Scouting Fox girls soccer

  • Batavia goalkeeper Aubrey Hahn will play next year at Iowa.

    Batavia goalkeeper Aubrey Hahn will play next year at Iowa. Daily Herald file photo

By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/16/2022 8:02 PM

Aubrey Hahn didn't expect to become a goalie, especially such an outstanding one, and when she split duties in net as a freshman at Batavia four years ago, she couldn't have imagined that she wouldn't be back until her senior year.

It's been a while, but Hahn is thrilled to be back and so are the rest of the Bulldogs this spring for their first full season since 2019.


"We have 12 seniors and I've never officially played with any of the girls in my grade," she said. "I played against them at other clubs but not on the same team."

The Bulldogs (7-13, 4-10) are hopeful that they can return to the success they enjoyed during their last full season when they won 17 games and a regional title over Geneva.

"I think in general just by bringing back a lot of returners from last year and a lot of seniors that weren't able to play last year, the arrow is pointing up for us," Bulldogs senior Mia Anzalone said. "Defensively we are looking really great once again."

Having a stalwart keeper like Hahn should certainly provide a great sense of security and peace of mind for the Bulldogs. She made an impression as a freshman and is taller and stronger and smarter and wiser as she continues to learn a relatively new position.

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"I've grown about an inch, but I'm stronger physically, there's a big difference," she said. "I didn't have as much experience when I first got here so I've been able to tune in to the small details. I'm excited with how different I can be."

Becoming a goalkeeper was certainly a surprise.

"We didn't have a goalie in seventh grade and our coach asked if there were any basketball players on the team," Hahn said. "He threw me in the goal and I played well. It came naturally. So toward the end of the season my coach asked if I was trying out for goalie and I said, 'I guess if you want me to."

Now that former novice in net is a University of Iowa commit and as tough and competitive as they come.

"I have two older brothers that wrestled and played football and my younger brother plays everything," she said. "You can't let the girl be the most athletic in the family. We've always been competitive."

Hahn is a talker but also a calming presence in back while her athleticism speaks for itself.

"She's just so athletic that I really cannot stress that enough," Anzalone said. "She's able to fly into the air, I don't know how else to explain it and get up and get it. But what I think really sets her apart is her way of communicating with the defense, which is key. It's awesome having her back here and we're going to depend on her."


Batavia surrendered 49 goals in 20 games last spring. In 2019, with Hahn and Hailey Flannagan sharing time in net, they yielded just 19 in 24 games. That's a 30-goal difference in four less games.

"Last year it took us a long time to reach our full potential," Anzalone said. "With so many games in a short time we had a lot of injuries. We lost to Geneva twice but then were able to beat them in the postseason and that helped us with some confidence. Last year we were very underclassmen-heavy but now we've gained Aubrey and some great offensive players, Ryan Gianfrancesco and Jaden Collins."

With Johanna Shubert (Winona State) and other scoring options up top and Hahn as the last line of defense, the Bulldogs appear ready to challenge in the ultra competitive DuKane Conference.

"While I didn't play last year and some others didn't play we're still all pretty close," Hahn said. "We have a lot of chemistry and we communicate. I think we'll be pretty good."

Fox girls soccer outlook

Top teams: Bartlett, Batavia, Burlington Central, Elgin, Geneva, Kaneland, St. Charles East, St. Charles North

Top players: Mia Anzalone (Batavia, sr., D), Katrina Barthelt (South Elgin, sr., F), Anna Champine (St. Charles East, sr., D), Kara Claussner (St. Charles North, jr., GK), Lilly Coats (Geneva, so., D), Macey DeMoss (Rosary, jr., F), Ava Elders (Burlington Central, jr., MF/F), Sarah Erickson (Elgin, sr., D), Tessa Evans (Bartlett, sr., MF), McKenna Gahagan (St. Charles East, sr., MF), Brigid Gannon (Kaneland, jr., F), Aubrey Hahn (Batavia, sr., GK), Riley Hasegawa (Geneva, jr., MF), Hanna Helzer (Huntley, sr., MF), Katie Jannusch (Cary-Grove, sr., MF), Jinni Jimenez (Larkin, jr., F), Lizzy Kuhn (West Aurora, sr., F), Megan Landon (Crystal Lake South, sr., D), Maia Lesniak (Elgin, sr., D), Yazmin Martinez (St. Charles East, sr., MF), Bella Najera (St. Charles North, jr., MF), Nova Rothlisberger (Huntley, sr., GK), Laney Stark (Bartlett, so., MF), Jordan Vopat (Larkin, sr., F)

Season skinny: Batavia (7-13) should get a big boost from the return of some players who did not play last spring. The Bulldogs have Iowa recruit Aubrey Hahn in goal for her final season, and first since 2019, while seniors Mia Anzalone and Johanna Shubert are back at defense and forward, respectively. "We are looking to build relationships on the pitch throughout the season," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "We have some nice talent that we will work to bring out as the season progresses."

Bartlett (11-3-1) lost striker Serena Salvato, but most of its roster is back, including seniors Tessa Evans (6 goals), Sabrina Fowler (2 goals, 7 assists), junior Brooke Baumann (5 goals, 2 assists) and sophomore Laney Stark (6 goals, 8 assists). "If we can replace Serena's offensive output, I definitely believe we will challenge for the Upstate Eight Conference title again this year," Hawks coach Vince Revak said. "We have only lost three seniors from our team last year and our young rookies now have a year of experience to build upon."

