Valparaiso University soccer coach Mike Avery announced today that Stefan Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./College of Lake County/Marquette) has signed a National Letter of Intent to finish his college soccer career as a Crusader. Antonijevic, a midfielder with high level college, club, and international experience, will officially join the Valparaiso side in the fall with three years of eligibility remaining.
Antonijevic played high school soccer for Mark Schartner at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. He was an All-State selection in 2006, an All-Section honoree as a junior and an All-Conference performer as a freshman. He helped guide his team to conference and regional titles while in high school. Antonijevic played club soccer for coach John Dolinsky with the Chicago Wind, where he led his team to a state cup semifinal appearance for four straight years and led the club to a pair of Midwest Regional League titles. As a freshman at Marquette University, Anotnijevic played in 16 matches, starting 13, as a midfielder for the Golden Eagles, scoring one goal in the 2007 campaign.
Antonijevic then transferred to College of Lake County to pursue his AA degree, but did not compete for the community college team. In lieu of playing at the NJCAA level, Antonijevic had further success at the club level with the Chicago Fire Premier Super 20 squad that won the 2008 USL national championship. In addition, Antonijevic gained valuable international soccer experience when he suited up twice for the Serbian U19 National Team in matches against Russia and Ukraine played in Belgrade. Antonijevic, though born in Arizona, qualified for the Serbian squad through his father Sole Antonijevic, who was a professional player in the former Yugoslavia before moving to the states to continue his playing career.
"Stefan is an exciting addition to our program, and we welcome the entire Antonijevic family to our Valpo soccer family,” said Avery. “His experiences in the Big East, with the Chicago Fire Super 20s, and his appearances for the Serbian under 19 squad all confirm what we already knew about Stefan, which is we have landed a very good soccer player. At 6'6" and 200 pounds, Stefan is obviously a big presence on the field, but to describe him only in those physical terms misses the mark completely. Stefan is a calm and comfortable player on ball with great feet and a high soccer IQ. Stefan can win some battles in the air, but his greatest strengths are in possession. He is a superb passer of the ball and he allows us a very different point of view in how we will play. We are becoming a team that is not only organized defensively and hard working, but that can also attack intelligently and creatively. Stefan pushes us further down that road.”