What started as an ordinary Wednesday morning in Chapel quickly changed when Shattuck-St. Mary's U-18 senior Ann Marie Jaworski checked her phone on her way back to Upper School. What she found in her e-mail was something she had waited so long to see, but now that it had arrived she couldn't believe it. The midfielder from Grinnell, Iowa had been invited to a U-19 US Women's National Team camp in Davis, California March 12-19.
"It's been a dream of mine since I was four years old, but it was such a surprise to find out I actually had the chance to realize one of my goals," Jaworski said. Despite the unexpected invitation, Jaworski confident about the opportunity yet humble as well.
"To travel to California to have a chance to play with some of the best players in the country, many of whom are already playing in college, is such a privilege but I know I can compete with them. I owe it to myself and all the great people I have behind me for support to go out there to play the game I love," she explained.
Twenty-six players have been called in for the camp in Northern California with 16 of those players currently playing at the Division I college level with the remaining 10, including Jaworski, still playing club soccer. All the players selected for the camp are eligible for the U-20 Women's World Cup, which will be played later this year in Papua New Guinea.
While the environment will be highly competitive, Jaworski knows what is required to be successful. "I have to have a strong mentality and give everything I have from the first day of camp to the last. Everything I do will be evaluated, but I feel I'm ready for that because I've been prepared for that kind of environment by my coaches and teammates at Shattuck as well as my family, especially my dad. I have to play with confidence, pace and decisiveness and hopefully good things will come from the experience."
Shattuck U-18 head coach, Joe DeMay, who has coached Jaworski the past three years feels she is ready and belongs at that level. "Ann Marie has worked so hard to be where she is and fully deserves this opportunity. We've been hoping for some time that she would just be given a chance to prove herself and now that's it's here we couldn't be happier for her."
Nancy Feldman, Jaworski's soon to be college coach at Boston University also expressed her excitement for the Sabre midfielder's opportunity. "We are thrilled that Ann Marie has been recognized by the US soccer coaches and that she was invited into camp. She has worked very hard at being the best she can be and is talented. It is great to see her realize one of her dreams through belief and hard work.”
DeMay is optimistic that Jaworski's call up will lead to more players from the program being considered by National Team staff coaches. The last Shattuck player to be called up to a US National Team was Chelsea Cline ('09) who featured in the U-15, U-17 and U-20 teams. "It's been awhile since we've had a player selected," DeMay noted, "so it's great to see Ann Marie re-open that door. Let's hope she paves the way for others to follow in her footsteps."