The World Women's U19 Lacrosse Champs were completed today. USA won the final comprehensively, beating Australia 18-3. The bronze was a surprise with England toppling Canada 9-8.
NZ came in 10th of 11th which sounds unimpressive, but in fact was a brilliant effort. NZ lost all but one game, beating Germany in the play-off for 10th and 11th (8-6), their first win, after losing by 1 to Germany in the first round (10-11). They were competitive in every game, unlucky not to beat the Czech Republic after having 22 shots on goal to 11 but being thwarted by the brilliant Czech goalie.
It was an impressive effort all up when one considers that NZ is new to the sport, this being their first U19 effort after debuting at the senior worlds in 2005. There are also a number of quality players at home who could not make the trip because of injury, other sporting commitments or cost. Of course such trips are not funded, each player spending $6000 for the trip!
The top NZ team would have potentially been top 6. Impressive for NZ were the McLain sisters Lauren and Kate, Gracie Keown, Sonja Yaw, Susie Clephane, Laura Rensford, Ariana Simmonds and Kelly Leaper. Some will no doubt score US scholarships. Way to go girls!