Girls soccer: Lake County all-area team
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Vanesa Abad Lake Zurich
Leading by example went a long way for Abad. In addition to earning all-area and all-sectional honors for a third straight year, the Bears standout earned all-state honors this spring as well — credentials befitting a player who will compete next school year at Ohio State. She was limited with injuries this spring, contributing 3 goals and 5 assists, but Abad finished with stellar career numbers of 29 goals and 21 assists. "She's an ideal student-athlete and leads by example," coach Michael Castronova said. "Vanesa was one of the fastest players I've ever coached and has a great touch on the ball. She was battling injuries throughout the season, but was still able to impact every game that she played in."
Brianna Bahlmann Vernon Hills
Bahlmann was the heart and soul of the Cougars' effort. She never gave up and was relentless against opposing teams from her sweeper position. Bahlmann earned all-sectional honors and made the Lake County all-area team for a second straight year. "Her biggest improvement this year is her ability to be aggressive in the air," coach Vince DeLuca said. "It has made a big difference for our team this year. Brie has been a constant all year and has kept our defense organized and strong with whoever may be back there with her. Because of her strong play, our team has been competitive in all our games." Next stop for Bahlmann: Appalachian State.
Jenna Bauer Carmel Catholic
Numbers and statistics sometimes say a lot for a goalkeeper, and that's certainly the case with Bauer. She finished 12 shutouts and a goals-against average of .57, key ingredients in the Corsairs' 19-win season. She was also an all-sectional choice. "Jenna had a great season for us this spring with a back line comprised almost entirely of underclassmen with no varsity experience," coach John Halloran said. "Jenna's leadership on and off the field was instrumental in our success, and she will be sorely missed. Jenna will be very, very difficult to replace."
Jordan Bauer Libertyville
For the last couple of years, Bauer was a force on the defensive side of the ball. Her contributions are reflected in the Wildcats' record and the team's overall success in preventing goals. "Jordan is a solid defender — those who have played against her will attest to that," coach Scott Schinto said. "She has been able to take her game to another level again this year. I wish there was some kind of statistic that could prove how tenacious of a defender Jordan really is. She has played just about every minute of every game for us at Libertyville. She is the foundation for our team. That is why she plays where she does. She has great vision and is able to read attacking players very well."
Kaila Cancelli Mundelein
With her knack for scoring goals in big games, Cancelli helped elevate Mundelein's program. She led the Mustangs with 10 goals and 5 assists and earned all-sectional honors. "She was our most dangerous player in the final third this year," coach Ernie Billittier said. "If you needed a big goal or play, Kaila was our go-to player. What makes her such a special player is her work rate. She covers more of the field than most forwards do because she marks all the way back to midfield to win balls. She is technically sound on top of that, so she is a tough player to handle. She welcomes difficult games and opponents because she just loves to compete and get her jersey dirty, and her energy on the field is contagious for the rest of the team."
Bri Carlson Carmel Catholic
One of many leaders in the midfield, Carlson helped lead the Corsairs to both regional and East Suburban Catholic Conference titles. She finished with 15 goals and 8 assists as well as an all-sectional nod. "Bri had a terrific year for us," coach John Halloran said. "She had big goals for us against St. Viator, Fenwick and Fremd. She is a tremendously versatile player able to play anywhere on the field. Her ability to hold the ball up top with her back to pressure to help build our attack and her aerial ability will be missed next year."
Courtney Corrado Vernon Hills
Corrado's priority was defending, and she certainly succeeded. But she also made a difference in other ways for Vernon Hills, including taking free kicks and delivering big goals. "She's one player that has been tough as nails for four years on the varsity. She's been an anchor for us at right back," said coach Vince DeLuca. "Her ability to make overlapping runs and be part of the offense has been big for us. She has ability to hit long-range balls and make quality long-range shots."
Brooke Dennis Mundelein
Dennis was a rock in the goal. The all-state keeper will attend Ball State after coming up with 9 shutouts and a goals-against average of .5, helping the Mustangs to a 13-win season. "Brooke was one of the best goalkeepers I have seen in a long time," coach Ernie Billittier said. "She has all the tools a goalkeeper needs. She's a great shot stopper who holds onto the ball and rarely gives a rebound. She commands her 18-yard box with a big presence, and she is a vocal leader in the back. She has a high soccer IQ, so she is able to analyze opponents during the run of play and she gives her teammates comfort and confidence."
