MEDINA — What was thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has happened twice for Medina High senior Loren Sefcik.
A standout forward on the Internationals Soccer Club and key piece for the Bees' Division I state semifinalist squad as a sophomore in 2015 - she did not play at the high school level as a junior and is also not playing as a senior - Sefcik got the call with two Internationals teammates and jumped at the chance.
Along with Jordan Brewster (North Canton/Hoover) and Sydney Dawson (Copley/Walsh Jesuit), Sefcik was called up to the U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team for a training camp in Fairfax, Va., which took place earlier this month.
It was the second time she's been at a U.S. National camp after competing as a freshman for the Under-14 team.
"I knew from the start it was going to be very competitive," Sefcik said. "I knew this camp was going to be a lot tougher this time. I knew what I had to do and went out and did my thing."
Not surprisingly, the former All-Gazette selection held her own against top competition.
Called up by head coach Jaime Frias among 25 players born in 2000 and three in 1999, Sefcik is among a group of players in the middle of a two-year cycle as U-18s transitioning to U-20s in 2019.
Sefcik is attempting to join a group that will form the core of a team that will attempt to qualify for the U-20 Women's World Cup.
"It was a great experience to play with the top players from around the country," she said. "I learned a lot from the camp.
"I take a lot of confidence from it because I'm playing with the top players in the conference. Just going to the camp, I learned the different formations and the different ways they attack. I try to be a role model for my team, so we can all learn together."
Along with Brewster and Dawson, Sefcik will take the things she learned back to the Internationals.
Sefcik's training camp took on an entirely new experience when the Maryland women's soccer team came to scrimmage the U-18s. The Terps signed a top-25 recruiting class in 2017 and Sefcik will be part of the 2018 class at Maryland.
"That was fun playing my future college teammates," Sefcik said. "It was pretty cool to see that's where I'm going to be a year from now. Just to look up to the players, it felt a little weird at first."
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.