Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/24/11
Ten days after guiding her US team to the U19 Federation of Lacrosse World Championship in Hannover, Germany, coach Krystin Porcella returned home and spoke with Phillylacrosse.com about the experience.
The US team rallied to defeat Australia, 14-11, to claim its fourth straight U19 crown. Two of the team members were captain/midfielder Taylor Trimble (Episcopal Academy, headed to Duke) and goalie Allie Murray (Downingtown East, headed to Notre Dame). Trimble earned All-World selection and Murray was a valuable backup, playing in every game but one.
The following is a question-and-answer interview with Porcella, who is the head coach at John Carroll in the Baltimore region.
Question: How would you describe your thoughts on winning the world championship?
Porcella: “To be honest, it is hard to put into words. What being a part of the World Championship team means so much more than lacrosse.
“The honors are working with the players for the past year, seeing them grow as lacrosse players and as people, and seeing the relationships they developed with each other. Also, seeing my relationship with each player as the Head Coach and, seeing our players’ perspective change and their maturity develop as we played each game at the FIL World Games.
“Also, I enjoyed being a steward of the game of lacrosse. The games and our goal were about winning the Gold Medal, but the path to get there was full of friendship, respect and admiration from the other countries.
“We were not enemies in the hall ways or after the game, the other countries wanted to talk with our players and hang out with them. Our players embraced the other players and a community of lacrosse was formed and grew throughout the 10 day tournament. To see our players be a champion on and off the field is the greatest honor.
Question: The team appeared to respond so well to the great challenge made by the Australian team. What did the squad do to dig down deep and make the comeback happen?
Porcella: “Australia is a very talented team. They played with every heart and emotion they had. When they jumped out to a 6-3 lead, our players started to panic a little and got away from the game plan.
“We were not playing as a team but rather a bunch of individuals trying to do it all by themselves. This was something we talked about all year; we are a team, we need each other… which can be the challenge when you bring the best player from each team together. Those top players are used to doing everything and not always relying on team mates.
“By halftime it was 7-7 – and give a lot of credit to Erin McMunn and Covie Stanwick for settling our offense down and getting us back to the offensive game plan. Mikaela Rix did her part in the midfield by winning draw controls and Caleigh Sindall anchored the defense. We needed leadership and those particular players settled us down and put us back on track to our game plan.”
Question: Can you briefly describe the contributions made by Taylor Trimble and Allie Murray?
Porcella: “Taylor Trimble is an all around great player and person. She always wants to do the right thing. Players look up to her and follow her lead because she cares about doing the right thing cares about her team mates.
“She is a skilled player at any position, speedy, strong. She created turnovers on defense and scored goals on offense. She is just a true leader and our team captain. She was the player you could rely on to make the right decision at the right time.”
“Allie Murray is an exciting goalie. She came up with some big saves in an exciting fashion. She would do anything to make a save for her team. She played the second half of most games and for the most part, held teams to 2-3 goals in the half she was in.”
Question: What was it like to coach such a superb group of young women?
Porcella: “It was great seeing and being a part of this group of talented people that accomplish its goal. We set out on a mission to win the World Championship and we did.
“There were some bumps along the way; we addressed them, talked about them and were able to put things behind us. Even when we were down 6-3 to Australia in the Championship game, I knew our players were prepared, mentally strong enough and just wanted it enough to accomplish our goal.”