Grace Eisenhuth Lake Zurich
The Bears could count on full effort from their defensive leader. Combined with Eisenhuth's skill set, the result was someone who made a difference each time out for coach Michael Castronova's team. Others noticed, too, as Eisenhuth earned all-sectional honors. "She came into the season ready to make an impact on our team, and she ended up doing that and more," Castronova said. "She started every game for us at center back and was the leader of our defense. If you were a forward playing against Grace, you knew it. She plays the game with intensity and always gave 110 percent, every minute of every game."
Alex Fracek Antioch
A move to the midfield this spring, away from her previous defending role, yielded big dividends for Francek and Antioch as she finsihed with 12 goals and 2 assists. That kind of scoring punch made a big difference for the Sequoits and netted all-sectional acclaim for Fracek. "She's the most versatile player I have ever coached," coach Marni Polakow said. "She provided an offensive spark for us at times. She's skilled with both feet and has great vision. Her distribution is on point and her shot is lethal from distance. Alex made our team better as a person too. She is an excellent teammate and captain."
Meaghan Gelinas Lake Zurich
A real workhorse who took a key role for the Bears, Gelinas excelled as a midfielder and earned all-sectional recognition. Along the way to contributing 7 goals and 16 assists, she provided a healthy dose of leadership. "She's always the hardest-working player on the field," coach Michael Castronova said. "Meaghan was able to put the team on her back, and she did it when our team needed it the most this season. She is a big reason why our team was able to win back-to-back Lake Division and NSC championships."
Hannah Jewel Lakes
Ball State is getting a real gem. That's where Jewel, who will pursue journalism, will continue her education after playing an editor's role on the school's newspaper and a chief editor of the school's literary magazine while gaining a spot in the National Honor Society. Jewel glittered on the soccer field over the last four years as well, where her efforts on defense were paramount accompanied by a goal and 6 assists this spring, as well as an all-sectional selection. "She's very versatile and held her own against every opponent this season," coach Kevin Kullby said. "She plays the wing back position as well as anybody I have ever seen. She can win possession of the ball and provides great service to her teammates in attacking positions. She displayed great courage in the last game of the season. She played through the pain of a high ankle sprain she sustained in the first Class 2A regional game against Resurrection, helping her team to the very end."
Stephanie Johnson Mundelein
No one could question Johnson's work rate, and the results of that consistency were impressive. She provided 12 assists and helped Mundelein's midfield hit its stride. "She was just a menace on the right flank," coach Ernie Billittier said. "She was a tremendous runner with great pace and endurance. In most games, Stephanie would outwork any one of her marks and get into deep positions on the field. With a few more bounces of the ball, her assist tally could have been much higher. She is a selfless player who puts her team above everything else and was a true leader by example. Her ability to make great runs off the ball and serve a quality pass make her a fantastic player."
Meegan Johnston Carmel Catholic
Johnson led not only her own team, but the area as well. This year's captain is a repeat all-area team selection and also merited all-state recognition. She had an uncanny ability to fill whatever role her senior-dominated team happened to need. The result was a 19-2 record and 27 goals with 6 assists for Johnston. "Her ability to put her throw-ins into the box made us a constant threat any time the ball went out of bounds in the attacking third," coach John Halloran said, "It will be very difficult to replace her offensive production next season."
Sadie Jung Carmel Catholic
Jung, of diminutive stature, played much bigger and stronger than that for Carmel. She never stopped working in the midfield and brought a certain driving force to the Corsairs' effort."Sadie was the engine of our team this year," coach John Halloran said. "Despite often being the smallest player on the field, Sadie's work rate, tactical awareness, technical ability and competitiveness was key to our success. We constantly relied on Sadie to connect our attack and generate the bulk of our possession."
