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Thursday September 23rd

Nine former, current UNC women's lacrosse players invited to U.S. Lacrosse tryouts

UNC senior attacker Katie Hoeg (8) keeps the ball from an opposing player during the game against Maryland at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. No 1. UNC won against No 4. Maryland 19-6.
Buy Photos UNC senior attacker Katie Hoeg (8) keeps the ball from an opposing player during the game against Maryland at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Hoeg is one of nine current and former Tar Heels who received invitations to try out for the U.S. National Team

Nine current and former Tar Heels received invitations to try out for the U.S. National Team that will compete in the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s Championship next summer. The first round of tryouts is Dec. 4 to 6 at the US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland.

Current and former UNC players invited to play include: 

  • Kristen Carr, 2007-10
  • Molly Hendrick, 2014-17
  • Katie Hoeg, current fifth-year senior
  • Kerrigan Miller, current graduate player
  • Marie McCool, 2015-18
  • Emily Parros, 2010-13, current assistant coach for UNC 
  • Emma Trenchard, current senior 
  • Courtney Waite, 2012-15
  • Caylee Waters, 2014-17

UNC head coach Jenny Levy will also be on the U.S. Team as the squad's head coach. Levy has coached all nine players while at UNC.  

For Hoeg, receiving her invite was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and an opportunity for a shot at redemption. 

“Ever since I started playing lacrosse, I’ve always dreamed of representing this country in the sport I love,” Hoeg said. “When I was 16, I tried out for the U.S. U-19 where I got cut. I always wanted a second chance to chase that dream again.”

Hoeg, Trenchard and McCool all attribute a significant amount of their development to the coaching, leadership and tough competition at UNC.

As offensive and defensive players, Hoeg and Trenchard often practice against each other. They both said their in-practice competitions helped them improve while at UNC. 

“I could not have gotten to this level or even have been invited without my teammates,” Hoeg said. “Emma, all the other defenders, the other attackers and everybody from top to bottom on the team has made me the player that I am.” 

Both players also found that upperclassmen leadership helped them improve — Trenchard said both McCool and Carr were role models for her on and off the field.

“It’s very humbling to hear something like that,” McCool said about Trenchard's statements. “Obviously, I want to be the best player that I can possibly be, but that’s not it. I also want to be a leader and a role model for not only the younger players on my team but also for the next generation of the sport.”

Levy and many former Tar Heels said playing in the ACC — one of the nation’s best women’s lacrosse conferences — also prepared them to play at the next level. 

For Trenchard, facing off against Sam Apuzzo, Boston College's two-time ACC Attacker of the Year, helped her become a better defender. 

“We’ve played the number one most competitive schedule in the country consistently for probably the past 10 years,” Levy said. “We are competing against other programs that have talent and are pushing their players to excellence as well.” 

McCool, a U.S. Team veteran, along with Hoeg and Trenchard, who are trying to make the team for their first time, all value the camaraderie of going through the Team USA tryouts with former teammates.

The opportunity to play with former Tar Heels is something particularly special to McCool, who hasn’t played for North Carolina since 2018. McCool said when she was the youngest player on the 2017 national team, she loved all her teammates, but felt a special connection to those who were former Tar Heels — even if she didn’t play with them while at UNC.

Seeing many of her past and present players receive U.S. Team tryout invitations meant a lot to Levy and affirmed to her that UNC prepares its players to continue playing the game after their collegiate careers.

“It just reinforces that we’re doing a really good job of player development and preparing our players who aspire to be U.S. Team players,” Levy said. “We’re preparing them mentally, physically and skill-wise to play at that next level.”

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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