Taylor Cummings On What Hometown World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship Means

In the world of women’s lacrosse, it’s hard to find something that former Maryland star midfielder Taylor Cummings has not accomplished. But Cummings, regarded as one of the greatest women’s lacrosse player ever, has an opportunity this summer to achieve something that has not been done.

The World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship, formerly known as the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, occurs every four years and features some of the best women’s lacrosse players in the world. It was supposed to occur last year but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first world championship was in 1982. There have since been 10 tournaments, eight of which has been won by the United States. However, the U.S. lost the two prior times it was held in the States. There has never been a world championship won by the host team.

This year, Cummings and the U.S. team will have an opportunity to be the first. The tournament will be held at Towson University from June 29 to July 9.

“There are so many different countries who are talented, who are growing, who bring really, really talented teams to world championships each year,” Cummings said on Glenn Clark Radio May 5. “Canada, England, Australia, they are the cream of the crop. … So it’s by no means going to be an easy task to fight for a gold. No host country has ever won on their home soil, so we’re really trying to bring home a gold on home soil for the first time.”

If there’s anyone that can help accomplish this feat, it’s Cummings. The 27-year-old from Ellicott City, Md., has had an incredible career in the sport. Cummings is now the head coach of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team at McDonogh School, where she starred as a high schooler.

Cummings played four seasons at Maryland (2013-2016), becoming the first and only three-time Tewaaraton Award winner. The Terps won two national championships during Cummings’ time at Maryland as well. Overall, she played in 92 games for the Terps. She is the program’s all-time draw controls leader (509) and is fourth in career goals (229), ninth in assists (94) and third in points (323).

Cummings being born and raised in Maryland makes it even more special that this year’s world championship is being held at Towson University.

“I think it’s one of those things that I probably won’t be able to put into words and fully recognize until we’re on the field for opening ceremonies,” Cummings said. “My whole playing career has basically been in the state of Maryland and who knows what’s to come after this world championship. So the fact that we get to not only host in the United States but to have the games in a state where a few of us are from, compete [in front of] hometown fans, I mean, what else could you ask for?”

Cummings has some experience playing in this event. In 2017, she was a part of the U.S. team that beat Canada in the gold medal game in England. That moment was unforgettable for Cummings, and it adds to the idea of being able to win it again on her home turf.

“It was unbelievable. Having won national championships, you feel like that’s the highest it can go,” Cummings said. “Then to be on foreign soil, to hear the national anthem played before a final, I remember tearing up, because it just means so much. You’re truly representing your country and what an honor that is.”

In addition to Cummings, this year’s team will have a few other former Terrapins — Lizzie Colson (2017-2021), Megan Douty (2012-2015) and Alice Mercer (2013-2016).

In terms of the format of the tournament, the teams compete in pool play and then move on to bracket play. The United States will play Canada, Scotland, Australia and England before moving into bracket play. Thirty teams are participating in the tournament.

The U.S. and Canada will kick off the tournament by facing off after the opening ceremonies on Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m. For Cummings and the U.S. team, this event is about bringing attention to the sport but also winning a fourth straight championship and becoming the first host country to win the whole thing.

“We want to grow the sport locally, we want to grow the sport internationally,” Cummings said. “We’re just really excited to be able to go out and compete against talented teams. Our goal is to win a gold, whether we’re on our home soil or in Canada or in England or anywhere else. I think we’re excited about the opportunity to not only win and fight for gold, but to be able to do so on our home soil for the first time.”

For more from Cummings, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Courtesy of USA Lacrosse