After serving as an assistant coach at the 2007 women's under-19 world championship, Krystin Porcella wanted to stay involved in international lacrosse. So when the United States head coaching position came open, she applied.

Earlier this week, US Lacrosse named Porcella, the head coach at John Carroll, as head coach for the team that will compete in the Federation of International Lacrosse Women's U-19 World Championship Aug. 3-13, 2011 in Germany. She succeeds Bryn Mawr coach Wendy Kridel, who retired after the U. S. team won the gold medal in Ontario, Canada three years ago.

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"In 2007, it was such a special experience," Porcella said. "There's nothing like representing your country, wearing the USA colors, having 'USA Lacrosse' written on your jersey. I really enjoyed that experience. When Wendy said she was stepping down, I talked to her a little bit about it. I definitely wanted to continue with it, and she said, 'Why don't you apply for the head coaching position?' I said, 'Yeah I'd love to. I'd love to follow in her footsteps.'"

Kridel set the bar pretty high for her successors.

She guided the U.S. team to three straight World Cup titles after they lost the inaugural U-19 world title to Australia, 5-4, in 1995 in Pennsylvania. Since then, the US team has won titles in Australia, at Towson University and in Ontario.

That's a lot to live up to for Porcella, a former John Carroll and Loyola player who was the All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading the Patriots to their second straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title.

"I definitely feel some pressure," Porcella said with a laugh. "The first part of the pressure comes from choosing the assistant coaches. You want to pick the best people who have the chemistry together. We're in that process right now. And then choosing the right players. When people put out the all-stars and everyone criticizes and that kind of stuff, you kind of have to not worry about what other people think and do what you think is best. There's lots of different pressures along the way. We've won the last three years and you'd love to be the coach who continues that on and is celebrated the way Wendy was celebrated."

With lacrosse growing around the world, other programs may be catching up to the U.S. and Australia, which have dominated the U-19 tournament. Sixteen teams participated in the Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup in 2009 -- up from 10 in 2005.

"The pressure is going to be on," Porcella said. "A lot of the Australian kids are coming to the United States to play, and a lot of the Canadians, and they are two of the other strong countries that are playing. And I believe Jen Adams might be coaching the Australia Under-19 team. So all the countries are getting better and all the teams are getting better and the coaches are getting better across the world. Things change. Four years is a long time from what we experienced last time. The United States wants to win and we should win. We've proven that in the past, but the pressure's always on."

(For the is-she-or-isn't-she on Jen Adams, stay tuned ...)

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