Western Senior Kennedy Buntrock to Play Goalkeeper for England’s U21 National Lacrosse Team

WAHS goalie Kennedy Buntrock

By Julie Deacon

Over the course of her high school career, Kennedy Buntrock has been a force to be reckoned with on the lacrosse field, a feat further solidified by her most recent accomplishment. After a flight to England, a series of tryouts, and a month of waiting, Kennedy is set to play goalkeeper for England’s U21 National Lacrosse Team in the European Championship in Prague, Czech Republic this July. 

“I’m honored to get the chance to play for England this summer. Everything about this whole process has been so surreal,” Kennedy said. “I’ve always wanted to play internationally. It’s been a huge dream of mine for a long time. It’s still hard to believe it’s really happening.” 

Over her winter break, Kennedy was attending a training camp in Maryland when she began to learn more about the recruitment process for the England team. After determining that she had eligibility to play for England due to her mother, Sarah Lewis-Buntrock, being born in England to an English parent, Kennedy got to talking with a few of the players at the training camp. 

“I got to talking with some of the girls at the camp and got a better understanding of what it meant to play internationally,” Kennedy said. “After I got in touch with the England coaching staff, I was invited to try out over my spring break. I feel really lucky the way this all came together.” 

Kennedy will travel to England for a few weeks this summer to continue training with the team prior to the Women’s U21 European Championship. Kennedy has been playing lacrosse since elementary school and while she started as a defensive player, she was thrown into playing goalie during a middle school game and the position has stuck ever since. 

“Well, at first middle school Kennedy just wasn’t having it. Having balls thrown at me? No thanks!” Kennedy recalled, laughing. “But we needed a goalie that day and my coaches suggested I try it out, so I did. Ever since that game, I haven’t looked back.”

Kennedy committed to play college lacrosse for Loyola University in Baltimore in her junior year of high school and is thrilled to start college for both the athletic and academic opportunities. 

“I have so many things that I’m interested in studying, so I’m excited to get to explore those interests,” Kennedy said. “And of course, I can’t wait to play for Loyola and spend time with the team and coaches. Everyone that I’ve met so far has just been amazing.” 

Kennedy couldn’t be happier with the success of the Western Albemarle girls program this season. 

“I feel like we have so much depth as a team this year. Every single player contributes something so special to the group dynamic. Peggy Williams also took over as our coach this spring and she’s done a fantastic job leading us,” she said. “We’re really hoping to win States this year. We’ve been in the running for a little while, and everyone is working really hard.” 

Throughout high school Kennedy played for a club team out of Richmond, the Yellow Jackets South, in addition to the Western Albemarle team. She attributes much of her success to the coaches from these teams that have helped shape her as a player. 

“All of my coaches have taught me how important it is to be a hardworking player. Peggy Williams, my Western coach, has been amazing. I haven’t gotten to work with her for long, but she is just awesome. I know she’s going to do such great things for Western,” Kennedy said. “My club coach, Christina D’Angelo, has also been integral to my growth as a player and my interest in playing at the collegiate level. She has built our club program from the ground up and she has always been a fantastic coach.” 

Kennedy credits all of her coaches with working to not only create good athletes but good people as well, which she believes is one of the most important things about sports. 

Kennedy’s parents, both college athletes themselves, have always supported of her choices to play at the college level and internationally. 

“My parents are awesome. They both played college sports, so they understand the work that it takes to play at that level,” Kennedy said. “More than anything, they want me to do my best and have fun. I wouldn’t ever be in this position, getting these experiences, without them.” 

Having attended Brownsville Elementary, Henley Middle School, and now graduating from Western Albemarle in June, Kennedy said that growing up in the Charlottesville area is a huge part of who she is. 

“I love where I live. I’m so thankful to call it home. Charlottesville has been an amazing place to grow up,” she said. “I’m going to miss the mountains when I’m in Baltimore.”

When she isn’t training or playing lacrosse, Kennedy loves spending time outside, whether it’s going on walks with friends or taking advantage of Charlottesville’s many trail systems. She also loves cooking, traveling, and trying new things.

“Honestly, most of my free time really is spent playing lacrosse,” Kennedy said. “But I also think it’s important for athletes to have hobbies, things they love besides the sport.”

When asked about a personal highlight from her lacrosse career, Kennedy replied, “Having people to share it with. I wouldn’t be the player I am without my coaches, family, and friends. I feel lucky to have people who have been so supportive of my goals—having a support system like that, well, there’s just nothing quite like it.” 


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