Two Ramblers sign to play Division I soccer
Updated: February 14, 2013 9:31PM
WILMETTE — The Loyola girls soccer team had one of the best defenses in the state last spring, giving up just five goals during a campaign in which the Ramblers went 24-1-1 and reached the sectional final.
On Wednesday, two the key performers from that Ramblers defense put pen to paper on their National Letters of Intent.
Senior defender Corey Burns, the 2012 Pioneer Press Lake Shore Player of the Year, signed to play at Iowa, while senior goalkeeper Brittany San Roman inked with Indiana State.
The pair signed their letters at a lunchtime signing ceremony in the school’s Student Center. Six college-bound Ramblers football players also participated. Loyola athletic director Pat Mahoney hosted the event, and parents and coaches attended.
Loyola girls soccer coach Craig Snower said Burns is believed to be the first Ramblers girls soccer player to commit to a Big Ten school, and he called the signing probably the biggest of his nine-year tenure.
“It was a little scary when I first thought about playing in the Big Ten,” said Burns, who verbally committed to Iowa in January 2012. “But I think I’ve settled into that and am getting more excited about it every day. Competing against those other big schools . . . I’m so excited about it.”
Burns, who will play her fourth varsity season this spring, has compiled some eye-popping statistics and collected an impressive list of honors in high school.
As a junior last spring, Burns contributed 11 goals and seven assists in addition to her stellar defensive play. She was named All-State and a Midwest All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, making her one of only 10 girls from Illinois to receive that honor.
Burns, who lives in Green Oaks near Libertyville, said central defense is her preferred position, but that Iowa coaches had floated the idea of playing her as an outside back or defensive midfielder.
Hawkeyes coach Ron Rainey said in a statement released Wednesday that he liked Burns’ leadership and versatility.
“Corey is a tremendous leader on the field and that was evident as soon as you see her play,” said Rainey, whose team went 12-6-3 this past fall. “She is also able to play multiple places on the field. Her club and high school coaches have prepared her to take this next step into the Big Ten.”
San Roman had the unenviable task of replacing Loyola’s 2011 NSCAA All-American Carly Stevens (who is now playing at Loyola University) in goal last season. But the Glenview native was more than up to the task, going undefeated (23-0-1) and giving up just four goals.
San Roman started the season-ending 1-0 loss to New Trier in the sectional final, but left the game with a torn right ACL. She was not on the field when New Trier scored the winning goal in triple overtime.
Despite the injury, Indiana State continued to pursue San Roman, who verbally committed to the Sycamores early last summer. She selected the Terre Haute-school over South Dakota State and several Division III colleges.
Indiana State, which went 8-10-3 in the fall, currently does not have a goalkeeper on its roster. San Roman said she is one of two keepers scheduled to enroll in the fall.
“I love the coach (Erika True) and she works one-one-one with the keepers. She was a keeper,” said San Roman, who has rehabbed her knee and expects to play for Loyola this spring “I fell in love with the campus. I look forward to competing (with the other keeper) to see who will be ahead of the other. I’ll be ready to put in 110 percent like I do at Loyola.”
San Roman said her greatest attributes are her speed and willingness to sacrifice her body to make a save. Her future coach agrees.
“Brittany has proven to be a standout goalkeeper in the Chicagoland area,” True said in a statement Wednesday. “She is strong, quick and plays with a fearless attitude when in net. We look forward to seeing her battle for a starting role in goal.”