NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE
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Coach: Michael Castronova (second year)
Last year's record: 11-8-1, lost to Cary-Grove Class 4A regional semifinal
Top players lost: Catalina Abad, Maisie Cox (Illinois Wesleyan)
Top players returning: Vanesa Abad (Ohio State) Sr. F, Danielle Tassi Sr. MF, Meaghan Galinas Jr. MF, Claire Skowron Jr. MF, Eleanor Daleske So. GK
Top newcomers: Grace Eisenhuth Sr. D, Kaitlyn McCurley Jr. MF, Maggie Tuckey So. D
Other notable players: Jordan Jackson Sr. F, Tara Kennedy Sr. MF, Courtney Kehrmann Sr. D, Kate McCullough Sr. D, Stacey Wilton Sr. D, Sarah Zaccarine Sr. MF, Megan Bens So. D, Blair Coughenour So. MF, Molly Powers So. MF, Nicole Rasiarmos So. MF, Madeline Blasko Fr. F
Outlook: Lake Zurich hits the pitch with 10 returning starters after capturing the North Suburban Conference title last season. The Bears figure to be a frontrunner again with Vanesa Abad (Ohio State), Meaghan Galinas and Danielle Tassi. "We're very excited about our potential for this spring season," coach Michael Castronova said. "We have some very promising young players who are going to compete for playing time this year. We have a lot of talent that can come together for a great season."
Coach: Scott Schinto (13th year)
Last year's record: 11-8-1, lost to Class 3A Palatine regional final
Top players lost: Morgan Buhrman, Britt Clarke, Lauren Del Prato, Allison Kelly, Kelsey Novak, Colleen O'Connor
Top players returning: Jordan Bauer Sr. D, Greta Gustafson Sr. MF, Jen Kapecki Sr. MF/F, Kat Keefe Sr. D, Sam Marsh Sr. MF/F, Katie McAuliffe Sr. F, Jessica Stanley Sr. F, Elaine Sundberg Sr. GK, Kathleen Graham Jr. D/MF, Sydney Mudd Jr. MF, Ali Urbanski Jr. MF
Top newcomers: Arantxa Garcia Sr. F, Annie Rigali Sr. F, Krista Erlandson Jr. GK, Lauryn Such Jr. MF/F, Cecilia Serb Jr. D, Emily Body So. D, Stephanie Bauer So. D/MF, Izzie Griffith So. D, Sabie Ramirez So. D/MF, Ellie Daugerdas Fr. D, Annie Thompson Fr. D/MF
Outlook: Libertyville hopes to find a winning balance as several key returning players blend with newcomers at some key positions. "We have a solid core of returning ladies from last year's varsity team that is mixing very well with the newcomers," coach Scott Schinto said. "We will battle hard in each game and will be a contender. Our goal is to never be outworked or out-hustled."
Coach: Ernie Billittier (second year)
Last year's record: 6-13-3, lost to Carmel in Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Kelsey Heigel (Calvin College)
Top players returning: Brooke Dennis (Ball State) Sr. GK, McKenna Joy Sr. D, Gaby Miranda (Carroll College) Sr. MF, Kaila Cancelli Jr. F, Megan Carroll So. MF
Top newcomers: Valentino Mayao Sr. MF. Lacey Benedeck So. D, Kelly Grove Fr. MF
Other notable players: Connie Dimmick Sr. D, Emily Hagen Sr. D, Stephanie Johnson Sr. MF, Hailey Talbot Sr. F, Michaela Valin Sr. D, Jasmine Ader Jr. F, Shannon Carroll So. F, Christy Nambo So. MF, Jessica Schulz So. D
Outlook: Mundelein's girls soccer team lost one key player to graduation in Kelsey Heigel, but the Mustangs have many youthful players with valuable varsity experience gained last season. This is a team that figures to be on the rise, and the squad is eager to test the new field turf playing surface. "We have a strong core of seniors this year, mixed with a good number of young players," coach Ernie Billittier said. "We're looking to improve from last year's season and be more competitive in conference and the state series."
