FLORIDA — A new era in international lacrosse began last week when the Pan American Lacrosse Association (PALA) held its first championship event.
Through the championship, the Haudenosaunee Nationals became the “best women’s field lacrosse team on this side of the world.”
Familiar faces such as Dana Isaacs, Tristyn Thomas-Miller, Tsieboo Herne, Wadatawi Bomberry, Amber Hill, Jalyn Jimerson, Jaclyn Lazore, Mimi Lazore and more were brought together to create the team that shook Puerto Rico 16-6 during the championship game slated on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.
“We knew what we came for. We all did our jobs; we dug in, bought in, and supported our sisters on the field. This is the result. Today we made history. Next up, Towson 2021. We see you,” wrote the Haudenosaunee Nationals Facebook Page along with a video of their team cheer.
Argentina, Colombia, the Haudenosaunee, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico competed for the inaugural PALA Women’s Lacrosse World Qualifiers from Nov. 14-17 at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale.
In addition to competing for a title, the participating nations were set to earn qualification status for the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship, which will be hosted by US Lacrosse at Towson (Md.) University in July 2021.
“This event is the culmination of a year of dreaming and planning by many lacrosse leaders throughout our region, and we fully expect that the competing athletes have a memorable experience and will represent their countries and our sport with great distinction.” said Ann Kitt Carpenetti, VP, US Lacrosse and PALA Board member.
New World Lacrosse regulations allowed a maximum of 30 countries for world championships and continental federations are used to determine the qualifiers. The U.S. and Canada both earned automatic bids to the world championship based on Top 10 finishes at the previous world championship in 2017.
The remaining slots were awarded to the four continental federations — African Association of Lacrosse, Asia-Pacific Lacrosse Union, European Lacrosse Federation and the newly-formed PALA. The process for forming PALA started in early 2018 and the group has been making significant process.
The Haudenosaunee were the most experienced team in the championship. The Haudenosaunee won its pool at the 2017 world championship in England and ultimately finished in 12th place. The team were packed with experience as many with the team played in two previous world championships, finishing 11th in 2009 and seventh in 2013. Mexico and Colombia both participated in the 2017 world championship, finishing 20th and 24th, respectively.
In addition to the championship play, an all-star game was held on Saturday at 6 p.m. utilizing the 6-on-6 trial rules developed by World Lacrosse to help best position the sport for potential Olympic inclusion.
“What a fantastic weekend of lacrosse. These athletes left it all out on the field today,” wrote the Pan-American Lacrosse Association Facebook Page.
“The Haudenosaunee Nationals took the championship game 16-6 over Puerto Rico Lacrosse. Congratulations to the Haudenosaunee Nationals for their first ever Pan-American Lacrosse Association’s Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 1st place win.”
“We congratulate all the athletes for their hard work and positive energy they brought to Auburndale, Florida this weekend. We wish them safe travels and can not wait to bring this region together again for more competitions.”