Offensive firepower helps lead way for Hersey girls lacrosse

By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/6/2022 4:32 PM

The wins continue to pile up for the Hersey girls lacrosse team.

Coach Mary Byrne's Huskies were 8-1 overall and 8-0 in Mid-Suburban League action, riding a three-game winning streak at week's start.


Kelsey Neary ranks fourth in the state with 42 assists (having played less games), while Kailey See is 10th in assists with 40. Courtney Clayton had 30 goals in the team's first nine games. Goalie Hailey Livesay had 28 saves in eight games with a .440 save percentage.

"Kelsey leads us in goals, groundballs, caused turnovers and assists and that's not easy to do on a young team," Byrne noted. "Kailee See is a sophomore midfielder having as much success as Kelsey with goals, groundballs and assists. She is sharing the ball with all the girls and that is a recipe we are following. Courtney is our senior captain and a newcomer to lacrosse in her second year. She is lighting up the cage."

Byrne also gave high marks to defenders Abby Von Der Lippe and Jackie Konsewicz. "Abby has given us an outstanding performance as a defensive player managing groundballs, causing turnovers with a ton of speed and determination," she said. "Jackie (senior captain) brings leadership and a passion for stopping all potential stops on our goal, pushing and leading the defense to do well each game."

Of note, Hersey is hosting youth lacrosse day May 9 where there will be a halftime scrimmage with the local Arlington Heights girls lacrosse U14 teams. On May 14, the Huskies host the Hersey frosh-soph invite with six teams. All freshmen and sophomores from either JV or varsity are eligible to play.

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Elk Grove update: The Grens had a six-game winning streak to start the week, which has guaranteed the team a winning record in 2022 with two regular-season games to play. Elk Grove was 6-2 overall and 6-1 in MSL action (lost to Barrington).

Delaney Flynn and Abby Sprenger lead the team in goals, while coach Jessica Stransky has been thrilled with the play of Wiktoria Gladczuk. "Wiktoria has stepped it up the last few games and has also been a key component to our scoring," she said.

St. Viator update: The Lions were 7-3 over their first 10 games, which included an 11-10 nonconference win against Fremd in overtime. Eliza Perry scored the overtime game-winner.

Perry, Annie Kate McAndrews and Aleese Warner are the statistical leaders on the team, while Warner, a ninth-grader, has been a dominant force on defense and in the midfield, coach Addie Dieckmeyer said.


Perry, a senior team captain, leads the team in draw controls. "Eliza has been dominating it on the draw," Dieckmeyer said. "She is also a very valuable player on the offensive side of the field. She understands the 2-man game and is great at placing the ball in the back of the net."

McAndrews, a junior, is the team's leader in goals, caused turnovers and is tied for first in groundballs and third in draw controls. "Annie Kate is a force on the field and can be found in any play," Dieckmeyer said.

Buffalo Grove update: Coach Richard Russell's program is only in its second year of existence, but has made great strides. The Bison was 6-9 overall and 2-5 in MSL action to start the week.

"Despite our newness to the sport, I think we can be firmly considered a team to watch in the coming years," said Russell, whose team has wins against Vernon Hills, Prospect and Plainfield coop this year.

In the Plainfield win, seven players scored with Avery Boeche, Victoria Mscisz and Kayla Cichy each scoring a hat trick. Boeche was the team leader in goals with 32 to start the week, while Valeria Kononchik had 9 assists.

Hoffman Estates update: The Hawks stood at 10-6 overall and 3-3 in Mid-Suburban play to start the week. The Hawks were also on a four-game winning streak.

Coach Eric Gdowski pointed out senior midfielder Julia Hostetler has been on a tear lately, tying the school single-game record for goals with eight against Schaumburg. Sophomore goalie Rachel Wickey "has been great in the net with an overall phenomenal team defense," the coach said.

Senior leadership also has been in abundance. "Our senior leadership has been carrying us here in the second half of the season and we are hitting our stride at the right time at the end of the season for the playoffs."

Prospect update: The Knights won their first MSL game of the year recently against Rolling Meadows where junior Katie Klicker had 4 goals, 3 groundballs, 1 caused turnover and 1 assist.

Campbell Conner had 17 goals in a five-game stretch before being lost for the season due to illness. Ireland Wildhart had 40 groundballs to start the week.

"Ireland has been tearing it up," Knights coach Terra Ringo said. "She has either produced or assisted on every one of our goals in every game. She is our best groundball player and is tough to get around defensively."

Klicker has averaged 2 goals per game in this tail-end of the season. "Katie has stepped up in the absence of some of our best players," Ringo explained. "She has been important to our offensive side of play. We have played most of the season injured or sick. Three of our best players are out for the season due to injury and have been out more than half the season. It has been a tough year for sickness and injuries."

Palatine update: The Pirates (6-8, 4-3 MSL) took first-place Hersey to overtime recently. Coach Oscar Flores was impressed with the play of Frankie Henderson, who had 5 goals against Fremd. Megan Kim had 5 goals in a game against Hoffman Estates.

Speaking of Kim, she was leading the Pirates in scoring with 44 goals. Jane Spencer was next with 37. Henderson was at 31 goals to start the week. "Some of the younger players like Frankie have stepped up with more production as of late," Flores noted. "Frankie is developing into a leader on the field. Fremd managed to shut down our leading scorers and Frankie stepped up to fill in that gap in our losing effort that day. She has been producing more as the season progresses."

Flores noted the team's strong schedule at the front end is paying dividends during the home stretch. "We took a beating during the beginning of the season by design by playing teams that are perennial state-ranking teams such as Lake Forest, Stevenson and Evanston," he said. "All of them helped to make us a better team. I took a gamble last year and brought up seven freshmen, six of which had no lacrosse experience. The gamble is paying off and these girls will be the foundation in the upcoming seasons."

Maine South update: The Hawks were in the midst of a three-game winning streak ahead of a big game against Benet Academy at 7 p.m. Friday. Maine South was 8-3 overall and 3-2 in Central Suburban South play to start the week.

Coach Will Pankratz pointed out the Hawks have three of the Top 7 goal-scorers in the conference in midfielder Maia Chisari (second), Sophia Gianaris (sixth) and Allison Belford (seventh).

Chisari had 47 goals and 15 assists to start the week, while Gianaris had 30 goals. Belford had 20 goals, while Lydia Morrison has 15 goals.

South also has been buoyed by the play of goalie Julia Devaney (.550 save percentage and goals-against average lower than 6). "Julia is playing unbelievable," said Pankratz, who noted Devaney is among the state leaders in saves and save percentage. "She has been playing great in the cage and boasts a great save percentage."

Kaitlyn Goff and Giana Capesius have been starring on defense. "Kaitlyn Goff is a groundball machine," Pankratz said. "She is dominant in transition and on the defensive side of the field, locking down teams No. 1 offensive threats."

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