Coach: Mark Schartner (20th year)
Last year's record: 16-6-1, lost to Prospect Class 4A sectional semifinals
Top players lost: Kara Ballard, Julia Hadsa, Katie Krejsa (Dayton), Olivia Whalen (Iowa)
Top players returning: Cori Calcaterra Sr. GK, Anne Geocaris Sr. D, Morgan Meyer Sr. D, Elise Tokars Sr. MF, Jenna Weiner Sr. MF
Top newcomers: Maddie Boutros Jr GK, Kaya Suzuki So. MF, Ali Tarnoff So. F, Courtney Bruckman Fr. MF, McKenzie Connington Fr. MF, Nicole Glait Jr. MF, Emma Jager Fr. F, Blake Klinsky Jr. F, Savannah Kruses Fr. F
Other notable players: Carolyn Briggs Sr. D, Carolyn Briggs Sr. D, Haley Green Jr. F, Megan Petrick Jr. MF, Sarah Putwen Jr. F, Lily Zhang Jr. F, Rachel Blumenthal So. D
Outlook: Stevenson's girls soccer team lost some formable scorers, but the Patriots return with a lot of strength on the back line and into into the midfield. Jenna Weiner, a midfielder who contributed 9 goals and 12 assists in her junior year, will be a key for the Patriots. "Our defense is very good, with many returning players," coach Mark Schartner said. "Our midfield should be strong again with veterans and newcomers. We lost our entire offense -- we may struggle early in developing goal-scoring chances. We've got an outstanding young group."
Coach: Ryan McCabe (second year)
Last year's record: 10-10-3, lost to Glenbrook South in Class 3A regional semifinal
Top players lost: Sky Anselm, Kelly Ditmars, Chloe Juergensen (Morehead State), Amanda Macuiba (Illinois Wesleyan), Katelyn McDermott, Karly Moe (St. Mary's, Texas), Katie Murphy, Rylee Parker, Lexi Reyes, Bri Selmios, Kenzie Verheyen, Rachel Walz
Top players returning: Kristen Huard Jr, MF, Haylee Parker Jr. D, Alexis Strothers So. D,
Top newcomers: Ellie Gallo Sr. MF, Katherine Schwede Jr. D,
Other notable players: Courtney France Sr. MF. MF, Rachel Huber Sr. MF, Taylor Jimil Sr. MF, Kelsey Schwab Sr. D, Stephanie Schwab Sr. MF, Savannah Slater Sr. D, Alexis Vrabel Sr. D, Maddie Brenner Jr. MF, McKenna Hofflander Jr. F, Daria Szczepanek Jr. MF, Nicole Villareal Jr. GK, Hayden Yunker Jr. D, Liz Carrano So. GK, Hannah Sislow So. D, Alexis Strothers So. D., Abby Vrabel So. MF
Outlook: Warren's girls soccer program had a number of players graduate, but there's still a solid core from last year with high hopes for this spring. "I think this team has great team chemistry and a very high work rate," coach Ryan McCabe said. "They put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think that will make us a tough team to play. We're looking to move up in the (NSC Lake) and win some games in various tournaments."
NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE
Coach: Marni Polakow (second year)
Last year's record: 10-9-4, lost to St. Viator in Class 2A regional final
Top players lost: Tasha Bautista, Brittany Kelly, Ashley Mihovilovich, Shannon Mundt, Erica Slack
Top players returning: Abbi McIlhany Sr. MF/F, Alex Fracek Jr. D, Mikayla Abbeduto So. F, Haley Capek So. MF. Reina Dionisio So. D/MF
Top newcomers: Lauren Slack Fr. MF
Other notable players: Megan Borries Sr. MF, Shannon Rieke Sr. D, Danielle Koch Sr. D, Hannah Bohn Jr. D, Amanda Cleven Jr. MF, Sinclair Guntharp Jr. F, MF/F, Alexandra Hara Jr. MF, Kallie Pope Jr. Zoe Zeien Jr. D, Devin Kappie So. D, Domanique Nelson So. GK/D, Maria Pena So. MF/F, Melany Sefraniec So. GK, Shannon Zogran So. GK
Outlook: This is a team on the rise. The Sequoits improved last year as a young team and found ways to win. Those same players are bringing valuable experience with them this season. The returning seniors will provide leadership for this up-and-coming team. "We expect to challenge for the (Prairie) Division and a regional championship this year," coach Marni Polakow said. "We're young and deep with high expectations."
