GUILDFORD, ENGLAND – The Canadian senior women’s lacrosse team have landed in Guildford, England and are ready to begin their journey towards a gold medal at the 2017 FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup. While the tournament officially gets underway on July 12, Canada’s opening match against Australia is not scheduled until 1:00PM EST on July 13.
A record 25 countries, including seven making their international debut at the senior level, will be at Surrey Sports Park to compete in this the 10th edition of the FIL World Cup.
Canada, who are in Pool A, will play a series of round-robin games against the world’s top ranked teams, including defending champion USA, two-time tournament winner Australia, host nation England, Scotland and Wales.
The playoff round will follow, starting July 19 and culminating with medal games to close out the event on July 22.
“We have the goal of grabbing that gold medal,” stated head coach Scott Teeter. “I think there are four or five teams that have a legitimate shot at winning it, which is great for the sport.”
The Canadians will look to upgrade the silver medal they won at the most recent World Cup (Oshawa, 2013), following in the footsteps of their junior counterparts who captured the country’s first ever women’s lacrosse gold medal at the 2015 FIL U19 World Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This year’s squad features a good mix of talent and experience, including veterans Dana Dobbie, Crysti Foote and Katie Guy; current NCAA Division 1 players such as Erica Evans, Danita Stroup and Lydia Sutton; and high school aged rookies Quintin Bullen, Bianca Chevarie and Claire Mills.
While playing at the international level will be a new experience for some of his players, coach Teeter is confident they will be ready to compete when the time comes.
“Some of the younger ones might be a little bit nervous,” he said. “It’s going to be quite a process for them, so they just need to stay in the moment and take things day-by-day and they’ll be fine.”
It is sure to be a grueling event for the team, with the potential to play eight games in ten days, but it’s something that team captains Dobbie and Guy know how to overcome.
“The biggest thing is that there’s no time to be casual or go through the motions because every game counts,” says Dobbie, who is participating in her third World Cup. “We need to make sure everything we do is sharp and keep that mentality going, from the little drills through to the games.”
The team arrived in England on July 10, following a busy three day training camp held in Oakville, Ontario, and hit the ground running with a scrimmage and situational practice against Wales.
“It [scrimmage against Wales] wasn’t pretty lacrosse early on, but we responded in the later quarters and started to play with more intensity and effort,” said Teeter. “Yesterday was a long day for us, traveling here and getting acclimated to our surroundings. We were a little jet lagged, but it was good to get on the field and get our legs under us.”
From coach Teeter’s perspective, getting results early on would be nice, but sticking to the process is what will ultimately help lead his team to the top of podium.
“We can’t overlook any of our opponents, because all of them will give us a battle, but we have to remember that we can’t win the gold medal on day one. Our goal is to get better as a team every day so that we are playing our best lacrosse when the time counts.”
When asked what she sees as the keys to success, Dobbie stressed the importance of playing as a team.
“We need to keep coming together and playing as a strong unit. Our biggest asset is that we have depth at all positions, so it’s not going to be an individual type game for us. As soon as we can start making sure that everyone is contributing to what they do well, and playing as a full unit from top to bottom, I think that’ll be the biggest factor for us to be successful.”