CHICAGO (January 10, 2019) – Jenna Szczesny
(Hoffman Estates, Ill./Barrington), who recently completed her playing career with the Loyola University Chicago women's soccer team, was taken by the Chicago Red Stars in the fourth round (35th
overall pick) of the 2019 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft on Thursday in Chicago, Ill. Szczesny is the first player in program history to be drafted by an NWSL franchise and joins Cynthia Morote-Ariza, who was selected by the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2010, as one of only two Ramblers to be drafted by the country's current top women's professional league.
"What a way for to cap off a banner year for both Jenna and our program," Loyola head women's soccer coach Barry Bimbi
said. "I know she will work hard to help the Red Stars bring home a championship."
Szczesny enjoyed a highly decorated career during her four-year stay with the Maroon & Gold. A four-time All-Missouri Valley Conference honoree, she burst on the scene as a freshman in 2015, becoming the first Rambler in program history to be selected as The Valley's Freshman of the Year.
After pouring in a career-best 14 goals as a junior and receiving Third Team All-Midwest Region accolades from the United Soccer Coaches, Szczesny racked up 11 goals and dished out seven assists this past season en route to being named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, helping lead Loyola to a clean sweep of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles as the Ramblers made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. The 5-foot-9 forward would go on to join teammate Madison Laudeman
as Loyola's first two First Team All-Midwest Region selections in program history.
Szczesny closed out her collegiate career ranked near the top of multiple categories on Loyola's all-time record boards. She sits second in both overall points (84) and goals (32), and resides in third in assists (20).
Chicago finished the 2018 NWSL season with a final record of 9-5-10, ultimately falling in the semifinals of the NWSL Playoffs to the North Carolina Courage, 2-0. Head coach Rory Dames' team features a quintet of U. S. Women's National Team members in Morgan Brian, Danielle Colaprico, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, and Casey Short.