Andrew graduate Tatumn Milazzo leads defense for Red Stars


When Tatumn Milazzo manufactured her debut in vacation soccer at age 9, she was a goalkeeper for the Orland Park Blue Ice.

That didn’t even last one particular recreation.

“There was a one particular v. one particular problem and certainly the goalie has to appear out,” she claimed. “I dove and my thumb hit the player’s foot.”

The consequence?

A damaged thumb and a cast.

But Milazzo was on the discipline for the upcoming recreation, and she has not been in the net at any time considering that, even although her profession has turned into a main thumbs-up.

Milazzo’s energy as a defender has demonstrated from club soccer via higher education at South Carolina and now professionally with the Chicago Pink Stars.

The Andrew graduate is in her second year enjoying in the Nationwide Women’s Soccer League.

Milazzo grew up loving soccer and attended Crimson Stars games when they played at Benedictine in Lisle, but she didn’t have these goals at 1st.

“At that stage, I definitely didn’t recognize how the match could increase,” Milazzo explained. “It was like, ‘Oh yeah, this is actually great.’ But in my head, I didn’t know the place the match could go.

“It was not actually like a target for me at that time.”

As the staff moved to Bridgeview and SeatGeek Stadium, the NWSL has developed as very well.

During her decades at South Carolina, Milazzo experienced the opportunity to participate in in the offseason and scrimmage with some Purple Stars gamers.

“Once they started out playing in Bridgeview, I imagined, ‘OK they are heading in the correct path,’” Milazzo mentioned. “That became some thing I wanted to pursue, and to participate in in my hometown would be incredible.”

Milazzo’s rookie year, however, was an training in tolerance.

She ended up participating in 666 minutes and scored a purpose, but with stalwart defenders Tierna Davidson, Casey Krueger, Sarah Gorden and Kayla Sharples, enjoying time was virtually nonexistent for a although.

“It’s not an quick job to occur here as a rookie and hit the ground functioning,” Sharples reported of Milazzo. “There was a interval of time when Tatumn wasn’t observing taking part in time, and I never once saw that have an effect on her.

“She had a fantastic attitude and brought power to every practice. Then at the close of the year, when she was thrown into the playoffs, she rose to the situation.”

Points have been various in 2022.

Davidson and Sharples experienced season-ending accidents, Gorden was traded to Angel Metropolis and Krueger is expecting a little one in July.

That leaves Milazzo as a senior member of the protection. She has performed in all 810 minutes for Crimson Stars’ (4-1-4) as a result of 9 game titles.

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She said she would welcome a leadership role.

“That’s a purpose we have been lacking,” she mentioned. “The veteran management was missing in the again. Kayla stepped in seriously nicely this yr and now she’s hurt, so which is absolutely a job I would appreciate to get.”

Milazzo is tied for fifth in the NWSL with 18 tackles gained and ranks 10th with 17 interceptions. The protection and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher had a three-activity streak of being unscored upon as the Purple Stars performed 5 occasions in 16 times.

Milazzo confirmed she realized from the greatest in 2021.

“The very last two a long time, I’ve acquired the working experience to at the very least aid get us to wherever we want to go,” she reported. “It’s regrettable how it’s happening with the injuries, but that’s how sports activities is someday. You have to adapt, change and continue to keep going.

“Coming in, Casey was like an icon to me, so practising with her final year was mad and it designed it less difficult to have those people women to glimpse up to, that’s for sure.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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