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Lacrosse: Four former county standouts part of women's World Cup squad

Soccer isn't the only sport with World Cup fever in these parts.

The United States women's lacrosse team has already begun its preparations for the Federation of International Lacrosse's 2017 World Cup in Surrey, England, and Carroll has a solid chance to be well represented.

Four former county standouts survived a three-day invitational tryout process over the weekend at Georgetown University and earned spots on the initial training roster.

81 players battled for 38 spots, and another tryout session will pare the final roster down to 18.

Princeton's Erin McMunn, a senior-to-be, and Maryland's Alice Mercer, who just finished her sophomore season with a national championship, are Carroll's two current college players who made it through the first tryout. McMunn is a Winters Mill graduate and Mercer played at Century.

They are joined by 2010 Hofstra alum Katie Hertsch (Winters Mill) and 2013 Maryland grad Katie Schwartzmann (Century) on the squad.

McMunn, who helped the under-19 national team win a world title in 2011, surpassed 100 career goals for Princeton this past season and is a two-time All-America pick at attack. She's ninth on the Tigers' all-time scoring list with 174 points (102 goals, 72 assists), and nine assists away of becoming the program's leader.

McMunn said the weekend was "a bit surreal," and she wasn't expecting too much other than to have fun with a host of talented players. That is, until Sunday's scrimmage ended with the coaches calling jersey numbers of those who survived.

"I pretty much figured I heard [them] wrong, like there was no way you just called my number," McMunn said. "Eventually I just started staring at my jersey and realizing it actually was my number. I'm extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to learn from some of the best players in the game."

McMunn said adjusting to the speed of the international game was a challenge back in 2011, and it figures to be even more so this time around.

"At this level, everybody has had more time to be able to grow, both on the field and off the field," McMunn said. "That brings another element to your game."

Mercer, the Times Player of the Year in 2012, recently earned an All-Atlantic Coast Conference tournament selection and third-team All-America honors at defense.

Schwarzmann, a midfielder, is one of eight players from last year's U.S. team to make it back. The former two-time Times Player of the Year (2008-09) won a national championship with Maryland in 2010, and the Tewaaraton Award in 2012 and 2013.

She then led Team USA to the 2013 FIL World Cup crown in Canada with 10 goals and four assists in the tournament. Schwarzmann spent the spring as an assistant coach at Mount St. Mary's.

Hertsch joins Mercer as one of 10 defenders on the current squad. She was an alternate on last summer's world title team.

Team USA's next meeting takes place Aug. 1-3 back at Georgetown, with a showcase tournament coming in the fall. But another tryout process looms, and McMunn said she knows she and her national teammates have to stay focused in order to represent the U.S. on a world stage in three years.

"This just gives me the chance to keep working," she said, "and see where it all ends up."

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