Introductory course on World Cup

Six on U.S. under-19 team postpone college start

August 26, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Lauren Aumiller and Betsy Gaines will fly halfway around the world -- to Australia -- today as members of the U.S. under-19 women's World Cup lacrosse team that will attempt to recapture some lost national pride while enduring a full week of games against the best international competition.

So what do these Baltimore natives worry about the most? Life following the championships.

After more than two weeks Down Under, Aumiller and Gaines will return for their first years of college, which is cause for a higher level of concern than the pursuit of a world title. They are among six college freshmen on the national team, which lost to Australia by a goal in the 1995 World Cup final.

The under-19 team will play in the tournament from Sept. 4 to Sept. 11, opening against Wales before facing defending world champion Australia on Sept. 7.

"I'm definitely stressed out, but I put it in perspective," said Aumiller, The Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year last season from Notre Dame Prep and the United States' captain. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's hard, but I'm dealing with it."

Aumiller has to have everything packed for the University of Virginia before leaving for Australia in order to drive to Charlottesville as soon as she arrives back here. She has been in contact with her professors through e-mail and had to set aside two classes for a semester because of the trip.

Gaines, a Roland Park School graduate, will spend more time scanning her laptop computer than any sights Down Under, looking up her University of North Carolina homework assignments on the school's Web site. After taking a 20-hour flight back, she will arrive in Chapel Hill at 12: 30 a.m., required to attend a class less than eight hours later.

"I'm kind of nervous, but the teachers have been great, wishing me good luck," said Gaines, who started classes on Aug. 18.

If falling behind on classwork wasn't enough distraction, the team took some heat over the selection process.

The criticism centered on the fact that 12 players on the 16-member roster are from the Baltimore region and only two from the Philadelphia area, a hotbed for women's lacrosse.

Aumiller, Gaines, Lauren Peck (Broadneck), Theresa Sherry (Bryn Mawr), Amy Price (Bryn Mawr) and Acacia Walker (Annapolis) all were named to The Sun's first-team All-Metro team.

U.S. coach Wendy Kridel, who could not select no players older than an incoming college freshman, said the backlash affected the fund-raising for the trip.

"Given the parameters, we took the best kids out of the tryouts," said Kridel, who coaches at Bryn Mawr and will be assisted with the national team by former Goucher College standout Courtney Crangi. "Since we only have three field players on the sidelines, we picked the kids who were the most versatile."

"Resilient" may better describe the team. Despite the distractions, the players still said their focus is bringing the World Cup home -- along with some homework projects.

"I can feel the increase in stress level," Kridel said. "I think once we're on the airplane, all will be forgotten."

Roster

Name Pos. HS-College

Lauren Aumiller M Virginia

Katie Coyne M Bryn Mawr

Summer Crabtree D Princeton

Betsy Gaines M N.Carolina

Lauren Gallagher A Duke

Meredith Goodell A Bryn Mawr

Shannon Kron A Maryvale

Kelly McCardell M Notre Dame

Meghan McInnes GK Roland Park

Lauren Peck A Loyola

Amy Price GK Bryn Mawr K.K. Scharfe D Governor Dummer, MA

Theresa Sherry D Bryn Mawr

Kelsey Twist D Bryn Mawr

Acacia Walker M Annapolis

Miles Whitman M Bryn Mawr

Pub Date: 8/26/99

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