Girls soccer: Scouting Lake County

  • Carmel's Erin Johnston, left, who scored the winning goal, celebrates with Alyssa Cepon, right, after the Corsairs won the Class 2A girls soccer championship in Naperville last season.

    Carmel's Erin Johnston, left, who scored the winning goal, celebrates with Alyssa Cepon, right, after the Corsairs won the Class 2A girls soccer championship in Naperville last season. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/19/2016 4:47 PM




Coach: Michael Castronova (fifth year, 56-22-7)

Last season: 18-4-2, lost to Barrington in Class 3A sectional final

Top players lost: Meagan Bens, Kate Fabbrini, Blair Coughenour, Elly Daleske, Lexi Miranda, Carolyn Radecki, Nicole Rasiarmos, Maggie Tuckey, Danielle Ufheil

Top returning players: Madeline Blasko Sr. MF, Devon Kennedy Sr. D, Jasmine Mirabelli Sr. F, Emily Undelhoven Sr. F, Rebecca Kubin Jr. F, Erin Neeson Jr. MF, Kyra Ripoli Jr. D, Siena Robertson Jr. D, Alexa Juarez So. MF

Newcomers: Abigail Mulderink Sr. F, Natalie Paparone Sr. D, Tara Frank Jr. MF, Madison Hart Jr. GK, Emma Wenckowski Jr. D, Kristin Brousseau So. F, Samantha Hartman So. MF, Morgan Long Fr. MF, Mackenzie Parchment Fr. D

Outlook: Lake Zurich had some key losses, especially on defense, but there's some experienced players back. Senior midfielder Madeline Blasko is coming off an all-area campaign (10 goals, 11 assists). "We will be competitive this spring," coach Michael Castronova said. "We're looking forward to many opportunities that we have throughout the season with our nonconference schedule, conference schedule and tourneys. We hope to be playing our best soccer at the end of the season going into the playoffs. We do have a good group of players that gained valuable experience last season and some newcomers that will contribute to the team this spring."

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Coach: Andy Bitta (21st year)

Last season: 12-5, lost to Mundelein in Class 3A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Brittany Bierman, Emily Boyd, Alli Brucato, Lexi Francke, Izzie Griffith, Sarah Hoult, Laura Janousek, Izzy Loffredo, Kaitlyn McKernan, Abbey Peters, Maggie Peterson, Sabbie Ramirez (Illinois Benedictine), Danielle Swift, Alex Yoor

Top returning players: Ellie Daugerdas Sr. MF, Julia Neiweem Sr. D, Danielle Pacholski Sr. MF, Annie Thompson Sr. F, Maddie Olson Jr. F.

Newcomers: Molly Hazen Fr. F, Brynn Miller Fr. D, Savanna Winiecki Fr. F

Other notable players: Bridget Burnetti Sr. D, Mary Graham Sr. MF, Elle Hauser Sr. MF, Jordan Hertzier Sr. GK, Gabrielle Struick Sr. MF, Al Watson Sr. GK, Jackie Widmark Sr. MF, Britt Dahlin Jr. F, Kelsey Gaines Jr. D, Natalie Jaroch Jr. F, Mary Mieszala Jr. MF, Emily Olson Jr. D, Leah Siklund Jr. MF, Taylor Underwood Jr. MF, Alex Hauser So. D, Allison Tong So. D, Morgan Verbeten So. D, Mekenna Yoor So. MF

Outlook: Key players from last year's squad graduated, but Libertyville could be stronger with others ready to fill in across the field. Senior midfielders Ellie Daugerdas and Julia Neiweem are returning all-area players. "This year's team has more speed and should be better offensively," coach Andy Bitta said. "Since coming back (to coaching), I think this is my best group, by far. Very coachable and a great group of girls. I don't know how far we can go in the state tournament. We're going to beat a lot of good teams, and a lot of good teams are going to see us. We'll see what we can do."



