Loyola women's assistant coach Dana Dobbie was all set to play for Canada at the 2005 World Cup in Annapolis when she found out she needed surgery on both ankles and would have to miss the competition. Since then, the former Terrapins All-American has geared her game toward this summer's 2009 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup this June in Prague.
Dobbie, who hails from Guelph, Ontario, played last season with three current Terps who will play for three other nations – Caitlyn McFadden, United States; Laura Merrifield, England; and Sarah Mollison for defending champ Australia. Dobbie now coaches with two other World Cup players – Greyhounds head coach Jen Adams (Australia) and assistant Kylee White, who also plays for Canada.
I asked Dobbie, 24, about her disappointment about missing the 2005 championship and on her excitement to be playing this summer.
How difficult was it to watch it in '05?
I think the worst part is that it was such a long process to be named to the team and then once you’re finally named to the team, it’s like your biggest dream come true. Then, to get that news, it’s just heartbreaking. The worst was the girls were at training camp a couple weeks before and they called me and I’d just had surgery and was at home with a cast. I talked to every single one of them and they were all so excited and I’m like, "How am I in this situation?" It was tough, but it was also kind of fun to watch the whole thing and not just be wrapped up in part of it.
What are you looking forward to most about it?
I think our no days off when we have to play Australia, U.S., England and Japan straight in a row. Since we’re the fourth seed, we kind of have it a little bit tough, but I’m really looking forward to the competition. Once you graduate, this is kind of all you have left. There’s no pro league for us, so this is kind of the end of everything. Just to have a chance to play is the one thing I’m looking forward to most.
What’s it going to be like to see all of those former Maryland teammates on all these different sides?
I wish we were on the same team not against each other, but it’ll be awesome to share that experience with a lot of my best friends.
Does it give you any advantage playing against them, knowing a lot about their games?
It’s tough when you have Caitlyn McFadden, Laura Merrifield, Jen Adams, those girls. You can know everything you can about how they play, but you’ve still got to stop it. I don’t know if that’s more intimidating or if that should give you more confidence.
Have you played against Jen before?
No, I’ve only watched her play and then just played around in practice. I think that’s going to be the most interesting. We -- her, Kylee and I at work -- are always joking around and pulling each other’s legs and kind of talking smack to each other when we’re training, but I think it will be fine. Once I put Canada on and she puts Australia on, you’re no longer co-workers. You’re just going after it and at the end of the day, there’s so much respect between the both of us, it will be a lot of fun.
What does it say about Maryland to have so many alums playing for at least five different countries?
That’s probably one of the coolest things, being an alumna of Maryland and getting to play for the Terps. There’s so many people all over the place who have been able to represent the university like that. Those are the kinds of reasons why I wanted to go and be a part of it, knowing that a lot of players there went on to compete at the international level.
Do you have a different perspective on playing now that you are coaching?
Yeah. It’s a lot different. I think you become a lot more disciplined and a lot more patient because the stuff you see in practice and the stuff you see on the sidelines, you can really relate to. "So that’s what they were talking about when I was playing. I get it now." People told me all the time, "If you could go back after coaching for a year, you would be such a better player, you’d be able to see all those little things." I completely agree.
How do you train when you’re so far away?
It’s really tough. I know the U.S. team is one of the only teams that can get together a lot. Like Australia and us, we’ll train two weeks before the World Cup. We’ll do a training camp and then we’ll participate. When you’re trying to play in the biggest game of your lives and you don’t practice like you did every day in college, it’s a little bit more difficult and it takes a lot more self motivation. With Kylee and I, since we do work together, we’re able to do workouts together and lift and run together.
This is the biggest World Cup, up to 16 teams. Is lacrosse growing in Canada as well?
Yeah, it really is. The women’s side is really progressing. We have a lot more high school teams than we did before, more club teams. Nothing compared to what you would see on the East Coast, but definitely huge growth. We’re trying to get started at a younger age.