On July 26, when the Chicago Red Stars Reserves claimed the 2015 WPSL National Championship with a 2-1 win over SoCal FC, 3 club alums earned the second national championship of their careers. Jacie Jermier, Monica Gonyo, and Mary Luba were teammates on the club's 2011 U18 National Championship team, and 4 years later united again for another championship journey. Between the victories, they were also teammates in the club's 2013 run to the U23 ECNL National Finals, where they finished in second place to an Eclipse Select (IL) team led by 2 current professional stars - Morgan Brian (Houston Dash, US WNT), and Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Stars).
The Chicago Red Stars Reserves was a combination of Amateur Players from the professional team, as well as collegiate players playing in Chicago for the summer. Jermier will be returning for her final season at Marquette University this fall, while both Gonyo and Luba are Amateur Players with the professional NWSL Chicago Red Stars. All 3 players started for the Red Star Reserves, with Luba notching a goal and assist in the championship game. For more details on the game itself, click here.
"It was a great experience to play this summer with the Red Star Reserves," said Jermier. "The training was similar to the professional team, and the players were a great group to play with. The experience will definitely insure that I will be in a great position for my senior season at Marquette."
Monica Gonyo and Mary Luba have been with the professional team all season until the WPSL Play-Offs, providing a unique perspective.
"If you would have told me four years ago, when my club team won a national championship, that I would play in 2 more championship games in four years, I would have laughed," said Gonyo. "The first championship we won as club players was so special - and the sacrifices we made and hours we put in to that journey really stood out to me. This one was different. Training with the professionals, who are some of the best women's players in the world, has improved my game immensely and been an experience I will never forget. The title reflected the work I have put in this year."
"I was so lucky this year to be practicing with the professional team since March, and to even get some minutes in games while some players were away at the Women's World Cup," said Luba. (The Chicago Red Stars have 8 World Cup veterans, including 3 champions - Julie Johnston, Lori Chalupny, and Christen Press.) "That experience helped me play at a sharper, more dynamic pace and made me a much better overall player. Being able to take that experience into the Reserve team in the WPSL was great, especially since the Reserve team is such a different environment - with some players coming in and out with the full team, some in college, and a lot of variety. It was a great experience."
Congratulations to the Red Star Reserves, and to Jacie, Monica, and Mary on another fantastic accomplishment in their impressive careers!