Coach: Ernie Billittier (fifth year)

Last season: 8-8-6, lost to Buffalo Grove in Class 3A regional final

Top players lost: Megan Carroll (UW-Lacrosse), Shannon Carroll, Cristy Nambo, Caitlin Newell, Jessica Schultz

Top returning players: Raena Bennett Sr. D, Kelly Grove Sr. MF, Emily Ollendick Jr. MF, Lexi Pawlowski Jr. GK, Molly Mishler So. D

Newcomers: Amanda Bogseth Jr. MF, Myah Strokosch So. F. Nicole Robb Fr. D

Other notable players: Katie Bauer Sr. MF, Quinn Galindo Sr. MF, Emily Hay Sr. F, Alexis Malka Sr. MF, Amy Richards Sr. D, Marissa Rizzo Sr. D, Leah Goldman Jr. F, Rachel Hansen Jr. MF, Stephanie Zeiger Jr. GK, Hadlee Linane So. D, Jackie Tyma So. MF

Outlook: The Mustangs played just .500 soccer last season, but a veteran group has the potential to make this season more successful. "We return a solid group of seniors that need to step up in a new leadership role," coach Ernie Billittier said. "We also have a nice group of young players that will be able to contribute, but need to continue to develop as the season progresses. We still want to compete for a conference title as well as a regional title. Our team is very close this year, and that is a strength. We look to continue to be organized on defense and want to be creative in the final third."


Coach: Kevin Heffernan (third year)

Last season: 10-8-1, lost to Lake Zurich in Class 3A regional final

Top players lost: Rachael Blumenthal, Caroline Dempsey (Washington University), Kyra Kirsch, Kylie Kirsch, Emma Marx, Kya Suzuki (Northwestern), Rachael Takaroff

Top returning players: Courtney Bruckman Sr. D, Mackenzie Connington Sr. MF, Maddie Ding Sr. D, Emma Jaeger Sr. MF, Anna Konopacki Sr. D, Savanna Kruse Sr. F, Tracy Morgan Sr. MF, Taylor Spula Sr. MF, Hannah Petrich Jr. GK, Charity Shaw Jr. D, Jill Steinbrink Jr. F, Rachel Aranyi So. F, Cassie Farber So. D, Rebecca Riekki So. D, Brianna Van Zanten So. F

Newcomers: Daniella Adjunta Sr. MF, Jamie Grant Sr. F, Sabrina Illian Sr. D, Madie Kempf Sr. MF, Jill Morgan Sr. MF. Camryn Cadiz Jr. MF, Zoey Friedman So. GK, Lauren Misek So. D, Hannah Lapeire Fr. MF

Outlook: Stevenson lost seven players to graduation, and senior defender Courtney Bruckman is out for the season with an injury. "We're looking to rebuild and improve throughout the season," coach Keven Heffernan said. "We do have a good mix of returning veterans and talented newcomers."


Coach: Ryan McCabe (fifth year, 45-34-9)

Last season: 12-8-2, lost to Barrington in Class 3A regional final

Top players lost: Liz Carrano (Missouri S&T), Corin Hill, Hannah Sislow, Alexis Strothers (Wayne State), Abby Vrabel (UW-Whitewater), Grace Wiltgen (moved to Texas)

Top returning players: Kaitlyn Chomko Jr. MF, Lindsay Ditmars Jr. D, Natalie McNally (IUPUI) Jr. D, Alliyah Parker (Lipscomb) Jr. F

Newcomers: Sangjun Hornewer Sr. MF, Courtney Chomko Fr. MF, Hannah Rawhoof Fr. D

Other notable players: Haley Brock Sr. D, Jillian Hanzen Sr. MF, Valentina Rodriguez (Illinois-Springfield) Sr. MF, Jessie Dietzen Jr, D, Baylie Mabbett Jr. D, Kayla Malaker Jr. MF, Becca Pineau Jr. D, Skyar Reilly Jr. GK, Ellen Szostak Jr. F, Teagon Albert So. F, Ayusha Ayalur So. F, Jamie Kwon So. D, Teodora Milovanovic So. F

Outlook: There were some significant losses due to graduation, and Valentina Rodriguez is lost for the season because of an ankle injury. But there's still plenty of experienced players. Junior forward Alliyah Partker, who's committed to Lipscomb, is a two-time all-area and all-sectional player who had 16 goals and 8 assists last season. "I have very high expectations for this group," coach Ryan McCabe said. "We're younger than we've been in recent years, but the young players have a significant amount of varsity experience. We have good skill, speed and size. We're hoping to continue the high quality of soccer we were playing at the end of last season."



