Gussie Johns, Devon Wills Named to 2017 Women's World Cup Roster|
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Jan. 18, 2017
SPARKS, Md. -- USC lacrosse junior goalie Gussie Johns (Washington, D.C./St. Stephens and St. Agnes School) and associate head coach Devon Wills were each named to the 18-player U.S. Women's National Team roster that will compete in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women's World Cup, July 12-22, in Guildford, England. U.S. women's senior team head coach Ricky Fried finalized his roster and made the announcement on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Johns is the first USC lacrosse student-athlete to be named to the U.S. women's national team. Wills, who has been part of the USA program for more than a decade, was also a goalie for the 2009 and 2013 World Champion USA squads, and will make her third appearance on the Team USA World Cup roster.
"It is such an honor to be a part of Team USA," said Johns. "To wear the red, white, and blue, in representation of our country. The opportunity to play with and get to know the individuals on this team has been a true privilege. It reminds me of why I love the sport of lacrosse so much and how we are all playing for a much larger purpose."
Johns led the nation in goals-against average in 2016 (6.04 gaa) and was All-MPSF and IWLCA All-Region as a sophomore. She helped lead the country's top defense (5.80 gaa) last season and was the team's leader in ground balls (49). Wills, the owner of two FIL World Cup gold medals, was named the Player of the Match in Team USA's 8-7 win over Australia in the 2009 championship game.
The team was selected from a 25-player U.S. World Cup Training Team, which most recently competed at the Team USA Spring Premiere at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The U.S. women defeated Florida and Notre Dame by a combined score of 42-24. Johns produced four saves and three ground balls in a 20-19 win over the Gators and then started in goal against the Fighting Irish and gave up just two goals with three saves in USA's 22-5 victory. Wills was part of the 25-woman roster, but did not participate in game action.
The 18-player roster includes seven players, including Wills, from the 2013 U.S. women's national team that won gold at the FIL World Cup in Oshawa, Canada. Wills and Sarah Bullard (Duke, '11) were also members of the 2009 world champion U.S. women's national team. The U.S. has won the world championship seven times. "Of the three World Cups I've been a part of, including this summer's, this was the most difficult process because of the wealth of talent in the player pool, but I'm excited with the group moving forward as we strive to defend gold," Fried said. Two alternates for the World Cup and the 15-player roster that will continue on to the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, also in July, will be named next week.
"I am so happy for both Devon and Gussie," said USC head coach Lindsey Munday, two-time World Champion and captain of Team USA's 2013 squad. "Devon is one of the best goalies ever to play the game and is a seasoned Team USA veteran. Even after 13 years on the team, she continues to push herself to improve and is one of the hardest working people I know. Gussie has followed in Devon's footsteps and words cannot express how proud I am of her. Since she stepped foot on campus, she has done everything to improve her game every day. She puts in countless hours of extra work and it is exciting to see that it has all paid off. In addition to her talents on the field, Gussie is an incredible person and embodies what it means to be a Trojan, and a member of Team USA. Devon and Gussie have worked together for more than two years and this is a testament to their passion, drive, and commitment to improve. I can't think of two individuals more deserving of this honor, and it is incredibly special to have Devon and Gussie be the two goalies to represent our country in the World Cup."
In 2016, USC (20-1 overall) had a record-setting season, in which the Trojans won the MPSF regular season (9-0) and tournament championships. The Women of Troy earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA championship and advanced to the quarterfinal where they fell in overtime to Syracuse. It was the furthest any team from the MPSF had ever gone in the NCAA tourney. Munday was named MPSF Coach of the Year for the second straight season and reached the 50-win plateau in her fourth year at the helm (51-26 overall).
For more information on the U.S. women's national team, visit uslacrosse.org/teamusa. Follow the team on social media @USLacrosse and use the hash tag #USAWLAX on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and Twitter @USCTrojansLax.
U.S. LACROSSE WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM 2017 WORLD CUP ROSTER
^ Member of 2013 World Champion U.S. Women's National Team