Colleen Olsen ’10 and Julie Wadland ’10 have been named to the 2009-2010 U.S. Lacrosse Developmental Squad. The athletes were selected after a two-day tryout that included 64 of the nation’s top female lacrosse players, according to DartmouthSports.com.
Olsen and Wadland are the only athletes on the team attending an Ive League school. There are 24 girls making up the final squad, representing 16 different colleges.
Olsen and Wadland, who are captains of the Dartmouth team, join a tradition of Dartmouth players who have represented the nation. Twenty-one total athletes have participated, including Whitney Douthett ’07 and Devon Wills ’06, both members of the U.S. Elite team that won the 2009 World Cup.
Wadland, a goalie, will be joining the squad for her second consecutive year.
Playing with the development squad improved her confidence on the field, Wadland said. She added that playing with athletes from some of the best lacrosse programs in the country helped her diversify her playing skills.
Olsen said that she did not try out for last year’s team because she studied abroad in the fall and would not have been able to commit to the developmental squad’s entire season.
Olsen, a defender, said that seeing her teammate’s improvement as a collegiate player after joining the developmental squad motivated her to participate this year.
Olsen went into tryouts with a positive attitude, she said. Although the athletes at tryouts were all competitive players, they were “not too cutthroat,” she said.
“I didn’t psych myself out,” she said. “I honestly wasn’t expecting a whole lot, I was just seeing what would happen.”
Wadland said that she looks forward to playing with her Dartmouth teammate on the U.S. team.
“She’s the workhorse of the team.” Wadland said of Olsen. “Everything is so well-deserved for her.” Wadland said that competing as a teammate of her former collegiate competitors “put things into perspective.”
“It was fun to get to know the girls who I usually compete against,” she said. “You realize that they’re all good people, too.”
Olsen said that the girls on the developmental squad are “really passionate and excited” about lacrosse.
“They all have a really high level of skill and intensity. Everyone who made the squad deserves to be there,” she said.
Olsen added that her primary commitment is to her Dartmouth teammates.
“My Dartmouth team is the most important thing in the world to me,” she said, adding that her main goal as a member of the developmental team will be to contribute more effectively to the Dartmouth squad’s success with her improved skills.
Olsen, Wadland and the other new members of the US Developmental Team will play in their first tournament the fourth-annual U.S. Lacrosse Stars and Stripes Event on October 11.
Wadland has made 345 saves during her time at Dartmouth. She was named to the All-Ivy first team this past season after ranking first in Ivy play in save percentage and saves, and third lowest in the average number of goals scored against her.
Last year, Olsen was named to the All-Ivy second team and IWLCA All-Northeast third team. She was ranked first in Ivy play in ground balls and caused turnovers per game and second and third in those categories in overall play, according to DartmouthSports.com.
Both players said that they expect the Dartmouth squad to have a successful season next year, praising the strength of the incoming freshman class.
Wadland said that the Dartmouth team anticipates the upcoming season with “a lot of energy.”
Olsen echoed Wadland’s positive sentiment.
“I’m expecting nothing but great things. I’m just excited to get things started,” she said.