Coach: Marni Polakow (fifth year, 42-40-8)

Last season: 10-11-2, lost to Grayslake North in Class 2A regional final

Top players lost: Mikayla Abbeduto (Carrol), Haley Capek

Top returning players: Courtney Coleman (Massachusetts-Lowell) Sr. MF, Lauren Slack Sr. MF. Karly Monaco So. D/MF, Monica Wilhelm So. GK

Newcomers: Gabby Michaels Fr. D, Karina Steitz Fr. MF

Other notable players: Kayla Vasquez Sr. D, Gracie Bouker Jr. D, Bre Carly Jr. MF, Rebekah Cartlidge Jr. MF, Tess Furlong Jr. MF, Megan Helgersen Jr. MF, Christina Michaels Jr. D, Danielle Brose So. MF, Morgan Keefer So. MF, Rachel Moore So. MF/F

Outlook: Antioch is still on the young side but boasts experience. Keeper Monica Wilhem posted 7 shutouts in an all-area season as a freshman last year. "We do have lots of returners," coach Marni Polokow said. "I expect us to vie for the conference championship and a regional championship this season."


Coach: Michael Kennedy (11th year, 62-96-17)

Last season: 6-10-2, lost to Cary-Grove in Class 4A regional final

Top players lost: Marissa Allen, Carissa Brown (Trinity International), Leah Nehila (UW-Whitewater), Jenna Pecorini (Cape Fear-North Carolina)

Top returning players: Brett Aichholzer Sr. D, Sara Ramirez Sr. F, Kelli Varney Sr. D, Brianne Barnes Jr. MF, Hazel Moreno Jr. F, Meghan Murray Jr. MF, Sophie Richards Jr. MF, Madelynn Westoff Jr. MF, Savannah Barnes So. MF, Samantha Kaye So. D, Emily Miles Jr. F, Rachel Ramirez So. D, Lexi Werve So. GK

Newcomers: Riley Riggs Sr. D, Brittany Kolle Jr. MF, Stacey Martinez Jr. D, Grace Bujin Fr. MF, Tiara Soeder Fr. MF, Emily Urbina Fr. MF

Outlook: Grant will look for some younger players to fill key roles this season. "There are a lot of new faces and we will look to build on team chemistry throughout the season," coach Michael Kennedy said. "The quicker the younger girls can adjust to the varsity level, the better our team will be. We have a lot of leaders on this team, and I'm looking to see the girls progress throughout the season."


Coach: Kevin Kullby (11th year, 128-90-15)

Last season: 13-5-3, lost to Lake Forest in Class 2A regional final

Top players lost: Nicole D'Ambrose (Vertibo), Kara Jones (Roosevelt), Maya Schmitt (UW-LaCrosse)

Top returning players: Jenna Binkley Sr. D, Nicole Nitti Sr. MF, Bella Pighini Jr. MF, Izzi Quaranta Jr. F, Lindsey Smith Jr. D

Newcomers: Daniella Adams Fr. D, Faith Conway Fr. MF

Other notable players: Kaitlyn Baertsch Jr. F, Hannah Dexheimer D, Lindsey Kumpula Jr. MF, Jaqueline Pettigrew Jr. D, Allison Sikora Jr. F, Elizabeth Tovar Jr. MF, Molly Bakrins So. GK, Alyssa Bombicino So. MF, Rachel Cribb So. D, Payton Landy So, GK, Riley Matchett So. MF, McKenna Maxson So. F, Casey Moczynski So. F, Mikaela Pecorek So. F

Outlook: A young group will play a competitive schedule and should be in every match. "Our strengths will be our defense and goalkeeping," coach Kevin Kullby said. "We've got good speed at the wingback positions along with two strong center backs and an experienced (midfield). The hope is to compete for the division title and be competitive enough to win a regional."


