Colson Gets Back to Her Roots, Scores Twice in U.S. Win Over Hong Kong

PHOTO BY NICK IERADI


TOWSON, Md. — Ever since Jenny Levy named the 18-player roster for the U.S. women’s national team in February, she’s been intentional about how she labels Lizzie Colson.

The 2021 national defender of the year at Maryland, Colson certainly does her fair share of work for the U.S. team on that end of the field. But don’t be mistaken. Colson is a midfielder, and she can do everything your typical midfielder does.

That includes scoring.

Colson matched her Maryland career goals total by scoring twice in a 21-0 win over Hong Kong, China, Tuesday night in the Round of 16 of the World Lacrosse Women’s Championship. She converted once from the 11-meter arc and once more as she darted through the defense.

“I’ll play anything on this kind of stage,” Colson said. “I’m happy to do whatever the team needs, but I love playing both sides of the ball. It’s fun to get offensive and defensive reps.

“I grew up playing midfield, so it’s fun to get back to my roots.”

Her roots aren’t far from Towson. She grew up in Manchester, Md., about 30 miles from the Johnny Unitas Stadium turf on which the top-seeded U.S. national team inched closer to a gold medal. The team has now won 27 straight games in world championship play dating back to 2009 and will play No. 9 Japan on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern in the quarterfinals.

“All my family’s here,” Colson said. “I’m sure my mom loves it. She probably feels like she’s watching high school again.”







A midfielder at Manchester Valley High School, Colson shifted to defense at Maryland and starred from the jump. Her footwork made her tough to beat, and her scrappy play and good instincts made her an asset to Cathy Reese’s teams. But she also played in the center circle, winning 324 draws in her career, making her a threat in the middle of the field, too.

“Tonight, we thought it would be a good opportunity to get her running up and down the field,” Levy said.

As Colson stepped to the 11-meter arc with 6:55 left in the third quarter, she looked to the bench. “Do I take this?” she thought. She said after the game the last free position shot she took in a game was probably when she was 17. Just like riding a bike, she figured.

“I just looked over at the sideline and went for it,” Colson said.

She converted, giving the U.S. a 17-0 lead. She liked the taste of scoring so much she decided to to do it again, dodging through the defense two minutes later for another goal.

“I’ve always had that attacking mindset in me,” Colson said. “When you are playing on the defensive side of the ball, you know what the attacking side is thinking. And then vice versa. When I have the ball on the attacking end, I put myself in the defender’s shoes.”

Colson wasn’t the only former Terp defender to score. Alice Mercer, the national defensive player of the year in 2016, notched her first of the tournament on a feed from Emma Trenchard — another defender — in transition.

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