Coach: Michael Kennedy (eighth year)
Last year's record: 8-11-2, lost to Grayslake North in Class 2A regional final
Top players lost: Stephanie Alchholzer, Katie Brown, Tara Cwiak. Bri Miller, Kassie Stimpson (Air Force Academy)
Top players returning: Alyssa Wilhelm Jr. F, Haley Dierks Jr. D, Marissa Allen So. F, Leah Nehila So. D, Jenna Pecorini So. F
Top newcomers: Danielle Frazer Jr. MF, Julie Peterson Jr. MF, Sara Vandervest Jr. GK, Brett Aichholzer Fr. D, Lexi Gerdes Fr. D/MF, Sarah Ramirez Fr. D/MF, Kelli Varney Fr. D/MF
Other notable players: Vanessa Foreman Sr. F, Sophie Finerty Sr. D/MF, Mallory Gizowski Sr. D/MF, Felicia Menon Sr. F, Kyra Schmidt Sr. D/MF, Nina Deligio Jr. D/MF, Danielle Frazer Jr. D/MF, Jessica Jones Jr. D, Ana Rodas Jr. GK
Outlook: Grant returns a young group that made gains throughout last year, especially when it came to scoring goals. Marissa Allen had 14 goals and 6 assists as a freshman last year. If the Bulldogs continue to score and shore up the defense, this might be a very effective team. "This year we will look to add girls to our back line," coach Michael Kennedy said. "Up front we will continue to be strong as we return our three top point-getters in Allen (Melissa Allen), (Alyssa) Wilhelm and (Jenna) Pecorini. This year's group of girls is very energetic and will look to compete in every single game."
Coach: Kevin Kullby (eighth year)
Last year's record: 14-10-1, lost to Lake Forest in Class 3A sectional semifinal
Top players lost: Jenna Baker (Illinois Wesleyan), Leah Baker, Katie Mason
Top players returning: Mikaela Brown Sr. D, Hannah Jewell Sr. D, Nicole Mogged Sr. D, Sarina Umlauf Sr. F. Maya Schmidt So. MF
Top newcomers: Nicole D'Ambrose So. F
Other notable players: Rebecca Price Sr. D, Haley Simpson Sr. MF, Megan Soderlund Sr. MF, Jessica Cipolla Jr. MF, Lauren Kuzmanovich Jr. D, Kimberly Messmer Jr. MF, Emma Boehm So. MF, Alyssa Brey So. D, Nicole Denman So. D, Kara Jones So. GK, Brianna Rosales So. F, Allison Vancrey So. MF, Jenna Binkley Fr. D, Nicole Nitti Fr. D, Morgan Timmerman Fr. GK
Outlook: Coach Kevin Kullby can reach a milestone with eight more Lakes victories this season. He's 92-67-11 in his career. The Eagles lost some key players to graduation, and the main challenge for Lakes is finding enough talent to replace the scoring of twins Jenna and Leah Baker. "Our team needs to make up the scoring that the Baker twins brought to the team last year," Kullby said. "The hope is that Sarina Umlauf, Brianna Rosales and Nicole D'Ambrose will get us some goals. Defensively, we should be better since three out of the four backs and our goalie are back. I feel we will compete for the Prairie Division of the North Suburban Conference and win another 2A regional title."
Coach: Andres Orbe (fourth year)
Last year's record: 3-17-1, lost to Barrington in the Class 3A regional quaterfinals
Top players lost: Bianca Duna, Jasmin Huerta (Elmhurst College), Sidney Rose (Monmouth), Jackie Salgado, Katie Trujillo.
