Team USA Set for Triple-header at President's Cup


Megan Douty gets loose during Friday's practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex. The U.S. team will play three games on Saturday during the President's Cup.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The United States women's national team will play in a tripleheader today — starting with an intra-squad Blue-White exhibition at 4:30 pm, and then exhibition games against select teams from the United Women's Lacrosse League (6:15 pm) and the Women's Professional Lacrosse League (7:30 pm). All three games will be streamed live on ESPN3.

It promises to be quite the showcase for the national team program, with more than 300 club teams on hand at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for one of the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's signature recruiting events, the Brine President's Cup.

"We get to get out in front of so many young players," said U.S. team head coach Jenny Levy. "There will be over 6,000 players competing in the President’s Cup. What a great opportunity for our program to be visible."

In addition to the games, all of the U.S. team practices for the weekend are open to the public and U.S. team players will be doing some guest coaching for the club players during the 11 am hour.

"Everything we do on the professional and international level is to give these girls the ability to dream even bigger than we were able to," said Megan Douty, a gold medalist with the U.S. team in 2017 and a WPLL champion with New England in 2018. "I am so blessed to even be a small part of the journey."

The Blue-White game will be played under the new Federation of International Lacrosse rules that were approved this summer. Among the notable differences from collegiate rules are 10 players per side versus 12 and the game is played in four 15-minute quarters with a running clock.

The exhibition games against the UWLX and WPLL teams will be an even bigger change. A major initiative of the FIL is to try to position the sport for future Olympic inclusion. Given the logistical challenges of large roster sizes, team sports have a tougher road than individual sports in appealing to the International Olympic Committee. As such, the FIL is in the process of experimenting with a fast-paced 6-on-6 version of the sport played on a condensed field with four 8-minute quarters and a 45-second shot clock.

The U.S. men's and women's teams debuted the new rules following the Team USA Fall Classic last month and based on feedback from that event, the rules were tweaked prior to these games.

The U.S. team played two 8-minute quarters during its practice session on Friday night, playing to an 8-8 tie. Based on that showing, fans are in for a treat. The game featured crisp ball movement, constant action and lots of creativity.

"We’re very fortunate to play the two different pro leagues," Levy said. "I’m really curious to see people’s reactions."

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