Geneva senior Michaela Loebel apparently is just as quick away from athletics as she is while competing.
On Tuesday, moments after verbally committing to the Nebraska women's soccer program on the heels of a Vikings girls basketball practice, she and her family arranged a celebratory get-together.
The Loebels joined fellow Cornhuskers-in-waiting Amanda Hilton (St. Charles East) and Savanah Uveges (South Elgin) and their parents, whose daughters share more than their speed in common. "Amanda and Savanah, they're like my best buds," Loebel said Wednesday.
Loebel, a forward, is eager to get to know the rest of her teammates soon enough. She's about to embark on what she hopes is a bounce-back girls basketball season after suffering a torn ACL in the fourth game of the 2012-13 season.
She missed her junior girls soccer season at Geneva, as well – "You could say I was team manager," Loebel laughed – and was cleared for activity on May 20. Loebel focused her summer on basketball before resuming fall club soccer play in August.
"I definitely think that coming back as fast as I did to basketball, getting myself into shape again that fast, it didn't give me a chance to slack for soccer," Loebel said.
Loebel took an unofficial visit to Nebraska during the spring and kept the school atop her list. She initially aspired to go even farther from home for college "just to see what it would be like," but soon realized the benefits of the Huskers' playing in the Big Ten Conference, where they plays such nearby schools as Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
"That wasn't a main factor in the decision," Loebel said, "but it's definitely something I'm glad about ... so that my parents can come to a lot of games."
She'll have at least two other families in her cheering section, too.