Coach: Josue Jimenez (second year)

Last season: 6-14-1, lost to Cary-Grove in Class 3A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Karyna Barrientos, Brenda Barros, Katerina Berdines, Ivonne Briones, Veronica Chavez (College of Lake County), Yeseli Delgado, Maria Estrada, Stephanie Figueroa (Lakeland), Jackie Hernandez, Ariena Melesio (Clark), Ana Rodrigues

Top returning players: Michelle Hernandez Sr. F, Yurizet Villa Sr. D, Jasmine Cruz Jr. MF, Melanie Rodriguez Jr. F

Newcomers: Alexandra Wawrzyniak Fr. MF

Other notable players: Janet Chavez Sr. D, Jordan Devera Sr. GK, Alondra Landa Sr. F, Eva Ramirez Sr. MF, Daniella Rios Sr. MF, Adriana Ruiz Sr. D, Evelyn Torres Sr. MF, Desteny Vazquez Sr. F, Maddison Creccho Jr. D, Fatima Gomez Jr. D, Michelle Paz Jr. MF, Marijose Ruiz Jr. D, Faviola Gonzalez So. F, Gloria Rico So. D, Selena Vasquez So. D

Outlook: Round Lake may be a younger team this spring but has its sights set on double-digit victories. "We're looking at possessing the ball a lot more," coach Josue Jimenez said. "We want to become more of an offensive team with making better movements off the ball. Our strength will be controlling the midfield."


Coach: Mike McCaulou (first year)

Last season: 13-9-1, lost to Antioch in Class 2A regional semifinals

Top players lost: Amy Andrea (Arkansas State), Monica Bahlmann, Katherine Brettmann, Kristen Guglielmi, Maddie Guillaume (Taylor), Kelly Hull, Nathalie Orozco, Sydney Resnick

Top returning players: Erin VanDermerkt Sr. MF, Becky Bahlmann Jr. F, Samie Biedi Jr. D, Katie Burrows Jr. MF, Emma Pappano Jr. Jr. D

Newcomers: Rena Roos Jr. MF, Lindsey Brettmann So. MF, Frances Ferolos, Cassie Pappano Fr. GK, Alex Ludolph Fr. F, Gabrielle Jezorski Fr. D, Julia Neary Fr. F, Ryan Schofield Fr. D

Other notable players: Maddie Farag Sr. MF, Ally Ripes Jr. MF, Allie Biedi So D, Kerri Han So. F, Aleem Lim So. MF

Outlook: It's a different look for the Cougars, as Mike McCaulou takes over the coaching reigns from Vince DeLuca. "For us to be very disciplined on both sides of the ball, we plan on being very fit and plan to work together as a unit," McCaulou said. "We hope to compete for the NSC championship and make a deep run in the playoffs."


Coach: Beau Shogren (first year)

Last season: 10-7-3, lost to Grayslake Central in Class 2A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Diana Guzik, Jackie Lung, Kayla Mayer, Madeline Maze

Top returning players: Ally Magiera (St. Norbert) Sr. GK, Aimee Berg Jr. D, Erica Miller Jr. M, Natalie Thompson Jr. MF, Kayla Wisniewski So. F

Newcomers: Olivia Kuch Fr. D, Abigail McHugh Fr. MF

Other notable players: Haley Meyer Sr. D, Marissa Miller Sr. D, Brittany Stepanian Sr. MF, Emma Lewandowski Jr. MF, Rachel Denovo So. MF, Kate Flammini So. F, Leah Leoni So. F, Annalyse Maze So. D, Jillian Rejczyk So. D, Gabriella Reyes So. D, Briana Vargas So. F

Outlook: Wauconda has 15 returning players, including sophomore forward Kayla Wisnieski and St. Norbert-bound keeper Ally Magiuera. Wisniewski scored 13 goals last season and was named all-area. The Bulldogs also have a new coach in Beau Shogren, who had coached the younger levels for the last nine years. He replaces Patrick Heckman. "We're looking to be serious contenders for the Prairie division championship and make a run in the state tournament." Shogren said. "Our team is going to be very skilled. They're strong with the ball at their feet. We want them to build on their tenacity going to the goal."



