SOUTH FLORIDA – Jamaica’s senior women’s lacrosse team recently made history, becoming the first Caribbean team to qualify for the 2021 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.
The 2019 Pan American Lacrosse Association (PALA) Women’s World Lacrosse Qualifier was a 4-day tournament held this past weekend at the PALA headquarters, Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, FL, just west of Orlando.
Team Jamaica’s national senior women’s team, with Head Coach Alix Baldini and Associate Head Coach Karli Brentlinger, brought 15 players; 5 from South Florida: Aliana Stewart, Natassjia Ragbeer and Katrina Ragbeer (sisters), Meltonique Bowen, and Sydney Corrodus. The Jamaicans placed 3rd in the tournament which will now place them in the 5th seed in the Pan American region behind USA, Canada, Haudenosaunee (USA & Canada Indigenous Indians), and Puerto Rico.
During the tournament, an exhibition game was held with a different format created by the US Lacrosse and the World Lacrosse, in their ongoing attempt to add Lacrosse as an Olympic sport. Here they unveiled a version of the game, subject to International Olympic Committee (IOC) criteria, which included a smaller field and fewer players. The objective was to create a product in hopes of garnering support and approval for inclusion in the 2028 Olympics.
Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, said she was “excited by the very happy news,” as she sent congratulations to the senior women’s team. “This is historic – it’s the first time that a team from Jamaica, and indeed the Caribbean, has qualified for the Lacrosse Women’s World Cup. They deserve our congratulations and our full support as they continue to beat the odds.”
In a statement on Instagram, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness posted “Jamaica continues to make tremendous strides on and off the track. Congratulations to Jamaica’s senior women’s lacrosse team on making history yesterday, becoming the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the 2021 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.”