Bianca Mahoney Round Lake
Being a key member in a building program meant a lot to Mahoney. She saw steady improvement in her skill, and that was reflected in the 6 goals she scored and the 12 assists she provided. "Bianca has been the core of our team," coach Andres Orbe said. "She led her team and modeled how to be successful, on and off the field. She's technically a skilled player and has confused many teams with her creative ballhandling. Her work rate, offensively and defensively, makes her stand out. What was great about her was that she put the team before herself and made sure everyone followed that standard."
Katie McAuliffe Libertyville
A clear and present danger to teams defending against the Wildcats' attack, McAuliffe lead the Wildcats in scoring this season. The main reason for that was an exceptionally well-rounded skill set and a winning approach to match. "She can strike a ball very well with both feet," coach Scott Schinto said. "She has tremendous field vision, which speaks for itself for those that have seen her play. She is the most unselfish player I have seen in years. She is a true midfielder, but she will play out of position to help our team. She has the ability to find the seams in other team's defense and makes great penetrating runs when the opportunity arises. She has been instrumental in the success of our program the past few years."
Morgan Meyer Stevenson
In her last season at Stevenson, Meyer was fire — especially when it came to performing under pressure. The key defender excelled athletically in a four-year varsity stint, but it was her decisiveness in her final season that made a huge difference. "She has an amazing ability to make the correct decisions all the time," coach Mark Schartner said. Meyer contributed 3 assists while thriving in her defensively oriented position. "(She is) gifted with speed and great timing and is amazing at communication, and direction," Schartner observed. "Morgan's game management is that of a college-level central defender. She saved her best season for her last."
Savannah Mudd Grayslake Central
Mudd could've played any spot on the field, but this spring she helped anchor the Rams' defense. Mudd still came up with 4 goals and 4 assists, giving her four-year varsity career totals of 15 goals and 18 assists. Clearly, Mudd was key. "She's one of the most dedicated and hard-working players I have had the opportunity to coach," coach Mike McCaulou said. "She was one of three seniors on this year's regional championship team, and she was a true leader. She led physically, vocally and helped all the younger players develop throughout the season."
Chelsea Olson Grayslake North
Olson's steady midfield leadership was crucial for a young Grayslake North team. She hasn't missed a game in three years, and that kind of continuity made all the difference. Olson finished with 7 goals and 3 assists this season. "Chelsea was a workhorse, and she helped carry our incredibly young roster all year long," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "She plays with both feet, defends as well as she attacks, and she has better vision than any girls soccer player I have ever coached. Chelsea has shown a great attacking prowess this season and has been the best player on the field in just about every game we played. I genuinely have not seen an opponent this year that was as good, important, or effective as Chelsea was for us."
Jenna Pecorini Grant
A dependable and versatile player, Pecorini showed her worth by taking on key roles at both midfield and forward. She finished with 9 goals and had 7 assists this spring, netting her all-sectional honors. This well-rounded athlete competed in three sports, excelling in cross country and basketball in addition to soccer. "She was a true forward who can score goals," coach Michael Kennedy said. "Jenna was equally strong with both feet, which makes her dangerous to defend. After our leading goal-scorer (Marissa Allen) went down for a month with an ankle injury, Jenna stepped up her game to lead our team."
Alexis Strothers Warren
A smart player with the talent to go with it, Strothers was a catalyst for the Blue Devils. She added a lot along the back line and made an impact in limited time at both midfield and forward. Area coaches noticed, as Strothers was an all-sectional selection. "She's probably the most versatile player on my roster this year," coach Ryan McCabe said. "She has a high soccer IQ and possesses the physical abilities to be one of the top players in the state over the next couple years. She has a tireless work ethic, and her desire to become great is contagious. She is a great teammate and is respected by her peers and her opponents."
Heidi VanderBloomer Vernon Hills
Each year, VanderBloomer has blossomed just a little bit more. She really put the petal to the metal this spring, providing 5 goals and 8 assists, capping a stellar four-year varsity endeavor with all-sectional recognition. "She's a tremendous leader, on and off the field," coach Vince DeLuca said. "Heidi plays center-mid for us and has taken on every challenge this year thrown at her. She never once complained and is very solid at that position. The amount of energy she bring to the game is tremendous. She will be one player that will be hard to replace."
