Liz Stewart signs with TCU, surrounded by her proud family. photo by Jerry Baldock
Liz Stewart signs with TCU, surrounded by her proud family. photo by Jerry Baldock

Liz Stewart has played soccer since she was a little girl, and always envisioned herself playing college ball. Last month, her dream came true. Liz officially signed with Texas Christian University (TCU) on Tuesday, February 17, surrounded by her parents, high school and club soccer coaches, special teachers, teammates and friends. TCU is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a Division 1 school in the Big 12 Conference.

Stewart started playing soccer when she was in kindergarten, and at 9 years of age she started playing year-round, which included playing for the Bend FC Timbers, an elite club-team out of Bend.

Liz continued to play for the Timbers through the fall of 2014. The team traveled all over for tournaments, including trips to Boise, Phoenix, and Seattle. In 2010, 2012, and 2013, Liz and the Timbers won the State Cup, and went on to play at regionals.

At the end of her sophomore year, in addition to playing for the Timbers, Stewart started to play for Omega. Omega is a select travel-team based out of Kansas City and boasts stellar players from across the nation, as well as a few international players. With Omega, Liz traveled to tournaments in San Diego, Washington D.C., Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Indianapolis and Las Vegas, to name a few.

Last summer, Stewart went to Port St. Lucie, Florida for a month and a half and played for the Treasure Coast Dynamites (TCD), a semi-pro soccer team.

"That was really intense," said Stewart. "Unless we had a game, we practiced twice a day, six days a week. We had to practice in the morning and at night because it was so hot and humid. I got to play with a lot of really good college players, and it was really good training for me. My coach, Gaspard D'Alexis, is a really big part of where I am today.

"We played at a local stadium against other semi-pro teams in the league and traveled to other big cities for league games," added Stewart. "I really gained confidence and skill. I rose to the occasion and knew I had what it would take to play at the collegiate level, and I enjoyed it a lot."

Stewart has been a standout soccer player at Sisters High School for four years and has acquired numerous accolades. Her sophomore, junior, and senior years she was voted first-team all-league, as well as first-team all-state. Her sophomore and senior year she was voted the All-League Player of the Year. This past season she was runner-up for All-State Player of the Year.

It came as no surprise that several big Division 1 schools showed interest and offered her generous scholarships. TCU came on late in the process and quickly asked Stewart to come for an official visit.

Liz toured the campus, stayed in the dorm with the team, and got to view the athletic facilities, which she says are "phenomenal."

"I stepped on to the campus and felt comfortable, and after spending two days there I could see myself doing well there," said Stewart.

That same weekend, Head Coach Eric Bell made Stewart an offer that she immediately accepted.

Stewart will head to Fort Worth on July 1. She will go to summer school (requirement for all freshmen) to lighten the load during the fall soccer season. The Horned Frogs will begin to train immediately, and pre-season play will start in August. Liz will most likely play midfield or center-back, the same positions she played in high school and on her club teams.

Liz plans to major in biology or psychology and then hopes to continue into pre-med with aspirations of becoming a doctor.

"I'm super-excited," grinned Stewart. "It's a big relief to finally know where I'm going. The school is beautiful and I'm looking forward to the competition of the Big-12 Conference."