Gretta White ’25 makes her athletic debut on the international stage — and history
When SPS midfielder Gretta White ’25 stepped onto the field for the first of eight games at the World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship in Maryland this July, the Vermonter wore the jersey of Argentina, her mother’s homeland, and she carried within a love for the game, first learned from her father.
She also made history as a member of the first Argentina team to play in the World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship.
Argentina, ranked 29 out of 30 teams, lost that first game against Japan 3-25, but over the course of the next week, the team members got to know each other and their strengths. For White, who first picked up a stick when she was four and fell in love with the excitement of the game and the feeling of being part of a team, it’s their camaraderie that stands out now, even more so than the game against Jamaica in which she scored five goals toward one of Argentina’s two victories.
Opportunities for international-level lacrosse play are few and far between, but as a kid, White kept tabs on Team USA and let herself dream big about her future with the game. In 2020, she found another way to the international stage — perusing the website for Argentina Lacrosse, she saw the call for team members, contacted the coaches, and started taking part in virtual training sessions with other prospective players, most of whom were in their 20s.
With the championship delayed a year because of the pandemic, the team, with half a dozen U.S.-based members of Argentinian descent and the rest from Argentina, finally gathered on the Towson University campus in Maryland this summer for some intense team building before the competition commenced.
“We had a very welcoming and outgoing team. Our coaches were great and did a lot of team bonding stuff,” says White. “Our first practice was a lot of fun, and I had an easy time bonding with the Argentina girls since I know Spanish, which was helpful.”
It was during their game against China, though, that she believes the team really came together. China wasn’t too concerned about taking on Argentina, White contends, but it turned into a great game that Argentina lost by just one goal. “It was one of the coolest things about the whole experience. We were down in the first half and then we had this major comeback — we really played together as a team, and it was fun. It would’ve been nice if we had gotten the win, but I think it was a win just to show that we can play.”
And play, they did. Eight game days in a row was, White admits, “a little rough,” but ice baths and the support of their fans pulled the players through. White’s parents watched from the stands, and her grandmother, who moved from Argentina to the United States when White was nine, watched on ESPN.
“Our fans were the best,” White says. “During the Jamaica game, they were jumping and cheering so much the camera guy focused on them and it was so great to see all our parents and families and people we didn’t even know who’d come from Argentina. I felt a lot of pride. It was a great moment, like, okay, we’re playing for something larger than ourselves.”
Helping to grow a sport is beyond the scope of most teen athletes, but White is excited about the possibilities and committed to Team Argentina, which climbed to the 26th spot by the championship's end. And her dreams about her future with the game continue to grow, too.
“It was really great to take two big parts of my identity, my mother’s heritage and lacrosse, and have them come together like that,” she says. “It would be amazing if Argentina could be in the 2028 Olympics, that would be a dream come true for all the players and Argentina Lacrosse. It’s one of my goals.”
And as Jamaica knows, White can make goals.