Teeter — who also coaches the women's team at Canisius College in Buffalo — said the gap is narrowing, but it will take time for other nations to catch up to the U.S. on a consistent basis.

One way Canada's program is improving is to have more players play college lacrosse in the United States, where the system draws top players from Australia, England and a few other nations.

Although some Under-19 teams use college players, the United States has elected to not use players with college experience.

While American college experience can help, Kridel said she believes a support system within a country, such as US Lacrosse provides, is vital for any nation to build a competitive program.


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"I think that the other countries have to decide whether they want to grow the game at that grassroots level to make them be able to compete internationally," Kridel said. "At this point, it's such small potatoes to compete internationally in this sport compared to other sports we have. It's sort of like, how do we make soccer grow in our country the way it's growing in all these other countries, and how come we can't get the following? I think it's a grassroots thing. I think they have to see a value to it."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Federation of International Lacrosse Women's Under-19 Championships

When: Today through Aug. 13

Where: Hanover, Germany

Participating nations: United States, Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)

2007 medalists: U.S. (gold), Australia (silver), England (bronze)

U.S. gold medals: 1999, 2003, 2007

U.S. coach: Krystin Porcella (John Carroll)

U.S. assistant coaches: Megan (Riley) Clark (South River), Jen (Chumley) Pfeiffer (Bel Air),

Carter (Abbott) Marsh

Local players: Alyssa Blevins (C. Milton Wright), Jen Cook (McDonogh), Dani Lazo (St. Mary's), Erin McMunn (Winters Mill), Covie Stanwick (Notre Dame Prep); Sofia Robins (McDonogh) plays for Canada.

Women's Lacrosse Under-19 World ChampionshipHistory

Year/Site/Champion/Runner-up/Score/

1995/Haverford, Pa./ Australia/U.S. /5-4/

1999/Perth, Australia/U.S./Australia/15-8/

2003/Towson/U.S./Australia/21-8/

2007/Ontario, Canada/U.S./Australia/18-3/