Top players returning: Morgin Evins Sr. F, Elizabeth Salgado Sr. MF, Bianca Mahoney Sr. MF, Erika Quevado Jr. MF, Brenda Barros So. D
Top newcomers: Dania Barrientos Jr. D, Jordan Devera Fr. GK
Other notable players: Edith Barrientos Sr. D, Shauna Edens Sr. MF, Danielle Herdman Sr. D, Evelyn Hernandez Sr. F, Naomi Kalume Sr. D, Kiersten Perez Sr. MF, Jessica Ramirez Sr. D, Mirian Reyes Sr. F, Mariandree Abascal Jr. F, Maria Hernandez Jr. D, Araceli Juarez Jr. F, Melissa Mejia Jr. MF, Cristina Melesia Jr. MF, Karen Uribe Jr. MF, Jessica Garcia So. D, Stephanie Figueroa So. MF, Daisy Ortiz So. MF, Anahi Rodriguez So. MF
Outlook: The Panthers have numbers working in their favor, with 10 experienced seniors returning. That bodes well for Round Lake, which has high hopes for a much better season. "I have been looking forward to this season for a while, as this is a big core of the girls that have been on varsity the last three years," coach Andres Orbe said. "They know their expectations and our goals for this year and we are making sure they carry it out day in and day out."
Coach: Vince DeLuca (11th year)
Last year's record: 12-9-2, lost to Deerfield in Class 2A regional final.
Top players lost: Alex Goldstein, Alissa Menotti, Iris Ostrovksy (Winona State), Julie Pecht
Top players returning: Brie Bahlmann (Appalachian State) Sr. F, Courtney Corrado Sr. D. Heidi VanderBloomer Sr. F, Katherine Koczwara Jr. MF, Kristen Guglielmi So. MF
Top newcomers: Kelsey Seal Jr. F, Erin VanDemerkt Fr. MF
Other notable players: Allison Clatch Sr. F, Kimberly Amari Jr. MF, Natalie Mariduena Jr. D, Amy Andrea So. D, Monica Bahlmann So. MF, Katherine Brettman So. F, Ashley Favia So. D Kaitlin Gramins So. MF, Maddison Guillaume So. MF, Kelly Hull So. D, Haley Lieberman So. MF, Sydney Resnick So. GK
Outlook: Building and growing together are the order of the day for Vernon Hills. The Cougars are a young team, but they stand to benefit from the girls basketball team's second straight runner-up state finish. Brie Bahlmann, a starter on the hoops team, will attend Appalachian State next fall for soccer. She also played volleyball with the Cougars. Sophomore Haley Lieberman also started for the basketball team. "Once we get (all the basketball players) in soccer shape, we should be very competitive," coach Vince DeLuca said. "I expect this team to be competitive in and outside our division. We're still learning to play, but if we put it all together we can sneak up on some teams."
Coach: Patrick Heckman (second year)
Last year's record: 3-15-2, lost to Lake Forest in Class 2A regional semifinal
Top players lost: Cara Leoni, Alicia Knight and Laura Roncal.
Top players returning: Nicollette Jenkings Sr. D, Madi Granada Jr. MF, Laura Mantas Jr. MF, Alyssa Stepanian Jr. D, Jackie Lung Jr. So MF
Top newcomers: Diana Guzik So. F, Brittany Stepanian Fr. F, Kira Ziolkowski Fr. MF
Other notable players: Kendra Ballard Sr. MF, Kimmie Bower Sr. GK, Krystal Morris Sr. MF, Haley Proszek Sr. MF, Megan Stepanek Sr. F, Robyn Minor Jr. D, Maddie Gaschler So. MF, Natalie Harding So. MF, Maddie Maze So. D
Outlook: Wauconda is looking for improvement under second-year coach Patrick Heckman and return to Bulldogs to a level of success they've had in recent years. "We're looking to gain experience and learn what it takes to compete each day," Heckman said.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Coach: John Halloran (10th year)
Last year's record: 14-4-2, lost to Glenbrook South in Class 3A regional final.
