Buckeye Head Coach, Former Players Prepare for World Cup
July 8, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - When the women's lacrosse World Cup begins this week in Ontario, Canada, competition will include three with Ohio State connections. In her second year as the head coach of Team Canada, Buckeye leader Alexis Venechanos will coach her first World Cup on home turf with play scheduled July 11-20, 2013, in Oshawa, Ontario. Among her players is former Buckeye Kylee Reade White, a native of London, Ontario and current head coach at San Diego State, who is taking part in her fourth and final World Cup. Gina Oliver, another national team veteran and the head coach at Cincinnati, will wear the red, white and blue in her second World Cup and eighth year with the U.S. National Team.
Named the head coach in November 2011, Venechanos guided the Canadians in the North America Challenge Cup last summer where they faced the United States and Haudenosaunee in a series of exhibitions. The World Cup, however, features 19 countries divided into four pools with the Top 5 teams - United States, Australia, Canada, England and Wales - sitting in Pool A. Venechanos hopes a strong showing in the NA Cup coupled with a dynamic blend of veterans and newcomers will allow Canada to build on its bronze medal finish claimed in Prague during the 2009 FIL Women's Lacrosse World Cup.
I am humbled and honored by this exciting opportunity to coach the Canadian National Team. There is a great amount of momentum from finishing with the bronze medal at the 2009 World Cup. The aim is to use and build upon that momentum for the upcoming games. Hosting the World Cup is going to be a great platform to showcase how much passion and excitement the Canadian lacrosse community has for the sport. Lisa Miller, the head coach in 2009, and her staff did a terrific job with the program to put the team in a great position for 2013. - Alexis Venechanos
As players, White and Oliver are both among the most veteran members of their respective teams. A member of the national team since 1995, White has played in three previous World Cups, as well as the U19 World Championship, over her 18-year national team career. Now 34 and the head coach at San Diego State, she will hang up her cleats as a player following the Cup in her home province. Oliver is playing in her second World Cup after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2009 event in Prague, earning FIL All-World Team honors in the process.
Although the pair represents two different countries, the humility and honor of wearing national team colors remains a constant.
Every time I put on the Canadian jersey it is exciting and I feel a real sense of pride. This is my fourth World Cup and fifth international tournament with Team Canada and it will be a little bittersweet knowing that it will be the last time playing for my country. It has always been a great honor being able to wear a national team jersey. -- Kylee Reade White
It never gets old! Every time I put on my jersey, my reversible, or my USA t-shirts, I get the chills. It is an amazing feeling when you realize that you are representing your country. I am fortunate enough to be playing with an incredible group of women, and to have the opportunity to do this twice. I could not be more grateful and humbled. -- Gina Oliver
Both defenders, the pair are well represented among the Ohio State all-time leaders in caused turnovers and groundballs. A member of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Oliver still holds the records in both categories eight years after her Buckeye playing career (2002-05) ended, while White remains in the Top 10 in each over a decade later (1999-2002).
The 2013 Women's World Cup will be hosted at the Oshawa Civic Centre in Oshawa, Ontario on July 11-20, 2013. The 2013 World Cup will be the first women's World Cup hosted by Canada and the second major international women's event to take place. The Canadian Lacrosse Association last hosted the 2007 Under-19 World Championship, won by the United States, at Trent University in August of that year.