Sajewich Grows Through Summer Experience
Sept. 14, 2015
FORT WORTH – Over the summer, TCU junior soccer player Lauren Sajewich participated in the WPSL U-20 Championships, helping the Chicago Red Star Reserves to a National Championship.
The Red Stars capped an undefeated season with a 3-2 victory over SoCal FC in July to be crowned the National Champions. Days later, WPSL commissioner Jerry Zanelli named the entire squad MVPs.
“For me, this summer was initially about getting to play with girls from a variety of different schools and being able to play soccer rather than just condition,” said Sajewich. “The team was full of talented players and every training session you were pushed to be technical and tactically smart as a soccer player.”
The Chicago Red Stars Reserves is an amateur team formed by the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).The reserve team is a result of the partnerships the Red Stars hold with the Illinois Youth Soccer Association (IYSA) and the Illinois Women’s Soccer League (IWSL). The 2015 squad returned ten players from a successful 2014 campaign that saw the Red Stars Reserves finish as national semi-finalists.
“At the end of the summer I realized how fun and joyful it was to play with a bunch of girls I usually play against or have never played with before. I learned that it wasn't about me getting out and conditioning everyday but rather being committed to the group and growing as a soccer player and a person with the other girls, whether I knew them well or not.”
The team offers current and former collegiate soccer players a platform to compete at an elite level and provides opportunities to be called up to the Red Stars’ first team.
The experience was one that Sajewich will remember and draw on as she progresses in her career. Playing competitively over the summer gave her a leg up on getting in shape, something she is thankful for.
“It is safe to say its much more fun getting fit playing soccer in practice and games rather than running. Along with that, playing games is the best way to make you game-fit, which is ultimately the goal,” said Sajewich. “Playing this summer not only helped me get fit physically but also mentally. We trained four times a week and usually had one or two games on the weekend, so between training, games and some supplementation of extra conditioning, I felt pretty fit going into preseason.”
Sajewich has been a mainstay in the TCU lineup since her arrival on campus in 2013. She’s started all 46 games of her career and has three goals in her career.
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