Top players lost: Caitlin Jung, Shannon Jung (St. Norbert), Maggie Karich, Sarah McHugh (Northern Iowa), Ashley Orth.
Top players returning: Jenna Bauer, Sr. GK, Elizabeth Bream Sr. F, Bri Carlson Sr. F, Meegan Johnston Sr. F, Katie Larson Sr. GK, Caitlin Murphy Sr. MF, Clair Ogrinc Sr. MF, Sadie Jung Jr. MF.
Top newcomers: Sarah Bowles Jr. MF, Jen Caparelli Jr. D, Emily Helle Jr. MF, Leah Lach Jr. D.
Other notable players: Maggie Avampato Sr. D, Annie DiVenere Sr. MF, Colleen Foley Sr. D, Katie Sandecki Jr. D, Kayla Handel So. D.
Outlook: Plenty of returning seniors means Carmel Catholic's soccer program has high expectations for this season. A total of 10 seniors will provide maturity and experience in leading the Corsairs' effort for supremacy in the ESCC and into the postseason. Senior Meegan Johnston had 8 goals last spring. "We expect to compete for both the regional title as well as our conference title," coach John Halloran said.
FOX VALLEY FOX
Coach: Mike McCaulou (11th year)
Last year's record: 12-8, lost to Lakes in Class 2A regional final
Top players lost: Jocelyn Gaughran (Lake County), Skyler Jessop (Western Illinois), Michelle Lettenmair (Wisconsin Lutheran), Alex Wilson (Concordia University)
Top players returning: Savannah Mudd Sr. MF, Carson Sparkman Jr. F, Jenny Biondo So. D, Anna Sizelove So. D, Lauren Spaulding So. D
Top newcomers: Karleen Gomez So. MF, Kaylay Larson So. MF, Mikala Wollmuth So. F, Rebecca Wollmuth So. D, Sabrina Wollmuth So. MF, Emily Werfel So. MF
Other notable players: Kajal Chokshi Sr. GK, Jordan Larson Sr. MF, Erin Boban Jr. MF, Maggie Wehde Jr. F, Rafael Effa So. GK, Cara Fontana So. D, Quin Garbett Fr. MF
Outlook: Grayslake Central won a share of the Fox Valley Fox Division title last year. The Rams lost some talented players to graduation from that team. That's the bad news for the Rams. Here's the good: capable players are ready to fit right in those spots. "We continue to strive to give our best effort day in and day out," coach Mike McCaulou said. "Our expectation is that we play quality soccer and we are disciplined on both sides of the ball. We play as a unit and will work hard to be successful in all facets of the game."
Coach: Adam DeCaluwe (seventh year)
Last year's record: 14-7-1, FVC Fox co-champions, lost to Lake Forest in Class 2A regional final
Top players lost: Andrea Lamb (Trinity International), Lyz Steinhoff (Concordia-Chicago), Jenni Babula, Melissa Hohensee, Katie Lahera, Katie McGrath, Hannah Mitchem, Brooke Sauer, Sara Steinhoff and Maggie Stojak.
Top players returning: Jaclyn Brennan Sr. MF/F, Kelly Casey Sr. D, Kendall Detweiler Jr. D/MF, Kelly Meyer Jr. F, Chelsea Olson Jr, M, Erin Parro Jr. D, Maggie Fish So. MF, Teagen Johnson So. F
Top newcomers: Bridget O'Gorman Sr. MF, Lindsey Allen Jr. F, Mallori Hamelton Jr. MF
Other notable players: Kayla Hartigan So, MF, Jocelyn Rodriguez So. F, Emily Smith So. D/MF, Kendall Buchman Fr. MF, Ashleigh Hansen Fr. D/MF , Sarah Myers Fr. D, Abby Rice Fr. GK
Outlook: The Knights will be on the young side, as they try to replace 11 players from last year's Fox Valley Fox Division title team. "I think each of these young girls has the ability to play and compete at the highest level," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "We will certainly have moments of learning and adjusting, but we feel as though we have the ability to play with each team we have on our schedule this season."