Long Time Coming: From Different Paths, U.S. Women Reunite at Stony Brook


The ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn in Stony Brook, N.Y. was buzzing with excitement on Monday afternoon when Jenny Levy stepped to the front.

For the first time, Levy addressed the 18-player U.S. women’s national team roster in its entirety, opening up the four-day training camp — the team’s final meeting before the World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship begins later this month.

“We’re not quite warmed up,” she joked. “It’s like the very first part of prom where everyone is just standing up against the wall.”

As new as this process seems for the members of the U.S. national team — it’s been seven months since Levy and her training team met in Dallas, Texas at Presidents Cup — the journey to the world championship began late in 2017 when USA Lacrosse hired Levy to lead the program.

She reflected on moments throughout the process, including a trip to California in 2019 where the U.S. faced England and Japan at Spring Premiere. She gave credit to the members of the team for enduring the complications posed by COVID-19 and persevering through the ups and downs of the past two years.

Everyone arrived on Long Island from different paths, but together formed a team that Levy hopes will take home gold on July 9.

“We’re all coming different circumstances and variables, different uniforms, different positions in those uniforms,” Levy told her team. “But we walk in here and we're all in and all one with a mission.”
After over four years of evaluating and searching for the right combination of players to fit the U.S. national team program identity, Levy and her staff finally have the chance to build chemistry and install schemes that will be applied in Towson in less than a month.
Before the coaching hit the field to walk through defensive sets, Levy and her assistants made sure to emphasize a key component to the run for a gold medal: Distractions. Both Levy and defensive coordinator Alex Frank spoke with members of the 1986 and 2005 national teams — the two teams that fell in the gold-medal match on home soil — who reiterated how distractions played a role in a loss that sticks with them today.
Frank mentioned a meeting with former Dartmouth women’s coach and 1986 national team coach Josie Harper.
“She was like ‘Did you tell Jenny again? About the distractions?’” Frank said. “I said ‘Yes. We got it.’ Every time she said that she wasn't part of the first [gold] on home soil, she regrets it massively.”
With a team full of star players rising in stature and attention, the spotlight will be on this national team. It’ll be the job of the players and coaching staff to block out the noise — from friends, family and fans across the country and on social media — and focus on winning a ninth gold medal in program history.
The training camp at Stony Brook, which includes a matchup with a team of Athletes Unlimited pros tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., is a dress rehearsal that will mimic the conditions they will face in Towson.


Kylie Ohlmiller has completed the 35-minute drive from her home in Islip, N.Y. to Stony Brook more times than she can count.
However, something about Monday’s trip to her alma mater had her feeling nostalgic. As she guided her Jeep Compass down Route 495, she passed by the PAL Sports Complex, where her Yellow Jackets club team once practiced. Ohlmiller built a foundation for her lacrosse career on those fields, which are still home to the Yellow Jackets.
“I passed by that and it hit me, I was like ‘Oh my god. Twelve or 13-year-old me used to go to practice and have these dreams of playing at the highest level,’” she said. “Then, I got to go down the road and play here at Stony Brook, which was a dream of itself. Now, it’s next level.”
The Long Island native turned U.S. national team star couldn’t hurt but reflect on the road, both literal and figurative, that led her to achieve her dreams. 
She was one of the youth players that practiced in the afternoon so they could attend Stony Brook women’s games at night. On Tuesday, she signed autographs for Yellow Jackets players screaming her name at LaValle Stadium.
“Those girls are still at those fields and now they get to come watch us,” Ohlmiller said. “I was like ‘Oh my god. Stop being so emotional.”
Ohlmiller is one of two Stony Brook players on the U.S. roster, joining Ally Kennedy. In addition, Sam Apuzzo was also built through the Yellow Jackets program. In an area considered one of lacrosse’s largest hotbeds, the U.S. national could very well be playing in front of future legends of the game.
“It’s just a way of life here,” Ohlmiller said. 
Kennedy made the trip to Stony Brook almost every day this past season, driving from North Babylon and serving as an assistant on the Seawolves staff. 
A Long Islander born and raised, Kennedy grew up in the world-renowned bagel and pizza shops (in between games and practice sessions, of course). 
“Beach. Bagels. Pizza,” she joked. “Jersey has gym, tan and laundry and we have beach, bagels and pizza.”
As a teenager, Kennedy starred at North Babylon and watched her sister play at Stony Brook. Her hometown wasn’t as much of a breeding ground for lacrosse talent — until the Kennedys came along.
Just two years after her Seawolves career ended, she was back at LaValle Stadium as a member of the national team. A dream fulfilled, indeed.
“For someone to come up to me then and tell me ‘Hey, you’ll be here wearing USA,’ I’d be like ‘Woah. Woah. Woah. What happened?’” she said. 


Emma Trenchard and Ally Mastroianni have had quite a busy last week-and-a-half. After surviving a seven-goal deficit in the NCAA semifinals and holding off Boston College in the national championship game, the two North Carolina stars capped their career with a national title.
The celebration started on Homewood Field on May 29 and continued in Chapel Hill for the next few days. Mastroianni spent two days in Washington, D.C. as part of the Tewaaraton Award clinics and ceremony, and Trenchard met her in the nation’s capital on June 2.
From there, Mastroianni and Trenchard headed their separate ways — the former to her home in New Jersey and the latter to New York, where she’d eventually make the drive to Long Island for training camp.
“It’s still settling in and hitting us,” Mastroianni said. “To finish on top makes everything so worth it.”
“It’s picture-perfect how we finished,” Trenchard said. “We’ve been on the go since last Sunday.”
Mastroianni and Trenchard were one of many U.S. national team players and coaches continuing a championship tour in Stony Brook this week. Levy and UNC assistants Emily Parros and Caylee Waters celebrated on the field in Baltimore, while McCool joined the crew at the Tewaaraton ceremony.
The championship with North Carolina is still fresh in their minds, but it hit home quickly when Mastroianni and Trenchard suited up with Charlotte North, who faced off against the Tar Heels in the national title game.
“We’ve been playing against her for so many years and she’s such a good competitor and we get here and we’re all wearing the same thing,” Mastroianni said. “It puts things in perspective pretty quickly.”
“It’s definitely a relief,” Trenchard said of not having to guard North. “As blessed as I felt to be the one to guard her, I’m happy that’s in the past.”
North Carolina made history on May 29, winning its first national title since 2016, but there’s more on the line this summer. Mastroianni and Trenchard could capture a second championship in early July, adding to an already unforgettable year.
“That’s the plan,” Mastroianni joked, admitting that it would add to her dream season.


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