Jenna Baverman, a captain of the UMBC women’s lacrosse team, also played with the under-19 Israeli lacrosse team and for Israel in the Women’s World Cup in 2017 – a feat she could repeat in two years.
Jmore recently spoke with Baverman, a senior, about some of her thoughts on lacrosse and playing with the Israeli team.
Jmore: When did you start playing lacrosse?
Baverman: I first started playing probably at the end of seventh grade into eighth grade. I played softball until I decided it was a bit too slow for me. I was at Beth Tfiloh [Dahan Community School], and I … just decided to look for a different experience. I fell in love with Roland Park [Country School] and had such a great academic and athletic career there.
You played basketball at Roland Park as well, but what made lacrosse ‘the sport’ for you?
I actually got recruited to play basketball. Lacrosse … I was able to do more. I was able to contribute more. All of our workouts and training from basketball translated to what we were doing for pre-season lacrosse in the spring.
You first went to Hofstra and played a year of lacrosse there. What made you decide to transfer to UMBC?
New York just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t being challenged. It just wasn’t a good fit for me, lacrosse-wise.
How has UMBC worked out for you overall?
It’s been great. I have had a great relationship with my coaches, and they’ve obviously supported me in any way they can. I’m a huge people person, and it’s very important for me to connect with coaches. Also, UMBC, as a university, has challenged me and helped me grow academically in the career that I want. I am studying public health and had my internship with the Maryland State Dental Association. I want to go to school and become a dentist.
How did you get involved with the U-19 Israeli national team, and how many times have you been able to go to Israel because of your involvement?
I got a call from the U-19 Israeli national team, and I was asked to come teach lacrosse in Israel and try out and see if this was something I’d be interested in. It was in the winter of 2014-15. I fell in love [with] Israel. So the next summer, I played in Scotland for the first U-19 Israeli lacrosse team. We weren’t that great, but we really started the growth for Israeli lacrosse.
Since then, I have been back three times. I stayed the summer a few times and played in the Women’s World Cup in England in 2017. We were one win away from being in the top bracket. It’s awesome to think that if I do play in the 2021 World Cup [taking place at Towson University from July 7-17, 2021] that we would be in a much better bracket.
What are your favorite places to visit in Israel?
Obviously, the [Western] Wall and Jerusalem [were great], and I never knew they would have such an impact on me. I journaled my 10-day birthright trip. I never knew how much I valued my religion. It gave me confidence to be proud of my religion. Israel is amazing, and I wish everyone has the chance to go there. It’s life-changing, no matter what your religion.
Jeff Seidel is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.