Loyola Soccer Star Brian Lunar Plays Again
CHICAGO – Just prior to the start of the 2012 spring semester, Brian Lunar, sophomore right back defender for the Loyola men’s soccer team, made the decision to transfer to Loyola University Chicago from inner city rival DePaul University.
Majoring in biology, Lunar believed that Loyola would be a better academic fit than DePaul and he was confident about joining a Rambler soccer team that has had a history of winning championships. “I want to be part of that history,” Lunar said.
Described by Loyola men’s soccer assistant coach Stan Anderson as a “focused guy who achieves what he sets out to achieve,” Lunar arrived on campus poised in his new academic and athletic environment at Loyola.
At an indoor training session on February 9th, Lunar was hoping to make an early impression on his teammates and coaches, “I was eager to show everyone what I could do and what I was capable of,” Lunar recalled.
During that practice, Lunar was attempting to make a slide tackle and went down hard when his cleats got caught in the turf.
“It was almost horrifying, how it happened,” said Ramblers senior goalkeeper, Peter McKeown.
Lunar suffered a spiral fracture to his left fibula on the play, an injury that would require four screws and a metal plate to help rehabilitate the damage. “The doctors told me there could be a possibility that I would not be able to play for six moths due to rupturing ligaments in my ankle from the trauma,” Lunar said.
Although Lunar admitted that he was “devastated” about the potential to miss the start of his sophomore season, Lunar kept his spirits high.
“He’s (Lunar) not a guy whose head’s going to be down,” said Coach Anderson. “He’s gonna take the challenge, his chin is going to be up.”
Lunar’s recovery went much faster than anticipated and he was back on the field after only four months. He has not missed any games this season and Lunar has already made a big first-year impact on the Loyola team.
“You know if Brian’s in front of you, he’s going to do his absolute best to keep the ball out of the net,” McKeown said. “That’s just something that’s indispensable on the backline.”
Aside from defense, Lunar has contributed two assists offensively this season and makes efforts to help the Rambler’s young squad up front as much as possible. “The ability to get forward out of the outside back position is huge,” Coach Anderson said, while describing a redirected assist that Lunar provided against Drake.
Born and raised in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Brian Lunar began playing soccer as a child and was a standout, all-sectional soccer player in high school at Lake Forest Academy. Lunar earned a national championship as a member of the U-20 Chicago Fire club team and he has had the opportunity to compete overseas in England and Scotland.
In regards to the Ramblers current season, Lunar explained that leadership from upperclassmen on the team has helped the many young, freshman players mature and transition quickly.
Reflecting on his injury, Lunar maintained that perseverance, believing in himself and staying positive have been some of the key factors that helped him overcome adversity, “It’s motivated me to play harder and stronger,” Lunar said. “I was very lucky to make a quick recovery and everything is unfolding the right way.”
Senior goalkeeper Peter McKeown recognized Lunar as someone who is “really good at lifting other people up,” explaining how Lunar was there for encouragement and support when McKeown suffered a hernia this past summer.
Grateful to be back on the field, in his first season as a Rambler, Lunar gives credit to his dedicated teammates, coaches, trainers and staff for their support in his timely recovery.
Lunar is happy about his decision to transfer to Loyola and remains optimistic about the young team’s season going forward, “A lot of people see us as underdogs, but we believe in ourselves and I think ultimately that’s what’s going to help us win,” Lunar said.
“Leadership is an action, it’s not a position,” Coach Anderson said. “He (Brian Lunar) leads by his actions. It’s good to have him here.”