By Meghan Falconer
Nearly every time you hear of a student athlete entering into international competition, it is the case that the athlete has been practicing that sport and dreaming of that chance his entire life. However, University of Dallas senior Christine Jablonsky has only been playing lacrosse for three years, and she has only 36 games under her belt. And yet Jablonsky has been invited to represent her country this summer and compete with American International Sports Teams (AIST) for 10 days in their 2015 European Tour.
This invitational team is made up of athletes from Division I, II and III programs from all over the country. The tema is scheduled to leave from New York on June 19, and its first practice is in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where the players will scrimmage against Holland’s national team. From there, they will fly to Munich, Germany to practice with some German national teams, and finally they will travel to Prague to begin the official competition.
Although Jablonsky will be joining this team with the least amount of experience in the sport, when one looks at everything she has accomplished in her short career, her selection makes sense. In her sophomore year, after joining the team halfway through the season, she had a .455 save percentage and was ranked 3rd in the nation for saves per game in Women’s Division III Lacrosse. In her second season, and first complete season, Jablonsky broke the University of Dallas’ single season save record with 165 saves, a record previously set by Jennifer Kunhardt in 2007 with 162 saves. This accomplishment also had her ranked 6th nationally in total season saves.
In her final collegiate season, Jablonsky had a .524 save percentage, and she broke the goals against average record, setting it anew at 9.25. She shattered the total career saves record with 415 saves.
In 2014, the intercollegiate lacrosse coaches voted Jablonsky onto the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-Western Region 2nd Team. Jablonsky was one of two goalies chosen for this honor, and it was this accolade which prompted the AIST to invite Jablonsky onto its lacrosse team.
Jablonsky shared what she feels she has in her athletic toolbox that allowed her to pick up the sport so quickly and with such prowess.
“I’m blessed with natural athleticism through my family, and that is something I cannot take credit for, and I think with my position my ability to react instinctually to what is going on around me is what has made me successful, especially since I’ve had no opportunities for formal training,” Jablonsky said. “Also, I’m not afraid of pain. I’m not afraid to stop a ball with my body if my stick isn’t quick enough, and I don’t think most people are like that.”
Jablonsky remarked that this amazing trip cannot come soon enough. “When I think about the fact that I will be playing international teams, wearing USA on my jersey, I can’t describe how much honor I feel, knowing that they chose me for this, to represent the United States,” Jablonsky said.