Women’s lacrosse to scrimmage against national U19 team on Saturday
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The JU women’s lacrosse team will kick-off a new campaign this Saturday when it scrimmages the U.S. U-19 women’s national team at 7p.m. The Dolphins are taking part in the US Lacrosse-sponsored Champion Challenge being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

JU retains 13 players from a team that finished 8-11 overall and 4-2 in National Lacrosse Conference play in 2010. Nine of its top-15 scorers are returning from a Dolphins squad that advanced to semifinals of the NLC tournament in the program’s inaugural season.

The Dolphins will also feature a plethora of fresh faces with 18 new players—including 16 freshmen—vying for game experience in anticipation of JU’s regular season opener on Feb. 13 versus Cincinnati at D.B. Milne Field.

“I’m looking to our veteran players for leadership,” head coach Mindy McCord said. “We are becoming more experienced now that we have another recruiting class and our returners have some practice and playing time under their belt. They are now able to share their wisdom and experience with the freshmen to make the learning curve more productive.”

JU will face a formidable task in facing a team comprised of some of the best national high school players. The U.S. team has won three straight Federation of International Lacrosse Women's U-19 World Championships and will be gunning for a fourth straight title this summer in Hannover, Germany.

“We’re looking forward to challenge of playing against one of the best teams in the world,” McCord said. “We have a lot of speed on our team, so we’re looking to execute fast breaks and finish well. We’d like to work on getting possession off of the draw and stay patient on the attack. We also want to be relentless on defense.”

Three other women’s college programs will join the Dolphins in the competition, including Rollins College, defending national-champion Maryland and a Virginia team that ended last season ranked sixth in the country.

- By Brian Bohl