Girls soccer: Defending champ Benet looking strong again
Benet is coming up on the two-year anniversary of its last loss, which happened May 10, 2019.
Their Redwings' winning streak includes the 2019 state title and is now at 14 games after an 11-0 win over Marian Central on Wednesday.
Coach Gerard Oconer's squad only returned four players from that state championship team but hasn't missed a beat with wins over Naperville Central and Metea Valley, and key conference games coming up against Carmel and Joliet Catholic.
Benet's defense has led the way so far, a group anchored by Annastacia Thiel, Brooke Pullen, Nora Hanson and Sadie Sterbenz in front of goalkeeper Shannon Clark who has only allowed 4 goals.
Through Thursday, Benet's leading goal scorer has been Loyola University Chicago commit Jamiee Cibulka with 9 goals and 3 assists, followed by Mariana Pinto (5 goals, 3 assists), Rachel Burns (5 goals, 2 assists), and Anna Casmere (3 goals, 3 assists). Katie Lewellyan (3 assists) has anchored the midfield.
Glenbard West update:
The Hilltoppers started the season 6-2 that includes a 3-0 win over York, their first win over the Dukes since 2009. Glenbard West also has defeated Downers Grove North 1-0 with its only losses in tight games to Lyons and Hinsdale Central.
Brianna Hernandez is the leading scorer, a senior forward committed to playing at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Sam Bleker has 6 shutouts.
The Warriors started the season at 3-2, 2-2 in the West Suburban Gold Conference, outscoring opponents 20-7.
Their most impressive effort might have come in a 2-0 loss to Downers Grove South.
"Our girls played an awesome team game and although we made a few mistakes, it showed them their true capabilities," coach Julio A. Del Real said. "They are continuing to improve as the games go by and our passing has been the biggest improvement from previous years."
Senior Grace Tumilty (Carroll College) leads the team with 10 goals. Junior midfielder Mackenzie Parente has involved many of her teammates with her team playing ability. Del Real said she and junior Rachel Klamecki are the glue that hold the midfield together.
Sophomore Molly Brennan has "made the sacrifice for the team by playing in several positions and has done an outstanding job at all of them," according to her coach while junior Izzy Manning and sophomore Layla Elgamal have been key on defense. Sophomore goalie Maddie Aderholt has made several important stops.
Naperville North update:
Taylor Korosec leads the Huskies with 5 goals through their 4-0-1 start, while Cam DeCook and Emily Dulik each have 3 goals. Naperville North has beat Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley with a hard-fought 1-1 tie vs. Naperville Central.
"Been super impressed with the work-rate both offensively and defensively from this group of talented strikers," coach Steve Goletz said.
Naperville Central update:
The Redhawks (5-1-2) have only lost to undefeated Benet with ties to Warren and Naperville North.
Junior Molly O'Rear (7 goals and 3 assists), sophomore Megan Norkett (3 goals and 7 assists), senior Sullivan Schubel (3 goals and 1 assist), and senior Emma Irle (Loyola University) pace the attack.
Central's back line is led by junior Sophia Skoubis, senior Malia Velker (Purdue University Fort Wayne), junior Sam Sharp and sophomore Ella Burke. Coach Ed Watson said both junior goalkeepers, Abby O'Connor and Trinity Strang, have the ability to play college soccer.
Neuqua Valley update:
Coach Joe Moreau said junior Brooke Miller has been the best player on the field for all seven games his team has played. The Wildcats are 3-5.
Waubonsie Valley update:
The Warriors are 2-1 including a win over rival Neuqua Valley. Audrey Young is the leading scorer with 4 goals. Elena Morton, Brooke Nelson, Isabel Langenkamp, Isra Kahn and Colette Casey have been playing well, according to coach Julie Bergstrom.
Wheaton North update:
The Falcons (5-1-1) lost their first game Tuesday night to Geneva. Their wins include Metea Valley and Batavia.
A pair of senior Division I players, Kaylal Shebar and Julia Simon, lead the way. Shebar (Purdue Fort Wayne) has 13 goals and 8 assists; Simon (Louisville) has 8 goals and 9 assists.
"Outstanding numbers through just 6 games," Falcons coach Tim McEvilly said.
Coach Paul Kohorn reports a "good story" so far for the Lions who outscored their opponents 27-1 in a 4-0 start heading into a key game Friday against Peotone. Kohorn also is looking forward to hosting Herscher on May 14.
Senior captains Tara Kane (8 goals) and Alexis Juveland (6 goals) lead the offense. The defense is in good hands with Cassidy Allen and Gabby Sojka. Lisle has 6 starters and others who played big minutes at the state tournament two years ago, plus some great newcomers, Kohorn said.
Many of Lisle's seniors have been starting since their freshman season when they lost a sectional final to U-High. As sophomores they took fourth in state, and Kohorn expects them to "make some noise at the end" in this year's postseason.
The Dukes are 1-3-1 through their first five games. Eastern Illinois recruit Maya Rebic is one of four seniors making a big impact joined by Maddie Jeffery, Clare Mathews and Danie Stockwell.