2004 - Junior: Was an All-Big Ten second team selection, as well as nabbing second and third team All-Great Lakes Region honors by the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz, respectively Started all 24 matches in the defensive backfield in 2004 and has started all 67 contests of her career Tallied two goals and three assists on the season Opened the season with an assist against Missouri on 8/29 Scored the game-winning goal and had an assist against Evansville on 9/5 Scored an unassisted goal against Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Named Academic All-Big Ten for the second straight year Also named first-team Scholar All-North/Central Region and third-team Scholar All-America by the NSCAA CoSIDA Academic All-District.
2003 - Sophomore: Started all 22 matches in the defensive backfield during her sophomore season Led the team with six assists, which tied for ninth in the Big Ten Two of her six assists led to game-winning goals - one vs. Illinois State on 9/14 and the other at Wisconsin on 10/3 Was instrumental in both of the Illini's record-breaking consecutive shutouts (6) and consecutive scoreless minute streaks (631) Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
2002 - Freshman: One of only four Illini to start all 21 matches Played nearly every minute of every contest in the defensive backfield Scored her first career goal in UI's 1-1 tie vs. Illinois State on 10/27 Fired nine shots on the season, five of which were on goal Named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team Was a finalist for the Illinois Newcomer of the Year Award at the annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet.
High School: Team reached the Iowa state semifinals each of her final three seasons, earning runner-up honors in 2000 Earned All-Conference accolades twice, as well as being named to the state tournament team in 2001 Four-year letterwinner in soccer Iowa Invasion club team won the state title in 1999 ODP team took the Norway Cup in 2000 High school coach was Dave Rosenthal Also a sprinter for the two-time state champion track team.
Personal: Born on May 18, 1984 Daughter of Lawrence and Marsha Karniski Has two sisters Twin sister Natasha is also a member of the Illinois squad Majoring in English Co-valedictorian of her graduating class Member of the National Honor Society Involved with the National Council of Youth Leadership Program Salvation Army Volunteer.
Getting to know Christen: Favorite athlete: Joy Fawcett Favorite TV show: Friends Favorite Movie: It's a Wonderful Life Favorite quote: "Believe the unbelievable" I have been told I look like: Natasha Karniski Favorite thing about Coach Rayfield: she has high goals for the team Biggest sports thrill: winning the Big Ten Tournament in 2003 Three words that describe me: friendly, shy and competitive I chose Illinois because: I loved the team!
Coach Rayfield on Christen: "In my opinion, Christen Karniski is the best attacking left back in the country. Her contributions this year will not just be as part of an experienced back line that will relentlessly strive to beat the regular season shutout record. Christen has the attacking ability to be a significant contributor on the offensive side of the ball for this team. She may be quiet and extremely humble,but look for Christen to make a loud statement for this Illinois team in 2005."
C. Karniski's career statistics
Year GP-GS G A Pts. Sh. Sh% SOG SOG% GWG 2002 21-21 1 0 2 9 .111 5 .556 0 2003 22-22 0 6 6 8 .000 5 .625 0 2004 24-24 2 3 7 20 .100 13 .650 1 Total 67-67 3 9 15 37 .081 23 .621 1