North Brunswick girls’ lacrosse player makes Puerto Rican national team

One day in late June, Talysa Jimenez was just hanging out in her bedroom in North Brunswick Township.

Her mother and father, Brenda Ramos-Jimenez and Anthony Jimenez, were at home downstairs.

Then an email popped into Talysa Jimenez’s inbox.

It was from the Puerto Rican U19 national team for girls’ lacrosse, part of the first girls’ lacrosse national program in the Caribbean island’s history.

The email brought great news.

Aater four assessments over the previous two years, Talysa Jimenez had made the Puerto Rican national team. She raced downstairs to tell her parents and they all started jumping up and down.

Talysa Jimenez has enjoyed a successful girls’ lacrosse career up to this point, starting for four years at North Brunswick Township High School,

The defender/midfielder sparked the Raiders to win two Greater Middlesex Conference titles and earned a scholarship to play for Georgian Court University in Lakewood. She will begin to play on the collegiate level this upcoming school year.

But for the recent high school graduate, her ability to earn a spot on the Puerto Rican national team topped all those other accomplishments.

“I’m excited to tell my future kids that I was part of the first team,” Talysa Jimenez said. “It’s beyond something I’ve ever been able to imagine.”

“I’m extremely proud of a lot of things she’s done,” said Anthony Jimenez. “She has worked hard at a lot of things and been successful.”

“She’s a great kid,” he declared. 

Talysa Jimenez and her 17 Puerto Rican teammates will participate in the 2019 Women’s Lacrosse U19 World Championship starting Aug. 1 in Peterborough, Ontario.

The Canadian city is home to Trent University, whose fields will serve as the host to the world championship. The U19 championship will feature 22 nations and conclude on Aug. 10.

Puerto Rico’s players already have a group chat with each other, and Jimenez is stoked to get together in person with her teammates up in Canada.

“They are already bonding,” Anthony Jimenez said. 

“I feel close to them because you share that bond of being the first team,” Talysa Jimenez explained.

Talysa Jimenez was born and raised in the United States, but she was able to try out for the Puerto Rican national team, an unincorporated U.S. territory, because her mother and maternal grandparents are Puerto Rican.

On July 24, Brenda Ramos-Jimenez was in the car with her daughter as she discussed her accomplishment.

The girls’ lacrosse standout said a tear was streaking down her mother’s face as she listened to her daughter talk.

“It’s indescribable. Unbelievable,” Brenda Ramos-Jimenez said.

“I can’t believe she’s my daughter,” the mother said, laughing. “She’s so far and beyond what we expected. She’s so good at everything she puts her hand on.”

Brenda Ramos-Jimenez is a mother, so she couldn’t stop telling friends and family members about her daughter’s accomplishment.

“Then I realized I have to be humble and not boastful,” Ramos-Jimenez said. “I’m just so proud of her.”

After playing for her mother island in early August, Talysa Jimenez will return to New Jersey for her first collegiate year.

But that doesn’t mean she will be done with the Puerto Rican national program. Talysa Jimenez may try out for the senior team after she turns 20. She is hoping that girls’ lacrosse becomes an Olympic sport by the 2028 summer games in Los Angeles.

On Nov. 30, 2018, the International Olympic Committee granted provisional recognition to the Federation of International Lacrosse, a key step toward making lacrosse an Olympic sport.

“I also have college so that may hinder my ability to do the national team,” Talysa Jimenez said. “But it would be awesome to stay with it as long as I could.”

“It would be amazing to qualify for the Olympics,” she added.