Soccer is a state of mind as much as a game played. Each position has its only mentality. Corey Burns began as an offensive player in her youth. One day, inserted at the defensive end, she made a great tackle, stopped a goal and immediately realized her destiny.
“Ever since that moment, I’ve been a defender,” the Loyola senior said.
An Iowa recruit, Corey Burns was a Sun-Times’ first-team All Area member as the centerpiece of a suffocating Ramblers’ defense that allowed just five goals in 26 games last year.
“Defensively, she’s a wall,” Loyola coach Craig Snower said. “She’s quick, athletic and she doesn’t let anybody get by her.”
Now, her younger sister, freshman forward Devin Burns, has exploded on the scene. Her manner is vastly different from her sister.
“[Devin] has a goal scorer’s mentality,” Snower said.
The athletic and explosive younger Burns has scored 15 goals and contributed three assists for the No. 7 Ramblers (9-1).
Corey Burns is not a one-dimensional player, either. Snower moves her around the field, depending on the situation. She has registered seven goals and five assists. She has an extraordinarily powerful leg, and is very skilled on free and corner kicks. Against Planfield East last Saturday at the Pepsi Showdown, she blasted in a free kick from 50 yards out.
The older Burns said her great attributes are speed and vision.
“I don’t think about myself as an individual defender, but how do I move and fit in with the rest of the backline,” she said. “I think I see the field very well, and I know where people are supposed to be.”
She is naturally protective of her younger sister though impressed by her moxie and toughness.
“She’ll take on somebody two times as big as her and make a tackle or a play against her,” Corey Burns said. “It’s exciting and unbelievable what’s she is already done.”
Devin Burns played basketball when she was younger but quickly gave it up to focus exclusively on soccer.
“It got in the way,” she said. “Corey played soccer and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.” Devin Burns made a grand high school debut, scoring two goals against Class 3A fourth-place finisher Glenbrook South.
Despite her early success, Devin Burns said she is still making the adjustment to playing against older, more physically developed players.
“When you play against these kind of girls, especially those older than you, everything is a new challenge,” she said. “Everybody you go up against is a lot tougher.”
The two have their own rivalry out there as well.
“We compare goals, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up to her this year,” Corey Burns said.