Last year, Camryn Biegalski had a storybook beginning to her professional career. A native of Lombard, Illinois, she was drafted by her hometown Chicago Red Stars in the 2020 NWSL College Draft. “It was an honor to be drafted into the NWSL, but to be drafted by my hometown team was something that I’ve always dreamed about since I was young,” Camryn told BGN. “I was fortunate enough to watch the draft with my family, friends, and teammates.”
In arguably the most unusual season in NWSL history due to the pandemic, Biegalski was able to see some action in the 2020 Fall Series. ” Playing my first minutes was a unique experience given the COVID circumstances. It is difficult for rookies to get substantial time and I was lucky enough to be one of those rookies,” she said.
Playing for the Red Stars also allowed Camryn to reunite with Rory Dames. She explained, “I played club soccer for Rory Dames and in those younger years I grew substantially as a teammate and a player. During this time I set a long term goal of playing professional soccer.”
Biegalski’s soccer journey took her from the Windy City to Washington D.C. in 2021 as she was signed by the Washington Spirit as a National Team Replacement Player before becoming a permanent player on the roster. In the team’s press release, Spirit head coach Richie Burke specifically mentioned that Camryn came highly recommended by Dames and Red Stars assistant coach Scott Parkinson. Biegalski said, “Scott Parkinson and Rory Dames are two renowned coaches with a lot of experience and to know they spoke highly of me to Richie, gives me confidence knowing I can play in this league right beside some of the best in the world.”
The 2019 Big Ten Defender of the Year played in three matches for the Spirit during the 2021 Challenge Cup. “Since arriving I’ve been treated and taken care of like a professional athlete should, ” Camryn said. “The level at practice has already begun to help me grow individually as a player, and I feel that my speed and competitiveness are two big factors that I brought to this team. I am extremely lucky to have teammates who welcomed me right away into this family.”
Those Spirit teammates include arguably the most talented young core in the league with numerous stars under the age of 25. “I think it’s great that we have so many young players,” she said. “It allows us to prove a lot of people wrong and defy the odds this season. Of course having so many young players can be a concern because this is not an easy league to play in, but we have some of the smartest veterans on and off the field.”
Regarding which veteran she has most often turned to for advice, Biegalski shared, “Tori Huster has played a big part in helping me navigate the field. Both her and I are defenders and occasionally in practice we play side by side. She has given me a lot of direction and constructive feedback to help me continue to get better.”
Another factor in her development as an athlete was playing multiple sports in high school (soccer, basketball, and track) at Glenbard East. With the never-ending debate regarding specializing in one sport or not, Biegalski said, “Playing multiple sports has made me the teammate and athlete I am today. My fitness, athleticism, and being a great teammate are just a few things I’ve learned.”
“I also believe that playing multiple sports kept me from getting burnt out by soccer. I was able to enjoy playing with my friends without being too hard on myself with one sport.”
Going back to her roots in the Chicago area, Biegalski weighed in on two things the city is known for producing: delicious pizza and musical talent. She said, “My go to pizza order would be a large, thin crust pepperoni pizza from Aurelio’s Pizza. My favorite song ever by a Chicago musical artist is “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco.”
The next match for the Spirit following the international break will take Biegalski home as Washington will face the Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday night.