Klaber to make international debut with Belgian lacrosse national team

Bri Pomonis, Sports Co-Editor

For Bison women’s lacrosse athlete Sophia Klaber ’20, 2017 will prove to be an eventful year as she experiences her first season as a Division I lacrosse player, finishes her first year of college, and has the unique opportunity to represent a European country playing the sport she loves.

Hailing from Mount Lebanon, Pa., Klaber has earned a highly coveted spot on the Belgian Women’s Lacrosse National Team. With accolades such as four years of varsity lacrosse and earning a U.S. Lacrosse All-American Award, her ability and experience are bound to make her a threat on the field and a leader for the team.

Lacrosse and Belgium may not seem closely associated to most, but Klaber, who holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Belgium, sees it as an up-and-coming powerhouse to keep an eye on.

“It is a relatively new sport in Belgium, however, they seem really excited about the sport and are very eager to grow both the women’s and the men’s game in their country. While some of the girls on the team have only been exposed to lacrosse for two to three years, they are an athletic group and they have already developed a real passion for the sport,” Klaber said.

Klaber is set to travel to Belgium in early July to practice for only a week before the team travels to its main event of the year: the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup. The Belgian team will compete against teams comprising 28 nations from five continents in England for the tournament’s 10th year.

Her teammates and coaches come from a diverse group of Canadian, British, Belgian, and American nationals, all of whom hold a form of Belgian citizenship. Despite the distance and being unable to partake in spring tournaments, Klaber continues to grow closer with her future teammates through social media, especially Facebook.

“They were extremely welcoming and very curious about lacrosse in the U.S. and my experiences. The energy level is high among the players and everyone is working hard in preparation for the World Cup,” Klaber said.

Playing on an international team will prove to be a learning experience for Klaber not only as an athlete, but also as a Belgian citizen. The opportunity to represent two countries and the sport she loves on an international stage is a “dream come true.”

“From a personal perspective, it will be an honor to represent Belgium, the birthplace of my mother and still home to half of my relatives. Since most of my Belgian relatives have never seen the game played, the whole experience will be extra special if some of them can make it to London,” Klaber said.

The Belgian Lacrosse Federation will be documenting the team’s journey on social media.

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