ROCHESTER,N.Y. (WROC) — History was made Sunday, as Rochester native Kathryn Nesbitt became the first woman to take the pitch for a knockout round match at the men’s FIFA World Cup.
Nesbitt was selected to participate as an Assistant Referee for the match between England and Senegal.
She was chosen as one of just six women who — for the first time — are joining more than 100 male officials at the World Cup.
While most viewers cheered for the game, Nesbitt had her fans cheering her on right here in Rochester!
Referees from Western New York gathered at the Tryon City Tavern in Downtown Rochester Sunday afternoon for a watch party.
Nesbitt’s parents, Marci and Tom Nesbitt, said that the pride they feel watching their daughter on the world stage was difficult to put into words.
“Oh my gosh! I am so happy!” Marci said, standing next to her husband, Tom. “She’s worked so hard to be there and it’s wonderful, and she’s just wonderful. Go ahead Tom! Just so proud. So proud of her.”
Nesbitt is no stranger to reffing big games. Her track record includes the 2019 Women’s World Cup and men’s league championships in the United States.
“It’s a big deal for us, locally,” Steve Montanino, Referee Instructor, said. “We all want to support her and we’re all interested in how she gonna do and we’re here with her parents to support her and cheer her on.”