Abel commits to Division 1 Loyola
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – Bay Port junior Alaina Abel recently announced that she has verbally committed to play NCAA Division 1 soccer at Loyola University in Chicago.
Abel, a member of the WIAA Division 1 state championship soccer team last spring, was named first-team all-conference and second-team all-state after the 2018 season from her defense position.
“Looking at other colleges, my heart told me Loyola,” said Abel, who hopes to study social work. “The facilities, the campus, the coaches and the team all felt right to me.”
She also considered Marquette, Indiana Tech and Southern Florida.
Abel has been on the varsity team at Bay Port since her freshman year, where she has scored 2 career goals and assisted on 12 others.
“Division 1 soccer coaches can’t talk to you until Sept. 1 of your junior year,” said Abel, who is the daughter of Joy and Mike Abel. “Then we started talking and I visited, and it went on from there.”
Bay Port head girls’ soccer coach Brook Mraz said that Abel’s biggest compliment comes from other area coaches.
“I’ve had a number of coaches in the past say that it’s nearly impossible to get the ball by her in the back line,” said Mraz of Abel last spring.
Abel is also a valuable cog on the state-ranked Pirates’ basketball team, where she is currently averaging 10 points per game.
“Alaina is an awesome kid to coach,” said girls’ basketball coach Kati Coleman. “You will never see her take a play or drill off. I know coming into practice she will be one of the hardest working kids that day. I’ve watched her play a few soccer games and I have to admit, I know nothing about soccer – besides the fact that whoever scores more goals wins. She’s fun to watch.”
Loyola is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and is coached by Barry Bimbi.
The Ramblers scored 61 goals last season, second in the nation behind Stanford.