An inspiring chapter in lacrosse history was written Friday as Kenya competed in its first-ever World Championship game. Though Kenya came up short against Korea, falling 15-10, the game carried tremendous significance. Kenya played a highly spirited, fast-paced style of lacrosse in their first ever international match. Several spectators were heard complimenting the team’s pace and style of play.
The Kenyan team is the first African team to compete at an international level for women’s U19, and is receiving support from all over the world in several forms. One of those supporting Team Kenya is Anastasia Oderstone, who is a volunteer assistant coach with the team. Oderstone and Jessica Rusby, the team’s volunteer assistant manager, accompanied the Kenyan team to Uganda in October of 2018 for the team’s first official competitive match.
The two volunteers go to school together in the U.K. and say that “the Kenyan girls are all very excitable and in good spirits. They are happy to be in Canada and especially happy to try pizza for the first time.”
Oderstone and Rusby also help support the team financially by facilitating the sale of a wide array of merchandise (see photo), including socks that can only be purchased at games Kenya plays in, and beaded accessories crafted by Kenyan coaches.
Kenya displayed a competitive wit throughout the game, and, by scoring 10 goals proved they are a team that does not look like first-timers. As Oderstone and Rusby and now Team Korea can attest, the Kenyan team is athletic and has picked up the game well.
For Korea, the 15-10 win over Kenya marks the arrival of one of the strongest upcoming teams from the Asian region. Korea has wide array of talented women who can score and play an attacking style that will be interesting to monitor as the tournament progresses in Peterborough.
The Kenyan team celebrating after a match well played. It is a milestone for them as individuals, and the Kenyan program in general. The team is happy to have taken in a Lakers game while they are in Peterborough, and is proud of their showing against the Republic of Korea. Helen-Louise Park scored six goals for Korea. -Liam Cunningham
Anastasia Oderstone (center) is a volunteer assistant for Team Kenya. The team is selling merchandise at the U19 world tournament to support their program back in Africa.
2019 World Lacrosse Women’s U19 World Championship
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, August 1-10
Trent University & Fleming College
2 AUGUST | FRIDAY RESULTS
Czech Republic def. Ireland, 20-3
Korea def. Kenya, 15-10
Puerto Rico def. Hong Kong, 21-2
Germany def. Jamaica, 18-2
New Zealand def. Scotland, 13-7
Haudenosaunee def. Israel, 21-3
Mexico def. Chinese Taipei, 10-6
Japan def. Wales, 21-7
United States def. Australia, 12-4
Canada def. England, 18-8
Pool Standings (As of August, 2):
United States (1-0)
New Zealand (2-0)
Republic of Korea (1-1)
Czech Republic (2-0)
Chinese Taipei (0-1)
Hong Kong (1-1)
Puerto Rico (1-0)
3 AUGUST | SATURDAY SCHEDULE
Germany vs. China, 9 am EST (Pool C)
Ireland vs. Chinese Tapei, 9:30 am EDT (D)
Jamaica vs. Kenya, 12:00 pm EDT (C)
Puerto Rico vs. Belgium, 12:30 pm EDT (E)
Haudenosaunee vs. Hong Kong, 2:00 pm EDT (E)
Canada vs. Australia, 5:00 pm EDT (A)
USA vs. England, 8:00 pm EDT (A)