Bearkat goes back her roots

The name Jarzombek traces back to Poland many years.

The coaches who represent the Polish Football Association reached out to junior Jordan Jarzombek’s head soccer coach Tom Brown when they were looking for players with Polish descent.

“Tom contacted me with the news and at first I said no,” Jarzombek said. “But with a little time to think, I realized that I could do no wrong by this opportunity and decided to go for it.”

When Jordan was a little girl, she always dreamed of playing college ball but had to draw a line between being a cheerleader or a soccer athlete.

“At sign up day my parents took one look at the price and immediately made the decision,” Jarzombek said. “No way, sorry honey- you’re playing soccer. And from then on out, I continued to play year after year.”

During the process, Jarzombek met some of her best friends within those years of high school and college.

The camp wasn’t in Poland but the experience that Jarzombek lived sure felt like it.

“I was flown to Michigan along with other girls from around the country and Canada,” Jarzombek said. “The camp ground we were on made it feel like Poland no doubt. The houses, the people, and the surroundings all gave me a little taste of what it was like in Poland.”

All of the girls stayed in one big room, which was nice for Jarzombek because it gave the girls a chance to get to know each other and the bond grew tight.

“We practiced every day, twice a day with meals that were prepared for us,” Jarzombek said. “Every meal was something Polish. The entire cooks, workers, and coaches spoke Polish so most of us learned the basic words like thank you, you’re welcome, yes and no.”

Training with a different coach from another country was an adjustment period for Jarzombek but she learned a lot that she took back to SHSU.

“The coach taught me that I need to play calm and just let the thoughts run through my head,” Jarzombek said. “My first touch is always the most important thing. If you have a bad touch, you’re going to lose it right away.”

Being an athlete, a player must know the strengths and weaknesses in their game. Jarzombek understands what she needs to get better at.

“One thing I say that I need to improve on is probably just getting the ball at my feet and being able to hold it with pressure,” Jarzombek said. “I can run with the ball and connect with my teammates and that gets stronger each time I step on the field with my teammates.”

She tallied four goals in her fist three year career including two during the 10-6-5 campaign where SHSU advanced to the Southland Conference tournament finals for the second time in program history.

“Some of my goals are to make the best of the opportunity I’ve been given,” Jarzombek said. “Maybe I could see myself playing overseas or a league here in Texas. All I know is that I’m not ready to give it up just yet.”

The game before the playoffs, Jarzombek went down in the middle of the game with an ACL injury. After tearing that, she thought her soccer career was over. Then she spoke with her coach.

“Watching my team at the time play for a championship and not win without me was enough for my mind to flip its switches,” Jarzombek said. “I thought to myself that I never want to experience that pain again. I want to fight and give it my all, and that is what I did.”

After recovering fully from the injury, she immediately realized what she would be missing if she decided not to play anymore.

“I would absolutely live the experience again,” Jarzombek said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience and I could not pass up again. If I were to go back, differently, I would be more open. Open to the learning and the experience.”

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