Scouting DuPage County girls soccer
Area girls soccer teams were looking up at the two schools from St. Charles in the DuKane Conference last year and East and North have high expectations again this season. So Glenbard North, Lake Park, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South have a big challenge ahead.
The Tigers (13-7, 10-4) lost three all-conference seniors from a strong season, so returning forwards Lauren Barnett, Kate Hartnett and Mia Taullahue and defenders Ellie Farrel, Mallory Cardigan and Olivia Vassios have big responsibilities. "Excitement reigns high while predictions may be difficult early on," Tigers coach Guy Callipari said. "The possibilities are wide open if we entertain the ideas of working hard on both sides of the ball."
The Falcons (8-8-2, 5-7-2) lost a good chunk of offense but are excited to have Olivia Moreno, Claudia Kim and Macy Hutchinson returning on that end, while welcoming some talented newcomers. Defensively, sophomore Zoey Bohmer is back in net while Abby Gosling, Anna Roe and Sophia Fadel return to the defensive unit. "We hope to give ourselves a chance to be competitive in conference again this spring, with the knowledge that if you can compete in the DuKane, you can compete with any team in the state," coach Tim McEvilly said.
Lake Park (1-13-4, 1-11-2) and Glenbard North (0-17-1, 0-12-1) will look to build off the adversity of tough seasons last year. The Lancers return five starters, including senior Isabelle Witt. They will still be young with junior Peyton Olinski and Brynn Ellenbecker among the new players looking to make a difference. The Panthers have seen a rise in participation numbers and their newcomers will team up with seniors Nichole Wagner, Viviana Melki, Fatima Ali-Razvi, Alyssa Sethna, Fatima Perez-Granados, Lexi Stone and Payton Crawford.
Naperville Central (13-2-4, 7-0-3) retains DuPage Valley Conference bragging rights although it was runner-up Naperville North that ended the Redhawks season last spring. With a backline featuring three seniors (Sophia Skoubis, Sam Sharp, Sarah McCracken) two of whom (Skoubis at Missouri and McCracken at North Dakota) will be playing D-I in the fall, as well as juniors Ella Burke and Sam Sharp, who are destined to play at that level too, along with senior Carnegie Mellon recruit Abby O'Connor in goal, the Redhawks don't expect to give up much of anything this spring. Plus, with Valparaiso signee Molly O'Rear (18 goals, 6 assists) and Northwestern verbal commit Megan Norkett (10 goals, 17 assists) returning, the Redhawks will be hard to stop on the other end.
Their crosstown foe Huskies return nine starters from a sectional championship team. Seniors Madison Korosec and Cameron Dinkla will look to dominate in the midfield, forwards Cameron DeCook (8 goals, 6 assists) and Taylor Korosec (18 goals, 5 assists) lead a strong attack while Lucy Iverson (Calvin College) is back to lead the backline in front of senior goalkeeper and SIU-Edwardsville commit Abby Haskell (10 shutouts, 0.384 GA).
Metea Valley (12-8-1, 6-4) also is fortunate to return most of its team with 10 starters back in the mix, including its scoring leaders, Tyra King (15 goals, 7 assists) and Jordan Lange (10 goals, 13 assists). "Last year we needed to make a lot of adjustments throughout the season after a slow start," Mustangs coach Chris Whaley said. "We were a tough team to beat once we got organized and developed some of our younger players." Senior Addison Wargo (Northern Michigan) and juniors Alyssa Parrilli and Kaylee Bannack return in back for senior goalkeeper Julia Straub.
Waubonsie Valley coach Julie Bergstrom begins her 24th year with the Warriors (5-8, 4-7). "We are always looking to be better today than we were yesterday," she said. Seniors Isra Khan (Dickinson College), Brooke Nelson (North Central), Isabel Langenkamp and Olivia Abegg all return.
Neuqua Valley doesn't return as much as its local DVC counterparts, but with Northwestern recruit Brooke Miller returning along with fellow seniors Maya Stone (Carthage) and Kassie Salviola, the Wildcats (8-10-1, 3-6-1) will aim to get to the other side of .500.
St. Francis (13-1, 10-0) needed a perfect Metro Suburban season to edge Wheaton Academy (19-5, 9-1) for the title. The Spartans are young behind seniors Lauren Bruce (14 goals, 4 assists), Claire Renke (5 goals) as well as sophomores Paige Chrustowski (13 goals, 9 assists) and Sophia Rozkowski (3 goals, 6 assists) who have proven to be impact players already. Watch for Ellie Bielinda, Ella Wainscott and transfer Adriana Sariano. "If our kids can contribute early we should be a solid side," Spartans coach Jim Winslow said.
Wheaton Academy has features an almost completely new backline, but with senior goalkeeper Sara Swobody (14 SHO), the Warriors should be in good shape. Senior Emily Setran (9 goals, 13 assists) and Eva DeSouza (8 goals, 5 assists) can score and Grace Platt and Anna Africa are hungry and healthy after battling injuries. Watch for a strong sophomore class to make an impact.
Timothy Christian (17-3, 8-2), the Class 1A state runner-up, lost two huge contributors but still has a lot of experienced talent returning, including goalkeeper Corinne Myket (9 SHO, 0.427 GAA), Maddie Drye (20 goals), Angie Tornabene (10 goals, 10 assists), Mili Martens (10 goals, 7 assists) and Hope Huizenga (7 goals, 5 assists). The Trojans will build around their defense and use more depth than prior seasons.
