Bayhawks (2002-2005) and the head coach of the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth (2005-2007), winning championships in both leagues. He returned to the women’s field game in 2007 when he was named the head coach of him alma matter Syracuse University, a position he still holds today. Gait has also coached the Canadian national team, acting as head coach of the men’s indoor team (2007) and U19 men’s field team (2003, 2008), as well as assistant coach of the men’s field team (2014). He will serve double duty during this world cup as he currently holds the position of Director, Women’s Field Program for the CLA.
Katrina Dowd, Assistant Coach (Yorktown Heights, New York)
Katrina Dowd, a gifted offensive mind who is entering her first season as head coach of the University of Oregon Ducks (Eugene, OR), has been brought on board to help lead Team Canada’s offense. A winner of five NCAA Division I championships, three as a player and two as an assistant coach, and one FIL women’s world cup, Dowd has built an impressive lacrosse resume over the past decade. As a collegiate player, she helped lead Northwestern (Evanston, IL) to three consecutive NCAA Division I national titles from 2007 to 2009. In addition to winning titles, she was received her fair share of personal accolades, which include being named a IWLCA All-American (2009, 2010), NCAA Championship MVP (2009), IWLCA Attacker of the Year (2010), and Northwestern’s Female Athlete of the Year (2010). Her ability to score clutch goals has earned her a spot atop the NCAA Tournament record book in both career goals (45) and most goals in a single tournament (22).
Dowd has risen through the coaching ranks rather quickly since finishing her playing career. She was an assistant coach with the University of Denver (Denver, CO) in 2011 and University of Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.) in 2012, after which she was then hired as offensive coordinator for the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.), where she helped lead the Tar Heels to two national titles in 2013 and 2016. A member of Team USA between 2008 and 2014, Dowd cemented her legacy as one of the top offensive players in international lacrosse history, scoring an FIL World Cup record 26 goals in 2013 to lead Team USA to a gold medal. In doing so, she earned All-World honors and was named Best Women’s Player for 2013 by Lacrosse Magazine. This summer she showed that she can still put the ball in the net, leading the United Women’s Lacrosse League in scoring during their inaugural season and guiding her Long Island Sound to a league title.
Caitlin Defliese, Assistant Coach (Garden City, New York)
Caitlin Defliese, the architect of one of the most the dominant defense’s in recent NCAA history, will be responsible for helping our Canadians athletes shut down some of the most high powered offenses on the international stage. Defliese played four seasons as a defender with the Boston University Terriers (Boston, MA) between 2007 and 2010, but her true calling came when she made the move to the sidelines.
She began her coaching career in 2011 as an assistant coach at Adelphi University in her hometown of Garden City, New York. Working primarily with the defense, which finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country, she helped the team capture its third consecutive NCAA Division II national championship. She made the move to Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.) the following year, where she stayed for four successful seasons, helping the team go from unranked to Top 10. During her time at Stony Brook, the Seawolves had the top defense in the nation in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the second best defense in the nation in 2016. They played their way to a combined 69-13 record, winning four consecutive America East championships and making four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Following the 2016 season, Defliese was hired by fellow Team Canada coach Gary Gait as defensive coordinator for the University of Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.), joining a highly ranked squad that lost in last year’s NCAA championship semi-finals.
Ted Sawicki, Assistant Coach (St. Catharines, Ont.)
Leading the goaltender’s will be Ted Sawicki, an honoured member of both the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2010) and Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame (1999). Sawicki played professional box lacrosse from 1988 to 1995, backstopping the Detroit Turbos and Baltimore Thunder of the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League/Major Indoor Lacrosse League, predecessors to the National Lacrosse League (NLL). During his time with the Turbos, he captured the league championship (1991) and was twice named a first team All-Star (1990, 1991). Sawicki also enjoyed some success at the Senior ‘A’ level in Canada, playing four seasons in Victoria, B.C. and two in Brooklin, Ont., where he helped guide the Redmen to a Mann Cup win in 1988. Sawicki was also an outstanding field lacrosse goalie, suiting up for Team Canada at five FIL world championships between 1980 and 1998, winning three silver medals and two bronze medals.
He made the move to coaching after retiring as a player, joining the Buffalo Bandits of the NLL as an assistant coach (1995-1999), before being promoted to head coach (1999-2002). He also represented his country as a member of the U19 men’s field lacrosse coaching staff in 1992 and 2008, capturing another two world championship silver medals. In recent years, Sawicki has been transitioning to coaching the women’s game, serving as head coach of McMaster University’s (Hamilton, Ont.) women’s field lacrosse team from 2001 to 2006 and coaching women’s box lacrosse at a variety of age groups in Orangeville, Mississauga and Burlington.
A group of dedicated support staff will also assist our athletes in their preparations over the coming months, including:
  • Dr. Jennifer Teeter, Physician (Orchard Park, New York)
  • Elena Hobbs, Physical Therapist (Montreal, Que.)
  • Fred Jenner, Team Coordinator (Victoria, B.C.)
  • Linda Jenner, Team Coordinator (Victoria, B.C.)

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