Stonebraker playing for real at LUC (Soccer)

October 25, 2011

Tricia Stonebraker

Nothing will jar a college athlete like having your coach fired.

Just ask Tricia Stonebraker of Anchorage.

After the Loyola University Chicago women’s soccer team won just seven of 20 matches last season, her coach was sacked.

“We definitely didn’t see it coming,” she told me.

Welcome to NCAA D1 sports – where wins and losses are the difference between dollars and cents.

Did the coaching change put added pressure on the players?

“Not really,” she said. “I mean, kind of, but then again our athletic director kept telling us it’s a big change and they knew it was going to be an adjustment.”

New coach, same Stonebraker.

The former Service High star has enjoyed a super sophomore season, leading Loyola Chicago in shots (24) and shots on goal (12). She’s also tied for second in points (3).

For her career, she has compiled 4 goals and 2 assists for 10 points in 38 games.

A scorer in high school, she has played more midfield in college and her offensive opportunities have fallen off a bit as a result.

Still, she will never forget her first collegiate goal. It came last season in double overtime to supply a 2-1 walkoff win over Wright State.

“Being my first goal and all, it was definitely exciting,” she said. “My whole team tackled me.”

It’s the life she always expected. Ever since she was a little girl, Stonebraker knew she would play college soccer at the highest level.

“Growing up, our coaches made it possible because they were always telling us we could do it if we worked hard,” she said. “I always knew I was going out of state for college and that I was going to play soccer. I’ve always loved playing.”