Tags: Sandburg Girls Soccer
Sandburg welcomes home soccer standout
Chicago Red Stars' Mary Therese McDonnell visits alma mater
May 01, 2009 | 05:08 AM
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As Mary Therese McDonnell took in the sights and sounds of Tony Seliga Field at Carl Sandburg High School April 23, she smiled.
"It's a dream come true to be back at home," she said.
McDonnell, a 2004 graduate of Sandburg and former girls soccer player, is one of the newest additions to the Chicago Red Stars, a team in the Women's Professional Soccer league. Originally picked up in January by the NJ/NY Sky Blue FC, she was released by them and later picked up by Chicago.
"It's a great atmosphere playing in Chicago," she said.
The Red Stars hosted their home opener at Toyota Park in Bridgeview on April 19 and McDonnell had quite the fan club there.
"My family came out and the Orland Park Soccer Club U-12 girls team I helped coach for a couple weeks in the winter came out," she said. "It was fun seeing them there and they made signs for me."
McDonnell, who graduated from Illinois last spring, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors and team MVP, said it was weird to be back at Sandburg.
"This is the first time I've been on the field in six years," she said. "I remember when these games were so important and you later realize how much more there is beyond high school."
For young soccer players who aspire to get where McDonnell is today, she said its all about hard work.
"I learned throughout high school and college is if you want something, you have to work for it," she said. "The biggest lesson I have learned is it doesn't come easy, and it's not a bad thing to have to work for it."
For more information on the Chicago Red Stars, visit www.chicagoredstars.com.
To reach Heather at email@example.com.