GIRLS SOCCER — Good thing Carly Stevens likes to stay busy.
The Loyola senior goalkeeper won’t have much time to sit by the pool and work on her tan because she’ll be preparing herself for the next stage in her soccer career.
After anchoring the Ramblers’ record run this spring, she plans to play for two club teams as well as train on her own this summer to get ready for college ball at Loyola University when the season starts in August.
Loyola coach Craig Snower believes the 5-foot-8 netminder can soar to new heights for her new Ramblers team.
“She could have the same impact on Loyola University as she had on Loyola Academy,” the coach said of Stevens, who made 90 starts in four seasons. “She can help turn them from a program that occasionally has a good year to a program that goes on a good three- or four-year run.
“They are getting an elite-level goalkeeper. Loyola got a great deal, and she’s just getting warmed up.”
With Stevens protecting the net, the Ramblers won 71 decisions and posted a program-record 59 shutouts, including a record 24 this season that is tied for third in state history.
This spring, they captured their first sectional championship with a 2-0 win over rival New Trier before losing to Conant 1-0 in the supersectional at Elk Grove. Loyola only allowed four goals in 28 matches, fourth-best all-time in Illinois.
“It was an unbelievable run,” Stevens said. “I was on that team for four years and every year we got better. I am the only (Loyola) player going on to play soccer in college, so it’s definitely going to be a change for me.”
In an effort to acclimate herself to college-age players, Stevens will compete for the U23 team at Lake Zurich-based Ela in addition to joining FC United.
“I have got to get used to playing with older girls,” Stevens said. “FC United has no college players.”
Loyola University could use Stevens, along with New Trier recruits Zoe Hawks and Eliza Fisher. The Ramblers went 7-12-1 last season and recently hired a new coach in Barry Bimbi.
“Carly’s the complete package,” Snower said. “The new staff there will be happy with what they have to build a program around for the next four years.”