Centre College’s Marina Burke ’20 recently competed in the lacrosse World Cup in Guildford, England, playing for the Spanish National Team. And while the young team didn’t come out on top, they made a good showing at what was only their second international competition and a first at the World Cup.
Burke, who lived in Spain until her family moved to Lexington, Kentucky, when she was 12, spends every summer there visiting her mother’s family. In the summer of 2014, not long after taking up lacrosse, she tried out for and earned a spot on the first Spanish National Team, hoping to keep her newly learned skills sharp. She has since played for Spain in every major international competition.
According to Burke, lacrosse has only recently been introduced in Spain, and all but one of the women on the team learned to play in the United States or England. So while winning at the World Cup was important, the experience itself was invaluable.
“Our main goal this tourney was truly to grow and strengthen as a team,” Burke says, “so that the level of lacrosse in Spain can benefit from these more experienced players and we can continue to improve at further competitions.
“The World Cup gave us the experiences and competition we needed to find our team dynamic so that we could truly progress, and now we are going home to rest and continue to train with high hopes for the European Championship in two years,” she continued.
Burke also played for Henry Clay’s club team in high school, and she recently completed Centre’s successful 12-6 season in the spring.
“My teammates and coach made me feel instantly welcome at school and on the team, and they kept me laughing throughout the entire season,” Burke says. “The culture Coach Beer has created around Centre women’s lacrosse (CWL to us) is one of genuineness and encouragement. We’re a family, not just a team. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
While competing and hanging out with teams from other countries at the World Cup were all memorable, some experiences stood out for Burke.
“Holding Germany at 2-2 for the first 20 minutes of our game was a huge feat for us, especially after they creamed us at the Euros two years ago,” Burke says. “I’m also really proud of the second Latvia game. If it had been two minutes shorter or longer we would’ve had them.”
At Centre, Burke plans to double-major in French and either economics and finance or international studies.
by Cindy Long
July 31, 2017