Sommers to get her kicks at Iona

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    HIGHLAND MILLS-Saying Stephanie Sommers has come full circle when she verbally committed to play soccer for Division I Iona may be an understatement. The Monroe-Woodbury soccer standout showed so much promise her freshman year it prompted coach Leslie Ahlborn to promote her to varsity as a 14-year-old. But a tear of her anterior cruciate ligament derailed her progress. To rehabilitate she was supposed to wear a brace on her right knee for a year, but like many teenagers, she became "bored" with it and admits to taking it off too soon. A year passed and she tore her meniscus days before her junior year at a soccer camp. "I just stayed determined," said Sommers. "Injuries are all part of the game. I love soccer. It's my whole life." "She is a strong and determined athlete," said Ahlborn. "I told her she will be an excellent college player." As a captain for the Crusaders, the striker connected on 18 goals and added five assists. Even though she lost two varsity seasons due to injury, she played on numerous travel teams and is currently a member of the Eastchester Patriots ‘87. "Stephanie is a playmaker and can generate offense on any type of play," said Ahlborn. Iona women's soccer coach Emma Hayes said Sommers she will play center-midfield for the Gales. Iona is located in New Rochelle and plays in the Metro Atlantic Conference. She will receive $22,000 per year in scholarship, but that does not cover room and board at the private school. The 5-foot-6 Sommers said she grew fond of the Gales' coaching staff and built a bond with several players who are former teammates from travel leagues. "She's an outstanding student-athlete," said Monroe-Woodbury Athletic Director Ron Montalto. Sommers plans to major in physical therapy at Iona.