It is with great pride that I write that we are the 2013 world champions. On Saturday we faced Canada in the gold-medal match of the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Oshawa, Ontario. We approached the game with great respect for our opponents: They had advanced to the finals of the World Cup for the first time, and were playing with deep pride on their home soil. We put our focus and energy on ourselves, however, as we had throughout the tournament. In the end, we won 19-5.
As a group, we set out on a mission four long years ago. What defined this team, however, was the two-pronged focus of this mission. The first part was obvious: to win the 2013 World Cup. The second part, and the one that made this team extraordinary, was to be the greatest team we could possibly be, and to play the best lacrosse the world has ever seen. More than anything else, that part of our mission drove us during the tournament, causing us to reassess and find new areas in which to push ourselves and grow, even when we were beating our opponents pretty soundly.
The emotion surrounding four years of hard work and dedication came out in full force with the final buzzer. Screams, cheers, tears and hugs galore poured out of all of us as we experienced the pure joy of our victory. The closing ceremonies were immediately after our game, and included the presentation of the bronze medal to Australia, the silver medal to Canada and the gold medal and World Cup to Team USA!
At the ceremony, without a game to focus on any more, we finally got to see our amazing families, friends and fans in the crowd. This crew made a huge effort to cheer us on in Oshawa, and looked pretty darn good doing it in their patriotic outfits! We took photos with the Cup and cut down the net, then headed back to the dorm to get ready for the closing banquet.
The FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) concluded the tournament in style at the banquet, honoring coaches, players and staff members for their commitments to their teams and to the sport. The All-World Team was announced, and we were so proud of attackers Katrina Dowd, Lindsay Munday and Katie Rowan; midfielder Sarah Albrecht; defender Amber Falcone; and goalie Devon Wills for earning spots on the squad.
Then we were off to Oshawa hot spot Shoeless Joe’s to celebrate the victory. Our friends and family met us there, and we had a blast soaking in our final evening together. Highlights included a spontaneous rendition of “We Are the Champions,” Caitlyn McFadden’s musical fanny pack blasting our favorite Pitch Perfect tunes and the dance moves of midfielder (and team baby) Katie Schwarzmann and coach Amy Bokker. We certainly went out in style!
You know it has been an extraordinary journey when you reach your destination, achieve all that you have been working for, and you still don’t want it to end. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be part of this team. I'd like to give a profound thank-you to my teammates and coaches, as well as to U.S. Lacrosse, our families and all who have supported us along the way. Until next time, go USA!