Coach: Bethany Martin (third year, 25-14-1)

Last season: 11-8, lost to Carmel Catholic in Class 2A regional final

Top players lost: Jasmine Acosta, Jenny Biondo, Rachel Effa, Cara Fontana, Kathleen Gomez, Rachel Kocialkowski, Kayley Larson, Morgan Lee, Alondra Naranjo, Lauren Spaulding, Anna Sizelove, Taylor Truskowski, Jackie Warden, Emily Werfel

Top returning players: Quin Garbett Sr. MF/F, Kaitlyn Wilson Sr. MF/F, Ali Hamrick Jr. D, Joslynn Smith Jr. MF/F, Jordyn Gosell So. F, Payton Gosell So. D

Newcomers: Grace Hermann Fr. MF, Katie Pearson Fr. GK

Other notable players: Maeve Connolly Sr. D/MF, Corrine Larson Jr. MF, Stephany Madrid Jr. MF, Hannah Theer Jr. D, Emily Bez So. D, Meaghan Cube So. MF, Iri Gomez Jr. MF

Outlook: The Rams lost numerous players from last spring. "It's a young but hardworking, competitive group," said coach Bethany Martin, the former Bethany Russ. "Everyone will challenge one another to improve and work together as a group. Our strengths are the willingness to learn and compete with one another."


Coach: Adam DeCaluwe (10th year, 79-100-8)

Last season: 19-4-2, lost to St. Viator in Class 2A sectional semifinal

Top players lost: Megan Davis (Bethel), Maggie Fish, Kayla Hartigan, Teegan Johnson, Jocelyn Rodriguez (College of Lake County), Emily Smith, Sammie Villwock (South Dakota)

Top returning players: Ashleigh Hanson (Northern Michigan) Sr. D, Megan McCue Sr. F, Kelly O'Brien Sr. MF, Abbey Rice Sr. GK, Corryn Smith Sr. MF, Morgan Lyon Jr. D, Sydney Paez Jr. MF, Lauren Davis So. F, Rosie O'Malley So. D

Newcomers: Iman Hamilton Jr. MF, McKenna Brooks Fr. F, Katelyn Dameron Fr. D, Emily Dunne Fr. GK, Jordyn Gerdes Fr. F, Lauren Hansen Fr. MF

Other notable players: Rachel Getzinger Sr. MF, Gillian Mueller Sr. D, Cammy Cowperthwaite Jr. MF/F, Tonia Garcia Jr. D, Maddie Wilkinson So. MF

Outlook: The Knights won 19 games last season and return a pair of all-area players in juniors Morgan Lyon and Sydney Paez, as well as Northern Michigan-bound defender Ashleigh Hanson. "We're hoping to compete for our second and what would be our final FVC Fox title." coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "We would like to (successfully) defend our titles at both the Lakes and Johnsburg tournaments. We're coming back this season with some great players with some tremendous experience. We hope to play with high energy and a unified team approach, with a good balance between our defense and our attack."



Coach: Ray Krawzak (first year)

Last season: 21-3-1, won Class 2A state championship

Top players lost: Jenny Doyle, Emma Kobitter, Kayla Handel (Swarthmore), Mandy Lasso, Mary Beth Murphy, Mackenzie Runyan (Rochester), Megan Runyan (Rochester), Mackenzie Sheehan

Top returning players: Lisa Harwardt (Carrol), Erin Johnston (Marquette) Sr. MF/F, Tina O'Block (Carrol) Sr. GK, Angie Salvi (Vermont) Sr. MF, Haley Miller Jr. D

Newcomers: Kathleen Graham So. MF, Riley Harmon So. F, Emma Heinrich So. MF/F, Gianna Sarallo So. MF/F

Other notable players: Cate Halverson Sr. F, Ali Cepon Jr. MF, Eve Churchill Jr. MF/F, Maddie Cusack Jr. D/MF, Annie Hart Jr. D/F, Shanon Murphy Jr. MF, Grace Nolan Jr. D/MF, Abby Potter Jr. MF, Sophia Sarkis So. GK, Lily Sykes So. D

Outlook: Carmel made school history by winning the Class 2A state championship last June. Coach John Halloran stepped away from coaching and has been replaced by Ray Krawzak, who led Carmel's boys to a third-place finish at state last fall. Marquette-bound midfielder Erin Johnston scored the winning goal in the state-title game. The Corsairs have moved up to Class 3A. "(Winning state) will be more than a challenge, but we should be up for it," Krawzak said. "We need the youth to step up and fill the shoes of the many great players we lost at the end of last season."

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