Red Stars Confidential

WPS Interviews Archives

Interview with Jill Loyden: face saving, kung fu kicking extraordinaire

After being named Lady of the Match for the Red Stars, I asked Jill Loyden if she would mind answering a few questions that the Red Stars Confidential staff put together for her.  She was more than happy to help.

Loyden and her teammates are currently on the road, awaiting the Red Stars game against 1st-place FC Gold Pride on Saturday


2010 May 7 Loyden Save.JPG

Loyden makes a save against her former team St. Louis Athletica. 

1. How does it feel to be named RS Confidential Lady of the Match?
It feels great to be Lady of the Match, however it was such a great team victory for us against Boston. We really came together as a team, it took all 22 players for us to get it done this week. It was a well deserved win.

2. How was your face feeling after you made an extraordinary save with it in the match against Boston (or so we hear)? 
Hahha, my face? Well right after it hit me I thought I got sucker punched, but after that I really don't remember, adrenaline was the only thing that kept me going.

3. How excited do you get when you make a sweet save?
After a good save I get pretty amped, mostly because it gets the team all fired up and they usually pick it up from there.

4. How badly do your hands smell after games? Worse than your shins?
Well, I dont think my hands smell too too bad after games, but Im sure you could find a couple of my teammates who would beg to differ.
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Julianne Sitch represents Chicago in the WPS Playoffs

Since Chicago is out of the playoffs, who are we, Red Stars supporters, supposed to support during the WPS Playoffs?  We can support LA Sol home to Marta, St. Louis Athletica- who has national team standout- Hope Solo, or Washington Freedom with goal scoring sensation- Abby Wambach.  But what about Sky Blue FC?  

Sky Blue FC has the talented Natasha Kai and Heather O'Reilly- not to mention Christie Rampone, who is now the head coach of this east coast squad. A pair of Brazilians (Francielle and Rosana) also grace their side, but lets not forget about the pair of Chicago's young hometown stars, Jen Buczkowski and Julianne Sitch.  

I remember the first time I saw Sitch play.  It was during her days at DePaul University.  She was running around the field like a pirate with one eye patched up after getting hit in the face with the ball, suffering from a badly bleeding eye. Sitch still dominated the field that day- winning every ball, always being in the right place at the right time, and helping string together impressive passes with her teammates.  I was sincerely impressed, and I quickly became one of her biggest supporters. 

With that said, let me introduce you to Ms. Sitch.  I think you'll understand why we should support this Chicagoan as she and Sky Blue FC prepare for the 2009 WPS Playoffs.

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2009 August 14 SITCH MARY HARVEY WPS COO.jpg
1.  You were Selected in the 5th round of the WPS General Draft (32nd overall) to play for Sky Blue FC. What were your feelings when you were picked to play for Sky Blue FC?  Were you hoping to get drafted to your home town team, the Chicago Red Stars?
I was ecstatic to be picked by Sky Blue FC! Honestly, I was just hoping for the chance to play in the league, but of course Chicago would have been great too because all of my family and friends live there and Chicago will always be home to me.

2.  What was the transition from Division 1 soccer (DePaul University) to W-league (FC Indiana) to the professional ranks like?
Division I soccer is such a unique experience and being a college athlete is a special moment in your career.  Playing in the W-League starts to put together the best and most committed Div I and II players from around the country, as well as, add in an international aspect to the game that raises the bar.  The WPS is the best of the best in my mind.  It is an honor and privilege to play at this level, compete day in and day out with some of the best players in the world, and be challenged everyday to perform at my best.  Everyday is always a challenge and I can honestly say it has brought my game to a higher level.  I believe each level you play at the standards rise, and that has been proven true for me from Division I to the W-League and now the WPS!

3. You've been playing more defensively this year rather than in the midfield.  Has the change in positions been difficult for you?
I wouldn't say it's been difficult, it's just been a challenge never playing in the back before and learning how the back four work. I've had nothing but great leaders who've helped me! I really enjoy playing in the back, it lets you see the game from a whole new perspective and it's only helped my game in a positive way.

4.  Sky Blue FC has gone through three coaches this year- do you prefer one over the other? It is impressive to see a team that has gone through so many transitions in such a short amount of time qualify for the playoffs- how has the dealt with these transitions? And yourself as an individual?
I have really enjoyed all my coaches this year. I have learned a tremendous amount from them as a soccer player and as a person. They have helped me shape my game up and have given amazing feedback which I am so grateful for. Each coach brings a different perspective, so it's been neat to see from coach to coach how things differ. Of course it's affected our team, but I have never been on a team before where every player has showed a tremendous amount of true character and pulled each other together to fight this battle. Ian and Kelly did a remarkable job of putting together a great group of girls and I have nothing but strong belief in this team that we can go all the way!

2009 August 14 SITCH FC INDIANA.jpg
5. How have you and your teammates been preparing for the playoffs? Your first game is this Saturday against the Washington Freedom.  If you lose then your season is over, correct? If you win you go on to play St. Louis Athletica.
We have been preparing the same way we have all season, but obviously focusing a bit more on a few specific things we need to do. Yes, our season will be over if we lose Sat, and when we win we'll be heading to St. Louis!

More on Julianne (continued)... 

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