28 Aug Alex Searing relishing opportunity to be on field with Loyola women’s soccer – Trentonian
PRINCETON —When Alex Searing committed to the Loyola University of Maryland’s women’s soccer team she never imagined it would take until the 2021 season to actually feel like a college player.
But a lot has happened since the former two-time First Team All-CVC selection from Allentown High joined the Greyhounds’ program.
She took a redshirt in 2019 because she tore her ACL during the Mercer County Tournament semifinals as a high school senior and then the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire 2020 fall season. Prior to this campaign — one in which she has started all three of Loyola’s games — Searing’s college resume consisted of four appearances during the abbreviated spring season before she was sent home due to health and safety protocols.
“I’m in a weird place,” said Searing, who is a junior academically and a redshirt freshman athletically, “but I just want to play as much as I can. I want to keep playing soccer because I got it taken away from me.”
To say things have been put in perspective over the last two-plus years would be an understatement.
“I’m going out playing to have fun,” Searing said. “I want to win, and we have such a great opportunity to win a Patriot League title, but I leave it all out there because one day I’m not going to be playing soccer. I’ve kind of realized that, and I’m like ‘wow, I really got to play my heart out every game I can.’”
That she does.
Searing moves around the pitch with her usual verve and competitiveness, getting stuck into tackles. She’s being used mainly in a No. 6 role and later played on the right of a back three when Loyola changed formations to chase goals.
“The game is so much quicker,” she said. “I have to get the ball and get it off my foot. I’m the pivot player, not really the person who is driving forward anymore and that’s been a big adjustment.”
Loyola is off to a 1-2 start. It opened the season with a 1-0 victory over Marist and before falling to No. 7 Clemson, 4-0, and then dropping Friday night’s decision to a talented Princeton side.
The end goal, however, is to win a Patriot League title. It’s something Searing believes her team is positioned to do even though the roster, while talented, is on the young side.
She said she’s feels like one of the veteran players despite her lack of actually game time prior to this season.
“I think I take a leadership role where I feel older when I’m on the field,” Searing said. “I think being in the center, I kind of have to feel older.”
The trip to Princeton allowed her to play in front of family and friends, something she hasn’t done since her senior year of high school.
“It was such a dream,” Searing said. “To have my whole family and friends come out and support me was just awesome and I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
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