Leesburg, Va. — From the time she kicked her first soccer ball as a toddler, Livie Sabloff dreamed about playing soccer at the next level. Throughout her time at Riverside High School, Sabloff worked hard—both on the field and in the classroom—and caught the eye of some of the most well-respected college coaches in the country. With the fate of her senior season at Riverside still up in the air due to COVID-19, the senior made sure she hadn’t played her last competitive soccer game when she committed to play at the University of Chicago starting in the 2021-2022 school year.
“Those nights when I was up late, fighting to stay awake to finish homework after returning from a weekend of games a few states away. The daily training regimen. Running all of those ManU’s. I have been working toward playing at a great school for as long as I can remember,” the 5-foot-9 Sabloff said. “I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given, but even more motivated to make the most of my next four years.”
When she heads to the midwest in the fall of 2021, Sabloff will be joining one of the top Division III programs in the country. Led by 30th-year head coach Amy Reifert, the DIII Maroons finished their 2019 campaign at 14-3-3, including wins over nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon and NYU. For the seventh time in as many years, Chicago women’s soccer team earned a berth to the NCAA tournament, finishing the season as the No. 16 ranked DIII team in the country.
The University of Chicago cancelled all athletic seasons through the winter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sabloff is excited to be an immediate impact player when she joins the team in 2021.
“My style of play is very unique as a center forward,” Sabloff said. “Specifically, as a ‘stand up 9’ that likes to play with my back to the goal, Coach Reifert felt I could make an immediate impact playing my preferred position.”
While Sabloff will play center forward at Chicago, she still has one more season to play at Riverside, where she earned second team all-state honors as a defender in 2019.
“We have such tremendous school spirit at Riverside,” said Sabloff, who plays club soccer for Loudoun 02/03 ECNL. “Representing the school on the field has always been my favorite.”
In 2019, Sabloff and the Rams finished their season at 8-9-1, including a 6-6 mark in the Dulles District. Led by head coach Chris Frank, the Rams were looking to bounce back in 2020, but saw their season come to a close before it even started due to COVID-19.
“I have been honored to lead the team as a captain the last two years, and high school soccer has allowed me to play with some of my best friends,” said Sabloff, who was an All-LoCo honorable mention in 2019. “It became really clear how important high school soccer was to me when we lost our season to COVID last spring. That was tough. I hope we get back on the field this spring!”
For Sabloff, getting back on the field this spring is about more than just playing soccer: it’s about improving her confidence, representing her school, and playing with her best friends.
“Soccer is a true passion for me. I have drawn a lot of confidence from playing, but I think what I love most is the competition and camaraderie out on the field,” Sabloff said. “Through the years, I’ve been lucky to have coaches that believed in me and great teammates that have become my closest friends and helped bring out my best.”
Following her final season at Riverside, Sabloff has her sights set on Chicago where she hopes to lead the Maroons to another NCAA tournament while studying at one of the top economics programs in the world.
“It was a combination of things. I wanted a top school that had a very competitive soccer program where I could make an immediate impact,” Sabloff said. “The players and coaches are exactly who I want to surround myself with to push me to be the best I can be on the field and in the classroom.”