Jenna Weiner Stevenson
Entering the season, Stevenson wasn't sure where most of its scoring would come from. The Miami (Ohio)-bound Weiner supplied the answer with 75 percent of the Patriots' offense. She showed pinpoint accuracy on long-range free kicks and finished the spring with some staggering achievements: 7 game-winning goals (as part of her 13 goals and 11 assists); career totals of 33 goals and 26 assists; all-sectional and all-state honors, and a second straight all-area team appearance. "She's one of the best players to ever come out of Stevenson," coach Mark Schartner said. "She carried the offensive load this season. Just unstoppable on the ball. She was in remarkable condition, which allowed her to perform at the highest level for the entire game. Jenna has improved on her quality of play to the extent that she is always in a support position for her team."
Player School Yr. Pos.
Vanesa Abad Lake Zurich Sr. F
Brianna Bahlmann Vernon Hills Sr. D
Jenna Bauer Carmel Catholic Sr. GK
Jordan Bauer Libertyville Sr. D
Kaila Cancelli Mundelein Jr. F
Bri Carlson Carmel Catholic Sr. MF/F
Courtney Corrado Vernon Hills Sr. D
Brooke Dennis Mundelein Sr. GK
Grace Eisenhuth Lake Zurich Sr. D
Alex Fracek Antioch Jr. D/MF
Meaghan Gelinas Lake Zurich Jr. MF
Hannah Jewel Lakes Sr. D
Stephanie Johnson Mundelein Sr. MF
*Meegan Johnston Carmel Catholic Sr. MF/F
Sadie Jung Carmel Catholic Jr. MF
Bianca Mahoney Round Lake Jr. MF
Katie McAuliffe Libertyville Sr. MF/F
Morgan Meyer Stevenson Sr. D
Savannah Mudd Grayslake Central Sr. D/MF
Chelsea Olson Grayslake North Jr. M
Jenna Pecorini Grant So. MF/F
Alexis Strothers Warren So. D
Heidi VanderBloomer Vernon Hills Sr. MF/F
Jenna Weiner Stevenson Sr. MF/F
Mikayla Abbeduto (Antioch, Soph., F), Erin Boban (Grayslake Central, Jr., MF), Mikaela Brown (Lakes, Sr., D), Kimmy Bauer (Wauconda, Sr. GK), Jaclyn Brennan (Grayslake North, Sr., MF), Cori Calcaterra (Stevenson, Sr., GK), Kelly Casey (Grayslake North, Sr., D), Kajal Chokshi (Grayslake Central, Sr., GK), Eleanor Daleske (Lake Zurich, Soph., GK), Eleanor Daugerdas (Libertyville, Fr., MF/F), Kendall Detweiler (Grayslake North, Jr., MF), Reina Dionisio (Antioch, Soph., D), Anne Divenere (Carmel, Sr., MF), Morgin Evans (Round Lake, Sr., F), Ellie Gallo (Warren, Sr., MF), Anne Geocaris (Stevenson, Sr., D), Haley Green (Stevenson, Jr., D/MF), Katlin Gramins (Vernon Hills, Soph., MF), Diana Guzik (Wauconca, Soph., F), Natalie Harding (Wauconda, Soph., D), Emily Hagen (Mundelein, Sr., D), Emily Helle (Carmel, Jr., D), Evelyn Hernandez (Round Lake, Sr., F), Katherine Koczwara (Vernon Hills, Jr., MF), Leah Lach (Carmel, Jr. D), Sam Marsh (Libertyville, Sr., MF), Abbi McIlhany (Antioch, Sr., F/D), Nicole Mogged (Lakes, Sr., D), Sydney Mudd (Libertyville, Jr., MF), Leah Nehila (Grant, Soph., D), Claire Ogrinc (Carmel, Sr., MF/F), Haylee Parker (Warren, Jr., MF/F), Maya Schmitt (Lakes, Soph., MF), Katherine Schwede (Warren, Jr., D), Lauren Spaulding (Grayslake Central, Soph., D), Maggie Tuckey (Lake Zurich, Soph., D), Alyssa Wilhelm (Grant, Jr., F), Rebecca Wollmuth (Grayslake Central, Soph., D), Michaela Valin (Mundelein, Sr., D)
Selections and profiles by Rusty Silber
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