Gussie Johns Becomes First Trojan Named to U.S. Lacrosse National Team

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    Aug. 9, 2016

    SPARKS, Md. -- USC women's lacrosse junior goalie Gussie Johns (Washington, D.C./St. Stephens and St. Agnes School) was one of 36 players and among just five goalies named to the 2017 U.S. Women's National Team following a three-day tryout at the organization's national team training center as announced by US Lacrosse on Sunday, Aug. 7.

    Johns is the first Trojan to receive such distinction and is joined on the roster by USC associate head coach Devon Wills (Dartmouth 2006) and assistant coach Alyssa Leonard (Northwestern 2014). Previously, fifth-year head coach Lindsey Munday served as Team USA's captain in 2013 when the squad won its record seventh world title.

    "We are so proud of Gussie," said Munday. "Not only is she an immense talent, but she is an incredible person, who embodies the attributes of a Trojan. She puts the team before herself and works incredibly hard both on and off the field. This selection to the national team could not be more well-deserved and is a proud moment for her, our staff, and the USC program."

    As a sophomore, Johns earned IWLCA All-West/Midwest Region first-team honors and was placed on the MPSF All-Conference first team. She was also twice chosen as the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week (Apr. 4, Apr. 18). In 2016, Johns' 6.04 goals-against average led the nation and helped the Trojans produce the top scoring defense in the nation overall (5.80 gaa). She started 20 games for the Trojans and was 19-0 in the cage heading into USC's historic NCAA quarterfinal appearance. Johns also shared the MPSF lead with 49 ground balls and ranked fourth with 2.33 ground balls per game.

    Wills, a two-time World Champion (2009, 2013) and the 2013 World Player of the Game for her performance in an 8-7 win over Australia, is making her ninth appearance on the national-team roster. Leonard, one of the most decorated players in Northwestern history, received her third-career selection to the national team.

    The 36 players selected will train in the lead-up to the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women's World Cup set to be contested in Guildford, England. Ultimately, 18 players will represent the U.S. as the team goes for a third consecutive and eighth overall world title.

    "We're always surprised at who the 36 are, because it's not always the 36 we thought going into the tryout," said Team USA coach Ricky Fried. "That speaks volumes to the process and to the coaches and evaluators involved. It's a process that creates great value. The athleticism and skill displayed was, as always, at a very high level. What we're more excited about is the ability of our returning players to make our younger players feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves by being here; that it's more meaningful to be a part of a program than just part of a World Cup team."

    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. En route, USC set a new league record for wins (20) and winning streak (20 consecutive) and reached the No. 5 ranking in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, to set a new league mark.

    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). Defender Courtney Tarleton was named the MPSF Player of the Year to give the program its second such award in as many seasons. She and junior attacker Michaela Michael became USC's first IWLCA All-America first-team selections and were joined by Johansen (third team). The Trojans had seven All-MPSF and five All-West/Midwest Region selections, and put 11 players on the MPSF All-Academic team.

    Follow the U.S. women's national team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube at @USLacrosse and using hashtag #USAWLAX. For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, please visit Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCTrojansLax.