Fiona Baezinger, Naperville North
One of the key questions for the two-time defending Class 3A champions was rebuilding their back line. The Huskies fell short of a third consecutive state title but won the DVC, as well as another regional title, behind stellar play from Baezinger in goal. "She had a very strong season leading a very young defense," Huskies coach Steve Goletz said. "She made some unbelievable saves this season to keep us in some very tight games."
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Rachel Bernicky, Benet
The centerpiece of Benet's defense even played with a broken wrist this spring. "She does everything a coach could want," Redwings coach Bob Gros said. "She pays attention to all the details, works hard in practice and executes on the field, plus she's tall, strong and has good speed. She was the heart and soul of our defense." The Redwings allowed only 12 goals all season and just 1 in conference play and had 18 shutouts.
Abbie Boswell, Naperville North
Despite recovering from off-season knee surgery, this junior all-state selection tallied 20 goals and 7 assists. She has 57 varsity goals and will be back as the area's leading offensive threat next spring. "She was once again one of the most dangerous attacking players in the area," Huskies coach Steve Goletz said. "Her ability to create chances for our team and herself was truly fun to watch."
Alison Cerny, Hinsdale Central
This Washington University recruit was a three-year player who tallied 7 goals and 4 assists for the Red Devils and finished with 23 goals and 18 assists. "Alison's determination and passion are unmatched," Red Devils coach Michael Smith said. "Her ability to outthink and outwork opponents will allow her to be a successful soccer player for years to come." Cerny helped the Red Devils to another regional title after placing second in state last spring.
Katie Ciesiulka, Neuqua Valley
The Wildcats were solid in the middle thanks to the efforts of this senior Marquette recruit, who played without fear, winning balls, defending, leading and doing many of the little things that often go unnoticed by the casual fan. "She's done a great job of living up to the name (brother Bryan Ciesiulka was a standout at Neuqua Valley as well)," Wildcats coach Joe Moreau said. "She's one of the best midfielders in the state." An all-state selection.
Kristen Dodson, Waubonsie Valley
The area's most prolific scorer tallied 24 goals, including 11 game-winners, into the Class 3A tournament. "I know if I just get her the ball that we're going to have a good chance to score," senior teammate Mackenzie Fuller said. Dodson, who is draped by two or three players in every match, is a fourth-year player, all-state selection and has 55 varsity goals. She'll take her talents to Auburn. Dodson is the All-Area team captain.
A.J. Jakuszewski, WW South
A very exciting player to watch because of her athleticism and skill, Jakuszewski was an all-state and all-conference selection for the Tigers. "A.J. has a great sense of space and time and can elude pressure utilizing a clean touch and accelerated step," Tigers coach Guy Callipari said. "She is relentless in her pursuit to win the ball defensively and find the ball offensively." She led the Tigers with 8 goals and 19 points.
Morgan Kemerling, Waubonsie Valley
The Warriors posted their 13th shutout of the season in their 1-0 supersectional win over Edwardsville, and this junior's defensive role has been crucial to their success. While her name may not show up in the stat column, it's impossible to not notice the impact she makes on the pitch. The all-sectional player will follow teammate Emma Rigby to Iowa in 2015. She also contributed offensively with 5 goals and 6 assists.
Jenna Kentgen, Metea Valley
The Mustangs won their first sectional game in program history this spring and the school's all-time leading scorer led the way with 22 goals. "I think Jenna's the best forward in the state. She's by far the best forward I've ever coached," Mustangs coach Pat Feulner said. "She's so fast and athletic, and she works both sides of the field. She's special." The all-state selection also helped nurture a group of talented of newcomers. She'll play at the University of Iowa.
Jamie Kovatchis, York
This senior defender cleaned up many of those mistakes and lapses that can cost a team a match. Her efforts helped the Dukes win a regional title and post a 12-7-2 mark. "Jamie is the defensive leader and the stabilizer to our team," Dukes coach Don Vana said. "Mistakes happen in the game and Jamie is the one person you can count on to eliminate them. She is the most dependable and reliable player on our team."
Gianna Marconi, Downers Grove North
What a fantastic final season it was for this all-stater who will take her scoring skills to Colorado State. "She was a senior captain that led the team both on and off the field," Trojans coach Robert Calder said. "She understood that she would need to score for the team this year and successfully did just that." Marconi not only scored 21 goals but also distributed 18 assists for the 12-7-3 Trojans.
Tracey McCoy, Metea Valley
This Grand Valley State recruit made her fourth season on the varsity, her best one yet, in helping Metea Valley win another regional title, and in shutting out Plainfield North in a sectional semifinal. She brought great size at 5-foot-10 and leadership to the back line, which made the Mustangs difficult to score against all spring.
Michelle Morefield, Benet
Morefield led Benet to an 18-3-3 record, conference title and regional championship with 11 goals and 17 assists. "She runs the offense and has tremendous ability to hold the ball with her back to the goal and she's able to turn on top defenders," Redwings coach Bob Gros said. Morefield was named the ESCC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. She has decided to not play soccer in college.
Lexi Pelafas, Wheaton North
When the Falcons scored this season, this all-state selection was usually involved in some capacity. "Lexi contributed to more than 75 percent of our team's scoring this year, either through an assist or scoring the goal itself," Falcons coach Tim McEvilly said. "Her presence on the field is one that constantly places pressure upon the defense or the opposition, because her ability to create goal-scoring chances can come at any time." Pelafas had 18 goals and 8 assists this season.
Ashley Pogue, Glenbard North
This fourth-year, all-sectional senior had a lot to do with the Panthers' great success these past two seasons. She scored 13 goals and had 12 assists. "She led the forward line with skill, bravery and an ability to bring other players into play," Panthers coach David Stanfield said. "You could tell that other teams feared and respected her as she was often double-teamed and occasionally the target of dubious challenges. When that happened, she would pick herself up and carry on."
Emma Rigby, Waubonsie Valley
At 5-foot-4 Rigby may not look intimidating in goal, but the junior has been as dominant of a force in the net as anyone in the state. When tested, the Iowa recruit and all-stater denied just about anything that came her way; only six goals slipped past her during the regular season. Through the supersectional, she surrendered just a single two-goal game in the sectional semifinals against Naperville North.
Talise Romain, Neuqua Valley
It took awhile for the Wildcats (11-6-3) to get going this season, but once they started clicking they were hard to beat, and Romain was a key to their success, anchoring their back line. After starting 0-4-2, the Wildcats finished the regular season 10-1-1, with Romain and the defense leading the way, shutting out seven opponents. The all-sectional selection will play at the University of Florida.
Alex Ruffer, Glenbard East
The Western Michigan recruit was an all-state selection, scoring 20 goals and dishing 24 assists, while helping the Rams win 16 matches. "She was first-team all-state and the third player from our sectional," Rams coach Kent Overbey said. Ruffer's prominent presence in the midfield also allowed the Rams to remain competitive in the DVC. Ruffer was also a Chicago Fire first-team academic all-state choice.
Meredith Tunney, Naperville Central
Naperville Central coach Ed Watson asked this junior to play a different position this season to help the Redhawks. She not only agreed to the change but also excelled in her new role. "Meredith made a smooth transition from center back to center mid this season," Watson said. "She was an 80-minute player who covered from box to box. Her ability to score from a dead ball was an added bonus for us this season."
Taylor VanThornout, St. Francis
It took awhile for St. Francis to piece things together because of injuries, but VanThornout was the one constant in the lineup, playing in every game and scoring several big goals. The Spartans opened the season with only one goal and four straight losses but closed the regular season on a 10-0-1 clip while dominating the SCC. "Taylor has always made an impact in big games, but this year she took the step of making an impact in every game," Spartans coach Jim Winslow said. "She has matured into a well-rounded player."