Categories

Subscribe!

Gordon_KAra-JAde_Jamaican_National_Team

Monmouth College’s Gordon to Play for Jamaican National Lacrosse Team

MONMOUTH, IL-The old saying “Be careful what you wish for” actually came true for Monmouth College dual-sport student-athlete Kara-Jade Gordon (Nashville, Tenn./University School), who has been named to the inaugural Jamaican senior women’s national lacrosse team.

“I found out Jamaica was forming a national team and my father said I could qualify to try out,” explained Gordon, whose parents are from Jamaica. “He got the paperwork going for my dual citizenship. Apparently they saw my stats and maybe some game film and offered me a spot on the team. It was definitely a surprise.”

This fall, Gordon – a psychology major who plays lacrosse and soccer for the Fighting Scots – had jokingly mentioned to her Monmouth lacrosse coach Elizabeth Demara that she would like to play for the Jamaican national team. That wish came true when Gordon was notified in October she would be suiting up for the 2019 Pan-American Lacrosse Association World Qualifiers to be held Nov. 14-17 in Auburndale, Fla. Qualifying teams from the Auburndale event will then move on to the World Lacrosse Championships to be held in 2021.

Already making history at Monmouth by joining the inaugural Fighting Scots’ women’s lacrosse team in 2017, Gordon finds herself making history again with Jamaica’s first-ever women’s lacrosse team.

“I think this will be an easier transition because of being on the first women’s lacrosse team at Monmouth,” said Gordon. “That gave me the experience of being part of a brand new program. My teammates on the Jamaican team will probably be much more experienced.”

The fleet-footed Gordon will have to make a rules transition, including fewer players on the field, which could open up Monmouth’s career scoring leader for more scoring opportunities.

“It’s a great honor to play at the national level,” said Demara. “The international rules are a bit different from the NCAA rules, so she will have to make some adjustments. Overall, it will be a good experience for her.”

One potential rub with the plan is that Monmouth’s women’s soccer team qualified for the Midwest Conference Tournament to be held the weekend prior to the PALA Qualifiers. An MWC Tournament title would advance the Scots to the NCAA Regionals, held at the same time as Gordon is scheduled to play on the national team.

“K-J was worried about what I’d think, but I was immediately supportive,” said Scots women’s soccer coach Nick Rizzo of the prospect of losing his leading scorer to the national team. “I told her these opportunities don’t come around all that often. You absolutely HAVE to play for your national team. It’s a great honor to play for your national team in any sport. It wouldn’t be fair for me to forbid her to play. It’s extremely rare at the D-3 level for a team to lose a player to a national team, but I’m so proud of her. She’s earned everything she’s experiencing.”

The entire experience may have caught Gordon by surprise, but it’s an experience she’s thankful for.

“I’m excited about the opportunity, but I never thought I’d be playing on a national team,” said Gordon, who also offered some advice for other Division III student-athletes. “There are opportunities out there I wasn’t aware of. Division III student-athletes play because they love their sport. If they keep working hard and keep that love for the game, anything can happen.”

Playing in Pool A, Jamaica will open with Colombia on Nov. 14 and will play their other pool game the following day. Consolation and semifinals are scheduled for Nov. 16 with the third place and championship games set for Nov. 17. Full details of the qualifier may be found at PanAmericanLacrosse.org.

Posted in