Kelly Amonte Hiller's ability to change direction quickly enough to slip defenders behind the crease led to two quick goals to spark a 13-5 victory for the United States over England on opening night of the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations World Cup at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility at the Naval Academy.
Amonte Hiller, a World Cup veteran and former Maryland All-American, finished with three goals and an assist last night - all in a 7-0 opening run. But it wasn't just her feet that made a quick change of direction.
On Memorial Day weekend, Amonte Hiller left her coaching hat behind and became a full-time player at least for the duration of the 10-day World Cup competition.
"I think it's a little easier to become the player," said Amonte Hiller, "because you can control what you can control out on the field. As a coach, you have to hope for the best and hope that your preparation will pay off. It's exciting to be a player again."
Amonte Hiller said preparation was never a problem despite her time-consuming commitment during the college lacrosse season. She made time for her workouts and her runs. In addition, she often played with the Wildcats to help them prepare for the final four.
In addition to Amonte Hiller, the United States got three goals last night from Quinn Carney, the player of the match, and two each from Danielle Gallagher, Lauren Aumiller and Crista Samaras.
Rules, rules, rules
Fans of the local college and high school women's games will notice a few rules differences in international competition. The most obvious: hard boundaries.
While the NCAA and high school federation still play with so-called soft boundaries - the closest person to a ball going out of bounds wins possession - the international game has adopted hard boundaries - the last person to touch the ball commits a turnover.
Traditionalists have been loath to part with the soft boundaries, which allowed players to run down loose balls as far as they could go before reaching natural boundaries. Some, including Scotland's coach Kim Chorosiewski, see the change, which has been part of the international game for two years, as necessary now that most games are played in a stadium.
"In theory, I like the openness of the game that you don't have sidelines, but if you're going to have a venue like this [Navy-Marine Corps Stadium] and you're going to keep this a venue sport, it behooves us to kind of contain the field," said Chorosiewski, an American who played at Maryland and coached at Richmond.
The international rules also include a bigger crease and allow attack players to follow through into the crease. Eight attack players are allowed below the restraining line rather than seven as in the NCAA. On red cards, the penalized team must play short a player for five to 10 minutes depending on the foul.
Home sweet home
Need any advice on what to do in Annapolis during this World Cup? Just ask U.S. team members Randall Goldsborough and Samaras. The two are Annapolis natives.
Goldsborough, who played on two national championship teams at Maryland, was an All-Metro player at St. Mary's while Samaras, a three-time All-American at Princeton, was an All-Metro player at Annapolis High.
Two other U.S. players are from Baltimore: Aumiller, a former Virginia All-American, and Kate Kaiser, a former Duke All-American. Both were All-Metro midfielders at Notre Dame Prep.
Women's World Cup
At the U.S. Naval Academy
United States 13, England 5
Scotland 19, Germany 3
Canada 12, Wales 5
Japan 12, Czech Republic 1
Czech Republic vs. New Zealand, 11 a.m.
Japan vs. Germany, 2 p.m.
United States vs. Wales, 5 p.m.
Australia vs. Canada, 7:30 p.m.
Japan vs. New Zealand, 11 a.m.
Australia vs. England, 2 p.m.
United States vs. Canada, 5 p.m.
Scotland vs. Czech Republic, 7:30 p.m.
England vs. Wales, 11 a.m.
United States vs. Australia, 2 p.m.
Scotland vs. Japan, 5 p.m.
Germany vs. New Zealand, 7:30 p.m.
Australia vs. Wales, 11 a.m.
Scotland vs. New Zealand, 2 p.m.
Germany vs. Czech Republic, 5 p.m.
Canada vs. England, 7:30 p.m.