Lacrosse: Northwestern alumni compete in Women’s World Championship, World Games


Photo courtesy of Lindsey McKone

Julie Krupnick, Megan Kinna and Lindsey McKone. The Northwestern alumni faced off against each other at the World Games.

Charlotte Varnes, Managing Editor

Northwestern lacrosse alum Megan Kinna is no stranger to international competition. 

Kinna has competed in multiple world championships as a midfielder for Team Canada. A gold medalist at the 2015 U-19 World Championship, Kinna got a taste of victory again at the World Games. 

“It was so surreal,” Kinna said. “That was only the second time I’ve beat the Americans on the world stage. Every time, it’s a great feeling.” 

It has been a busy month for Kinna and many elite women’s lacrosse players. The Women’s World Championship ran from June 29 through July 9 in Towson, Maryland. Shortly afterward, the World Games began in Birmingham, Alabama, featuring women’s lacrosse matchups from July 13-16.

Kinna was one of several NU alumni who took part in these events. Among her competitors were Team Israel’s Lindsey McKone and Julie Krupnick — her former teammates, and roommates, at NU.

For the trio, there was a long road toward the summer’s competitions. Kinna said the tryout process for Team Canada began in 2019 in anticipation of the Women’s World Championship in 2021. But the event was postponed a year due to COVID-19, and Kinna said some tryouts were canceled as a result. 

McKone originally tried out for Team USA, playing for the team during the 2021 USA Lacrosse Fall Classic. When she wasn’t named to the U.S. roster, she said she reached out to a contact at Team Israel that she had been in touch with prior to her time with Team USA. A tryout later, she was named to Israel’s roster. 

Ahead of the international competitions, Krupnick and McKone gathered with other members of Team Israel in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend to practice and scrimmage with Team Jamaica. Kinna’s Team Canada had a similar training camp just ahead of the Women’s World Championship. 

On the opening night of the Women’s World Championship, Team Canada hit the ground running with a loss against the U.S.

“In Pool A, we had a lot of tough competition right off the bat,” Kinna said. “We played Team USA, then went into England, Australia and Scotland. (It was) definitely hard competition, but I think we were ready for it.” 

Both Canada and Israel competed on the final day of the tournament, losing their matchups to finish second and sixth overall. The following day, Kinna and McKone left for Birmingham with their respective teams. Krupnick, who solely competed in the World Games, arrived a bit earlier. 

The World Games used a new format of lacrosse called Sixes, featuring a smaller field, smaller rosters and a 30-second shot clock. The format was developed to make the sport more competitive at the international level and fit the 21st Century Olympic framework as lacrosse seeks to become an Olympic sport. 

After playing traditional lacrosse at the Women’s World Championship, McKone said adjusting to Sixes with just two practices before the World Games was a bit difficult. But Israel figured it out ahead of competition, she said. 

“The first scrimmage, I had 20 turnovers,” McKone said. “I was not used to the different spacing, the amount of players. The rules are completely different.” 

The World Games featured four intense days of competition — including a meeting between Canada and Israel. Canada prevailed and “crushed it,” Krupnick said, but she enjoyed the chance to play against Kinna again.

At the World Games, not only did Kinna get her gold medal, but McKone and Krupnick also helped Israel to its top international finish ever. Leading just 13-12 with mere seconds left on the clock, goalkeeper Krupnick made a save to secure the fifth-place victory for Team Israel.

“I ended the game with the ball in my stick, which was an incredible feeling,” Krupnick said. “But until the whistle went off, we had to stay focused because in the Sixes format, you never know what can happen.”

Beyond the lacrosse field, players built community both with competitors and others. When not competing at the Women’s World Championship, McKone said Team Israel took part in cultural events such as putting on lacrosse clinics at the local Jewish community center and going to a Chabad House for Shabbat dinners. 

Kinna said she enjoyed sharing stories and building lasting bonds with players from other countries at the Women’s World Championship.

“I made friends on Team Ireland and Scotland, so that was fun for me,” Kinna said. “Making new friendships that will last a lifetime and (seeing) each other through Instagram — that’s my favorite part.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @charvarnes11

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