• Derek Helling

Chicago City Alumni Winning on the Pitch at Loyola-Chicago

The women’s soccer program at Loyola-Chicago is enjoying an unprecedented run of success on the pitch, recently becoming the first-ever Missouri Valley Conference side to claim four consecutive regular-season conference titles. While the Ramblers look to add to that list of accomplishments yet this year, the influence of Chicago City SC on the team is unmistakable.

Four of the team’s 26-member roster have come through Chicago City’s academy and a member of Loyola’s coaching staff also formerly filled a coaching role with the academy as well. In the midst of winning yet another conference trophy, some of them shared their experiences with Chicago City.

Two Loyola players recount their Chicago City experiences

Both forward/midfielder Bailey Faulkner and defender Megan Demski have appeared in all 15 matches on the Ramblers’ season thus far. The pair have combined for five goals and five assists, with Demski making two of her goals game-winners.

Demski participated with Chicago City leading into the current season with Loyola, forming a relationship she continues to benefit from.

“I truly enjoyed my time this summer playing with [Chicago] City,” Demski commented. “I felt the support from the whole club and continue to feel the support from City as I play at Loyola. It’s something that is very rare and extraordinary special. This summer prepared me for this excitingly successful season here at LUC with the committed coaching from the staff and supportive/competitive girls on City.”

Faulkner joined her in taking the pitch for City this past summer. She had more to share about how the training prepared her for another stellar collegiate season.

“Chicago City helped me a ton this summer!” Faulkner exclaimed. “I was coming back from an injury that kept me out all year so being able to play at a high level before my college season was very helpful. I absolutely loved the coaches and they helped me grow my confidence immensely by pushing me to try things I haven’t necessarily done and take advantage of the areas that I excel in, as [Founder & CEO] Nick [Mulvaney] would say, using my “left-footed wand.”

Defenders Olivia Knab and Demi Limparis are also City alumna who play for Loyola. Knab has netted two goals and made four assists over 15 matches so far this season while Limparis has appeared in one match.

All four City alumna are also the beneficiaries of coaching from Loyola assistant Angela Staveskie, who is another City connection to Loyola herself.

Staveskie part of success at both City and Loyola

Staveskie is looking to finish her first season as an assistant with Loyola, working with the team’s goalkeepers. She brings her experience of working in similar capacities at Northwestern, Northern Illinois, and City to the Ramblers.

“Chicago City SC gave me all of the tools to develop as a soccer coach with weekly coaches’ education meetings, support to pursue coaching licenses, and experience coaching boys and girls at different age levels,” Staveskie explained. “As a club, they are organized and consistent. They lead and educate their players, coaches, and parents with purpose. It is no surprise that they continue to grow and flourish as a club.”

As Chicago City SC takes on its biggest growth project to date, starting play in the USLW League, in May of 2022, Staveskie sees it as a natural progression for the organization she worked for in 2015 and 2016.

“Chicago City SC Founder Nick Mulvaney had a clear vision to grow the game of soccer in the city of Chicago,” Staveskie added. “Nick and his staff have built a great foundation to build and evolve. Transitioning to the USL is a natural progression for Chicago City SC. I’m excited for them to take this next step as a club!”

Faulkner echoed Staveskie’s sentiments, saying she is also excited for the transition to USL and believes the club has the technical staff to “take players to the next level.”

Few would know that better than Faulkner and her teammates. With every successive accolade this Ramblers team collects, the reputation for Chicago City SC improves as well.

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