Four Players With U19 Experience Excited for Senior Women's Team Tryout

Izzy Scane (27) is one of 50 players trying out of the U.S. senior women's national team from Dec. 4-6.

Izzy Scane grew up watching the likes of Taylor Cummings and Kayla Treanor dominate in college and with the U.S. women’s national team.

Scane considers them both “legends of the game.” The Northwestern junior gets to share the field with them and other all-time greats at the U.S. senior women’s team tryouts at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md., from Dec. 4-6.

“Such a big thing with lacrosse is just the mental aspect,” said Scane, one of four players invited to try out who were part of the 2019 U19 team’s tryout process. “It’s easy to get in your head when you’re at a USA tryout. I think we just need to go in and take in the experience and have fun.”

There might not have been a better warm up, so to speak, for the senior women’s national team than winning a gold medal on the U19 team. In 2019, Scane and Sophia DiCenso (Richmond) were integral parts of the gold-medal team, coached by Kelly Amonte Hiller.

Madison Ahern (Notre Dame) was one of the final players cut from the tryout pool, and Ally Palermo (Northwestern) was unable to compete because she tore her ACL. Even though they didn’t travel to Peterborough, Ontario, they said the process has prepared them for the next step.

“Leaving the team right before the World Cup, I experienced most of what you guys experienced — forming relationships, getting to play and against the best players in the country,” Ahern said in a Zoom call with the other U19 players. “I think that’s still going to prepare me, and I’m really excited to get back on that field.”

Ahern then took her experiences and parlayed them into a successful — albeit, abbreviated — freshman season with Notre Dame. Palermo recovered from her ACL injury to start seven games for Northwester in 2020.

“Being an older girl on the U19 team definitely taught me a lot about leadership,” said Palermo, who is now a senior. “Now I have a chance to look up to the senior girls and the more experienced girls on the team. After tearing my ACL and not being able to compete, Coach Amonte said to me, ‘If you recover and work hard, you might get another shot at it on the USA senior team.’ That was always in the back of my mind.”

There are several newcomers to the U.S. program of the 50 invited to compete at the senior team tryouts, but the U19 players might have a mental edge. Sure, Jenny Levy’s tryouts will assuredly be somewhat different than Amonte Hiller’s, but the stage and atmosphere shouldn’t be too much to handle.

These athletes have already worn the red, white and blue on the international stage and experienced the awe of representing the United States in competition.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling. It’s kind of like a dream,” DiCenso said. “Even at the World Cup, I would see the American flag and we would do the anthem before games. It kind of gives you chills. It’s surreal.”

Scane recalled her experience interacting with different cultures and helping spread the game to countries that are still up-and-coming lacrosse nations.

“I think the moment it hit me was once we got to Worlds and we were at opening ceremonies,” she said. “You’re seeing all these other countries in their colors and waving their flags. You’re representing your whole country, which you don’t realize and put into perspective until you’re out there talking to other girls from Switzerland and Wales and Scotland.”

While there will likely be less awe this time around, the competition is still fierce for some of the youngest U.S. senior team hopefuls.

DiCenso said she will take what she learns from the tryouts back to her Richmond team, regardless of the tryout result. Palermo and Scane, who match up against each other in practice at Northwestern, are looking to continue their growth in the U.S. system. Ahern is hoping to fulfill a lifelong dream.

“At the tryout, I’m really just going to focus on having fun and loving the game,” Ahern said. “Everything else just clicks into place when that happens.”

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