The best women's lacrosse players will soon compete at the 2022 World Lacrosse Championships at Towson University, Maryland. The state of Maryland really is Mecca for all lacrosse players so it seems fitting that, after Covid-19 shut the whole World down, this lacrosse hotbed will play host to what will be an amazing tournament.
Now you might not realise but England hosted the inaugural championship back in 1982 which featured just 6 teams - Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, United States and Wales. Our sport has come such a long way in the past few decades, 30 International teams will be fighting to be number 1 this Summer.
Now we could talk all day about the teams but we want to give you what you really really, want.......Home Nations!
Let's start with England, who placed 3rd place for the bronze medal in 2017 but finished as high as 2nd place in 1993 and 1997. Now many people would say the England girls will once again battle it out with Australia for 3rd place but not if you are in the England camp, these girls really have the skill and determination to compete for gold. Although only a handful of players from the bronze medal winning team that played in Guildford during the 2017 Championships return for this tournament, it's pretty safe to stay the other members of the squad all deserve to wear the England jersey.
Former Terp and England veteran, captain Laura Merrifield is playing in her fourth world championship and scored eight goals in the 2017 tournament. Laura really has been an England legend and will provide a wealth of leadership and experience to the England midfield.
England has an incredibly athletic midfield packed with speed in Tilly Shires, Emily Grey, Claire Faram, Ruby Smith, Tilly Foster along with Liv Thomas and Olivia Wimpenny who will take the bulk of the draws.
At the defensive end of the field England has 3 players returning from their 2017 campaign in captain Emma Adams, Chloe Chan and Emma Oakley. Add to the mix Emma Nalls hot off the back of winning the Div 1 NCAA title, Anna Featherstone and Charlotte Wilson this makes a strong defensive line up.
One things for sure, this England team are not short of firepower and strong finishers. Former Princeton Captain and all-time leading Princeton scorer Olivia Hompe and former Terp Megan Whittle who is one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history make their return to team England. Now add Torz Anderson with a bronze from the 2017 Championships and three European titles along with Georgie Southorn who will play in her first senior world games and it's safe to say England will being bring some serious heat to the tournament.
England also has great leaders between the pipes in Katie Greenwood, a 2013 graduate of Division II Florida Southern and Brittany Read, Denver’s assistant coach who played in Athletes Unlimited last summer.
There's most definitely going to be some roar in these Lions.
Wales features a fairly veteran line-up, with 12 players who were also members of the 2017 world championship squad. Now appearing in her sixth world championship tournament, Ros Lloyd Rout is believed to be the most experienced international women's player of all time, with 127 CAPS (games). If there as a female Peter Pan then it would have to be Laura Warren, a former Maryland player who has twice earned all-world honors representing Wales. This Wales midfield is packed with experience, although only 27 years old Iona Dryden has a plenty of International caps, NCAA experience with Northwestern.
With the likes of Sophy Coombes-Roberts, Sophie Morrill and Ellie Jones the Wales attack will not be shy on goals. All these players can feed, finish and take the ball to the cage. This might well be one of the highest goal producing attack lines of the tournament.
Wales will be determined to improve on their 7th place finish from 2017.
Did you know the first modern women's lacrosse game was played in 1890 at the St Leonard's School in Scotland, where women's lacrosse had been introduced by Louisa Lumsden. Lumsden brought the game to Scotland after watching a men's lacrosse game between the Canghuwaya (probably Caughnawaga) Indians and the Montreal Lacrosse Club.
Now Scotland had a strong showing in 2017 finishing 5th, their best ever finish at Worlds was 3rd in 1986. Scotland's head coach is no stranger to International lacrosse having played in countless tournaments and scoring 13 goals in 2017, Ailsa Scott has been a great leader on the field and now leads the team from the sideline.
Jenni Aition and Hannah Grant will don the captains arm bands this Summer and no doubt will lead by example. Ground ball vacuum Chloe Carruthers will play a vital roll for Scotland in winning those 50/50 battles to win her team possession.
Commanding the defense from the goal will be Emma Wauchope and Alex Sidell. Strong keepers who had a strong showings in the competitions running up to this event.
Although at 27 years old, Chess Gray has played lacrosse for Scotland already for 13 years! Chess has also been chosen to represent team GB with Summer. A strong attacker who will be sure to rack up a solid tally during the tournament.
Scotland will be leaving it all on the field in Maryland. They face a tough opening game vs team USA.