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  • Writer's pictureAna Lise

An Interview with Catherine Conway

The World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship is the international women’s lacrosse championship, which takes place every four years. The 2022 edition of this tournament (rescheduled from 2021 for health and safety reasons regarding COVID-19) recently wrapped up in Towson, Maryland, after taking place between June 29 and July 9.

Players and coaches of the Irish women's national lacrosse team standing in a line, arms around each other, facing away from the camera.
Photo via Roger Wimmer

The Ireland women’s national team placed second in their group, progressing to the round of 16 with a 3-1 record, as the 13th seed. Once there, they were bested by Australia, 18-4. This caused them to drop into the Championship Consolation bracket, losing to Scotland but winning against Hong Kong and Germany. This brought them to a finish in thirteenth place overall, out of the twenty-nine teams in the tournament. That matches their finish in the previous edition of the tournament when they finished 13th in 2017.

With us for an interview is Catherine Conway, who has been working as an assistant coach with the Irish women’s national team since 2014.

Ana Lise Devery: What’s your role within the team, both officially and unofficially?

Catherine Conway: Officially, Assistant Coach of the Women's Senior National team, and Sports Information Officer for Ireland Lacrosse. Unofficially, I am the Equipment Manager, Team DJ, and Social Media Guru.

AD: How did you get involved with coaching the Irish team?

CC: After my playing career with USA Lacrosse ended, I was looking for a way to get involved in the international lacrosse scene. I emailed the National Teams Director John Cavanaugh in December of 2013, showed up to National Team Trials (tryouts) in October 2014, and the rest is history (as they say).

AD: What is your favorite part of coaching for this team and why?

CC: Ohhhh, this is a tough one. There are so many great things to pick from, it's hard to narrow it down. I would say that the family-style environment is a big part of it - we love each other, support each other, push each other across all aspects of life, not just lacrosse. The relationships forged are much deeper than what you find on a "normal" team, due to the intensity of the scheduling and events.

AD: How do practices work, when some players and coaches are located in Ireland, and some in the US?

CC: It's tough - and has been made more difficult by COVID-19 travel restrictions for much of 2020 & 2021. But, usually, we host trials in October, prior to the tournament, and an additional training weekend in the spring. Then, we bring the team together a week or so prior to the tournament starting. We are trying to adjust this to make for more team building and practice time, but we do not yet have access to an endless supply of money nor time.

AD: Has this year been different from previous years with the team? If so, how?

CC: This team had a lot more time to develop relationships due to the COVID delays in the tournament. So, there were deeper relationships off of the field prior to touching down in Towson, Maryland. That was advantageous to our on-field success.

AD: How do you feel about the team’s performance in the Women’s World Championship?

CC: Overall, I am very proud of what we accomplished. I think that a couple more calls could have gone our way in a number of matches, and we might have ended up with one more win, but it was a solid finish for a team that fought very hard for every goal.

AD: What is the team looking to improve on after their experiences in the Championship this year?

CC: A great question. We want to develop more offensive cohesiveness prior to the tournament and continue to develop our riding IQ.

AD: What’s next for this team?

CC: Training weekends in October and December! Making up for lost time, and beginning our preparations for the next European Championships.

AD: Is there any message you want to get out to people who don’t watch women’s national lacrosse or aren’t watching the Irish team?

CC: You should. It's really an incredible game, and you're missing out if you're not watching.

(responses lightly edited for clarity)

Members of the Irish women's national lacrosse team laughing in a line before a game.
Photo via Roger Wimmer

You heard her! You can next watch the Irish women's national lacrosse team in the European Lacrosse Championships in 2023. You can also keep up with them on their website,, or on Twitter @IrelandWLax.


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