July 30, 2014
DERRY, Northern Ireland - Recent Loyola University Maryland graduate Stephen Dooley signed his first professional soccer contract and had already made an immediate impact for his new club, Derry City F.C. of the League of Ireland Premier Division.
Dooley was a three-time all-conference honoree for the Greyhounds earning earned All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore (first team) and junior (second team) and All-Patriot League First Team laurels as a senior in 2013. He also earned All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) following his final two campaigns.
The native of Portstewart, Northern Ireland, graduated from Loyola in May with a Bachelor of Business in finance and was a two-time NSCAA Scholar All-American, garnering second team mention in 2013 and third team honors the year prior.
He finished his four years at Loyola with 22 career assists, tying for 11th in program history, eighth at the NCAA Division I level. He added 14 goals throughout his career.
Derry City, known colloquially as the Candystripers because of their red and white-stripped uniforms, plays in the top division of UEFA soccer in Northern Ireland and finished fourth in the League during 2013.
Following his graduation from Loyola, Dooley returned to his native country and joined Coleraine F.C., a semi-professional club he played for as a youth during a time he also had caps for the Northern Ireland U-17 and U-19 sides.
After a strong showing for Coleraine, Dooley was signed by Candystriper manager Peter Hutton.
"I was delighted to get young Stephen," Hutton said in a Derry release. "There were a number of clubs after his signature. He's a young player that I've kept an eye on for a few years since he first exploded onto the scene with Coleraine as a youngster. He was very, very good, and he then went to America on a scholarship. I watched him then again when he came back at Christmastime with Coleraine. He played two games for them and made a huge impact in those two games so he'll be a great addition to the squad."
Dooley made his Derry debut July 13 against the Bray Wanderers, scoring a goal for the Candystripers in the 88th minute. Since his entrance, he has played in every Derry contest, including two UEFA Europa League matches.