Mon | Aug 26, 2019

U-19 women’s lacrosse team end World Champs with win

Published:Monday | August 12, 2019 | 12:18 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Shanice Thompson shouts instructions to a team-mate as she runs towards the D in a training session for the national under-19 women’s lacrosse team at Wolmer’s High School for Girls earlier this year.
Shanice Thompson shouts instructions to a team-mate as she runs towards the D in a training session for the national under-19 women’s lacrosse team at Wolmer’s High School for Girls earlier this year.

The last two weeks have been eye-­opening for the ladies of the under-19 Jamaican lacrosse team.

They have faced the best the world has to offer and although they have been outclassed at times, the team has managed to gain valuable experience competing in their first Under-19 World Championships.

That experience and camaraderie culminated in the team registering their first win of the Championships in their final game on Friday, defeating Belgium 8-6 in the 21st-place game in Peterborough, Canada.

The match was pulsating, involving five lead changes, with Jamaica pulling ahead late in the fourth quarter, outscoring their opponents 5-1.

Jamaican goalkeeper Shannen Graham contributed with 30 saves and Isabel Lawrence played her part with 15 saves of her own, when she was substituted at the 15-minute mark.

Alicia Thaxter, who had won player of the game in their 22-10 defeat to South Korea in their final group game, levelled the game five minutes in after Belgium’s Nina Verreth opened the scoring after only two minutes. Jada Johnson gave the Jamaicans the lead but that only began a frantic exchange of goals, as the Belgians lead 4-3 at half-time.

The second half started with the Belgians continuing their assault on the Jamaican goal, with Verreth adding another in the 39th minute, but it was there that the Jamaican’s took over.

Patricia Walters closed that gap with her second goal of the game in the 48th minute, while Johanna Silvera levelled the match on a penalty shot barely a minute later. And when Silvera gave the Jamaicans back the lead for the second time, the Belgians struggled to regain the momentum that had them in front.

Jamaica were narrowly beaten by Chinese Taipei 11-10 last Thursday in the loser bracket in overtime and were determined to make sure that their efforts and growth over the last two weeks were rewarded with victory.

Captain Jada Williams continued her excellent goalscoring form, adding Jamaica’s final two goals to conclude Jamaica’s first appearance at these World Championships with a win.