As the final whistle blew, Lara Larco (C’25) and her teammates jumped over the side of the boards in a stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, and ran out onto the pitch.
Larco, in a neon yellow goalkeeper’s jersey, wrapped her arms around fellow players, their heads bent together crying, laughing and shouting. Some fell to their knees. Others danced and waved the Haitian flag behind them.
The Haitian women’s soccer team had just beat Chile and qualified for the Women’s World Cup for the first time in the country’s history.
“It was unbelievable,” said Larco, who plays for Haiti and for Georgetown’s women’s soccer team. “It means a lot to a country that has gone through so much. Everyone on my team has been playing their whole lives for this moment.”
Larco, who is Haitian American, joined Haiti’s women’s soccer team a year and a half ago. She’s been competing against another teammate to start as goalkeeper at the World Cup match.
And five months to the day after the Chile match, she’ll have her chance as Haiti plays England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup on July 22.
She’ll be joined by three other Hoyas playing in the tournament: Maya Alcantara (G’23) for the Philippines, Kyra Carusa (G’19) for Ireland and Daisy Cleverly (G’21) for co-hosts New Zealand.