Having overcome three knee surgeries during her lacrosse career, former JMU player Kelly Berger (JMU '07) is now on her way to the 2013 Lacrosse World Cup in July in Oshawa, Ontario.
Berger, featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, is the first JMU graduate chosen to play for the U.S. Senior National Team.
Berger was thrilled to hear she had made the roster. However, her first thoughts were about players who were not chosen for the team. She told Lacrosse Magazine editor Matt DaSilva, “The first thing that came to my mind when I got the call when I made it was, ‘Who didn’t?’ You grow these friendships and these personalities with each other. It just hurts your heart a little bit that they won’t be there with you.”
The knee injuries
Berger’s first knee surgery happened prior to her spring 2006 JMU junior season, to repair a torn meniscus in her left knee, and her second was a torn ACL in the same knee in September 2006. Despite the injuries, she did not miss a game her junior and senior seasons, and she helped lead the Dukes to a Colonial Athletic Association championship and NCAA quarterfinal appearance in 2006.
However, in October 2007 Berger tore the ACL in her right knee. Although it took her nine months of rehabilitation, Berger was still asked by U.S. Coach Sue Heether to play for the United States in the 2008 Prague Cup.
Five years later, Berger is set to represent the United States in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup, scheduled for July 11-20 in Canada. The U.S. team will defend its 2009 gold medal and aim for its seventh overall world title.
Berger, a four-year starter for the Dukes and two-time All-America selection, ranks second on JMU's career goals (184) and points (262) lists and fourth on the Dukes' career assist list (78).
More than 20 players from the JMU lacrosse program have been named to U.S. teams, but Berger will be the first to play in a World Cup for the U.S. Team.
Dukes in the World Cup
While Berger will be the first Duke to play in the World Cup in a U.S. Team uniform, a number of other JMU athletes have World Cup experience, representing other countries.
Two of them, rising junior Ali Curwin and former JMU gymnast Elyssa Rosenbaum ('09), will play for Israel in 2013. Curwin won All-CAA Second Team honors as a starter for the Dukes this spring.
Another former Duke, Stanford assistant lacrosse coach Brooke McKenzie Eubanks ('06), will play in her third World Cup, as she is on the 2013 Canada roster for this year's event.
Lucy Lynch, a native of England who played for the Dukes as a JMU graduate student in 2008, is on England's 2013 World Cup roster. She also played in the 2009 World Cup.
History of JMU Players on Senior National Teams
U.S. National Team
2013, Kelly Berger
Canada National Team
1997, Troyhann Santos
2001, Troyhann Santos
2005, Jessica Brownridge, Brooke McKenzie, Troyhann Santos
2009, Jessica Brownridge, Brooke McKenzie
2013, Brooke McKenzie
England National Team
2009, Lucy Lynch
2013, Lucy Lynch
Israel National Team
2013, Ali Curwin, Elyssa Rosenbaum