IC Catholic Prep (6-8-1, 4-3) is looking forward to its first full season since going 15-8 in 2019. The Lady Knights return 9 starters, including seniors Claire Wagner and Maggie O'Brien, junior Ashley Zwolinski and sophomore Avery Berschel.
In the West Suburban Silver, Downers Grove North (10-5, 8-4) returns 6 starters, including seniors Kendall Hennelly (8 goals, 3 assists), Ryan Wendt and junior Ellie Watts, and has a lot of depth overall. Senior Rachel Wilson is back to patrol the backline which will be huge since the Trojans must fill Blythe Braun's shoes in goal. Lily Johnson will be called to duty or serving on the front line with the aforementioned others including up-and-coming sophomore Kaitlyn Parker.
Glenbard West (11-6, 6-4) returns a host of starters and a lot of depth from a sectional-qualifier. "Tremendous senior leadership and varsity experience at all three positional groups," Hilltoppers coach Adam Szyszko said. Loyola-Chicago commit Emmie Roberts (8 goals, 12 assists), Clare Kostolansky (6 goals, 7 assists), Kendall Walch (7 goals, 4 assists) and defenders Elise Pollock and Jennifer Fox among top returnees.
York (3-11-1, 2-10) welcomes back 11 players. "We have a good mixture of experienced and new players," Dukes coach Stevan Dobric said. "All the girls are looking forward to a fun, competitive season." Senior Kathleen Buhrfiend returns from one-year hiatus while Olivia Greco, Allison Sheehan, Michaela Quinn and Ava Hansmann (9 goals, 8 assists combined) return from last spring.
Hinsdale Central (9-4, 7-4) has a solid mix of strong returnees and promising newcomers. Hanna Florence (6 goals, 3 assists), Maggie Sanders (3 goals) and defenders Claire Kumskis and Sidney Turnbull are among its senior class.
In West Suburban Gold action, Downers Grove South (15-1, 12-0) remains unbeaten since May 6, 2019. The Mustangs will remain tough to beat with Mallory Qualizza (10 goals, 10 assists), Marley Davis (14 goals, 10 assists) and Emily Petrine (24 goals, 8 assists) returning as captains. Hannah Fedinec and Brooke Patton return after splitting goalkeeping duties last spring. Krystal Flores (2 goals, 6 assists) and defenders Grace Rappel and Teyani Sharkey return as well while a crop of talented newcomers has arrived.
Willowbrook (11-4, 5-1) is coming off a fantastic season where the Warriors scored 63 goals in 15 games. Can they do it again? "It would seem difficult to repeat or better last year's performance," Warriors coach Julio Del Real said. "However, this year's team has a lot of experience and seems ready to accept the challenge." Erin Fitzgibbon (10 goals, 8 assists), Molly Brennan (7 goals, 6 assists) and Brooke Vandergrift (4 goals, 4 assists) return among their top scorers, while goalkeeper Maddie Aderholt and defenders Rachael Klamecki and Izzy Manning are back as well.
Addison Trail (3-10, 3-9) and Hinsdale South (6-9, 6-6) will look to use last year's shortened seasons as building blocks toward climbing upward in conference play.
Glenbard East (11-3-2, 6-1-2) welcomes back 9 starters in the Upstate Eight, including 5 who have been starting ever since they became Rams. They also have their top 7 scorers returning. "Our ability to stretch the field and score goals should be a strength," Rams coach Kent Overbey said. "Defense will be young, but talented." Senior goalkeeper Zoe Romano (10 SHO last year, 16 for career) provides a superb last line of defense.
West Chicago (2-7-5, 2-4-2) is young with just 3 seniors and 18 of its players are new to the team. The Wildcats are strongest in the midfield with Natalie Fernandez, Daisy Garcia and Melissa Pani and senior Isablle Lopez anchoring the backline.
Glenbard South (5-10-1, 2-6-1) should see some more success this spring. Goalkeeper Sofia Alcala, midfielders Madeline Sebahar and Emma Seaman and defender Abigail Bergmann return.
Fenton (3-11, 0-9) continues to rebuild with many new faces. Mariel Lara, Deyrizith Sandoval, Maja Gakovic and goalkeeper Jocelyn Bello all return.
Benet (18-1, 7-0) returns 9 starters and 16 players from the first Redwings team to go undefeated in the regular season. Benet will be led up front by Mariana Pinto (12 goals, 10 assists), Katie Lewellyan (4 goals, 7 assists) will patrol the midfield and Annastacia Thiel will anchor a solid back line that had a 0.47 GAA with goalkeeper Shannon Clark. Juniors Anna Casmere (8 goals, 7 assists) and Rachel Burns (9 goals, 6 assists) also return for a team that expects to make a state championship run at Class 2A.
Montini (8-5-1, 5-4-1) returns much of its core while adding some talented freshmen. "We will be much more technical this year and have added a lot of depth that we did not have last year," Broncos coach Kate Perry said. Sawyer White (8 goals, 6 assists), Maren Hoovel (20 goals), Jillian Parrilli and Riley White are among Montini's top returnees.
And last, but definitely not least, there's coach Paul Kohorn and Lisle (16-2, 14-0). It's year No. 32 as a high school soccer coach for Kohorn and his last. It should be a fun one. "Although we lost an incredible senior group, we have a very strong core group coming back this season," he said. "Our issue will be roster size." Lisle only has 15 players so staying healthy will be crucial. Defender Caitlyn Sojka (8 assists), Carolyn Romo, Erin Hammer, McKenna Kane, Jacklyn Roper and Kiley Ebert return while 5 freshmen are blessed to play for a legend during his swan song.