The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off early Thursday morning on the other side of the world. The anticipated event is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand, marking the first time that either country has hosted the Women’s World Cup.
The United States will be trying to become the first country to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup three-straight times, and they will be looking to win their fifth overall Women’s World Cup. This edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the first with 32 teams participating in the event.
Even though there are no Ohio State Buckeyes playing for the United States Women’s National Team, there are three current and past Buckeyes playing for other countries in the event. Tiffany Cameron and Peyton McNamara were named to Jamaica’s squad, while Nichelle Prince will be playing for Canada. Prince and Cameron will be making their second trips to the World Cup, as they played for their countries back in 2019 in France.
Tiffany Cameron - Forward - Jamaica
After growing up in Toronto, Cameron came to Ohio State in 2009. In her four years in Columbus, Cameron became one of the most decorated athletes in program history. Cameron was twice named first team All-Big Ten and NSCAA second team All-American. The forward would leave Ohio State as the school’s all-time leading goal scorer, netting 40 goals, with 21 of those tallies coming in 2012.
Cameron originally started her international career with Canada, making six appearances for the national team before deciding to switch her affiliation to Jamaica. Since all six of her appearances for Canada came in friendlies, Cameron was still eligible to play for Jamaica. After making her debut for Jamaica’s National Team, Cameron appeared in two of three games Jamaica played at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Overall, Cameron has appeared in 12 matches for Jamaica, scoring five goals while on the pitch.
Peyton McNamara - Midfield - Jamaica
A current member of the Ohio State women’s soccer team that will be at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is midfielder Peyton McNamara, who will also be playing for Jamaica. McNamara was the 2021 Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year after scoring six times, with two of those goals being game-winners. After a strong first season at Ohio State, McNamara had a bit of a setback as an ankle injury only allowed her to appear in five games as a sophomore. McNamara bounced back last year, scoring seven goals, which ranked third on the team.
The Ohio State midfielder was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, but was able to play for the Jamaican National Team because of her mother’s heritage. McNamara made her debut for Jamaica back in June 2021 against Nigeria, and has made one other appearance for the national team since. Even if McNamara doesn’t see a ton of minutes in this year’s World Cup, she should feature heavily in the future of Jamaica’s national team.
McNamara and Cameron’s first match in Group F is scheduled for Sunday morning against France in Sydney. The Reggae Girlz will then travel to Perth to take on Panama on Saturday morning, followed by their final game in the group stage on Wednesday August 2nd against Brazil in Melbourne. If Jamaica is able to make it to the knockout stage it will be the first time they have advanced past the group stage.
Nichelle Prince - Forward - Canada
During Nichelle Prince’s time at Ohio State from 2013 to 2016, the forward appeared in 72 games for the Buckeyes, scoring 27 goals during that span. Prince ranks eighth all-time in program history in goals, and fifth in assists. While at Ohio State, Prince was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree. After graduating from Ohio State, Prince was selected by the Houston Dash with the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft.
While Prince had a great college career, as well becoming a mainstay in Houston, her international career has had a few more ups-and-downs. Prince became the first Ohio State women’s soccer player to compete in the Olympics when she was part of Canada’s team that won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics, her 2019 World Cup was cut short by a torn meniscus. Following the injury, Prince would become a two-time medalist when Canada won a gold medal in the 2020 Olympics.
There was doubt Prince would be available for this year’s World Cup when she ruptured her achilles in a friendly at Brazil back in November. There was some surprise when Prince was named to Canada’s squad, but with 13 goals in 90 appearances for Canada, it would have been hard to leave her off the roster. Prince came on as a substitute in Canada’s first match in Group B against Nigeria, entering the match in the 82nd minute. Canada would go on to draw Nigeria 0-0 in Melbourne. The next match for Canada will take place against Ireland on Wednesday morning in Perth, and they will close out the group stage against Australia on Monday July 31 back in Melbourne.