Burlington Central (15-7-1) boasts "amazing team chemistry" according to coach Jess Arneson. "We have a smaller senior class," she said. "But they work hard to keep the team together." Juniors Ava Elders (13 goals, 4 assists) and Eva Boer (3 goals, 7 assists) return for a Rockets team that's hunting for a conference title.

Cary-Grove (11-3) graduated 9 players so there will be opportunities to compete and try to continue last year's success. Avery Nielsen, Katie Jannusch, Kameron Zurzolo (Millikin), Julia Howdeshell (University of Wisconsin-Platteville) and Natalie Warren return.

Crystal Lake South (1-11-1) will look for its off-season work to convert into more success in the win column behind seniors Peyton Dacy, Megan Langdon, Elise Gorman and Bella Farrington.

Elgin (10-5-3) is coming off the first regional title in school history and brings back a majority of the team back this spring. Seniors Sarah Erickson, Maia Lesniak (3 goals, 3 assists last year) and Evelyn Sanchez (3 goals, 4 assists) lead a squad that coach Alicia Knoll said has great chemistry.

Geneva (11-7) returns 18 players including 8 starters. Juniors Rilee Hasegawa, Morgan Rudowicz, Bella Walls and Julie Drew return. The team expects a huge boost later this spring once Lilly Coats returns from injuries. "With a year of experience under their belts, we are looking for our sophomore class to really step up and contribute this year," Vikings coach Megan Owens said. "Our junior class is looking strong and senior leadership will be key to our success this year."

Hampshire (7-8) looks ready to attack with juniors Genevieve Bangert and Francesca Pastorelli and sophomores Isabel Morales and Addy Perez returning. "With so many returning players we are looking to have a strong, competitive season," second-year coach Kelly Madison said. Watch for freshmen Ilse Marquez and Jozie Richert.

Harvest Christian welcomes back seniors Becca D'Alessandro and Abby Semerau. The Lions also are excited about freshmen Hanna Giovenco, Ellie Semerau and Daphne Brown.

Huntley (5-8-2) is beginning to benefit from the program's growth and with a solid core returning the Red Raiders anticipate being competitive. "We're ready to get back to our pre-COVID shutdown success and be back to normal," Huntley coach Matt Lewandowski said. Hanna Helzer returns to the midfield, Grace Helzer and Morgan McCaughn are back at forwards and Adriana Respondi-Trocchio will anchor the defense in front of senior goalkeeper Nova Rothlisberger.

Jacobs (4-9-1) returns several core players and plenty of new talent. "We are excited to compete in the FVC this year," Jacobs coach Colin Brice said. While the losses of Delaney Roimiser and Lexi Anderson to knee injuries will hurt, seniors Anita Lewis, Amber Fink and Ashley Datka, junior Kristin Silenzi and sophomore Delaney Lukowski provide experience and depth. Freshmen Sam Diaz and Gabby Wojtarowicz will look to contribute immediately.

Kaneland (14-5) may be young but the Knights have plenty of talent. Brigid Gannon (22 goals, 8 assists) and Audrey Salamon (13 goals, 7 assists), Katie Kurz (4 goals, 6 assists) and Emily Kunzer (4 goals, 2 assists) are back to lead the way. "This should be a really fun season," Knights coach Scott Parillo said.

Larkin (7-5-3) will be young with 10 underclassmen and 7 returnees, including forwards Jinni Jimenez and Jordan Vopat and sophomore Mia Montesinos. "We have a committed and hardworking group that is focused on consistency and competing at the highest level they can," Royals coach Michael Huizar said. "I am excited to see how far we can go."

Rosary (7-7) will look to mix some talented freshmen with its returnees to have a winning season. Juniors Macey DeMoss (22 goals, 10 assists) and Alex Kackert and senior Alaina Ferraro (10 goals) return.

South Elgin (6-5-2) is optimistic with Bemidji State commit Katrina Barthelt (18 goals), veteran defender Chloe Beuchle and all-everything Ellia Dihel returning, along with former club standout Emily Delamora and up-and-coming talent from freshman Ashley Gonzalez and junior Janelle Defensor joining the squad. "We are looking to turn a few of our ties from last year into wins and generate more offense," Storm coach Laura Snow said.

St. Charles East (22-1-1) graduated a handful of players from a terrific squad so others will need to step up, including a mix of newcomers, including Neuqua Valley transfer Grace Williams. Seniors McKenna Gahagan (18 goals, 12 assists), Anna Champine, Yazmin Martinez, Sofia Iori and Libby Thomas return. "We have a good mix of girls who have a great work ethic," Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo said.

St. Charles North (14-5-2) looks ready for another strong campaign with junior Michigan State commit Bella Najera (19 goals, 9 assists) back to lead the offense with senior Sophie Sutherland (6 goals) and goalkeeper Kara Claussner (9 SHO) and center backs Martina Sava and Abby Vichich ready to shut down opponents. New midfielders Kayla Floys, Juliana Park and Sophie Kirsten are key additions.

St. Edward (1-8) is still young with more than 75% of its roster being underclassmen. "As the youngsters go, so will go the Wave," St. Edward coach Tim Brieger said. "But the future is bright and the team should be looking to make some noise by the end of the season." Seniors Sophia Scheider, Marlee Fanquelli, Delaney Lutzow and Alexis Valencia and sophomore Franki Wojtas return.

Streamwood (8-5-1) is still hunting for a regional title, but will have to do it without Natalia Colin who is now playing professionally. Diana Herrera (7 goals, 14 assists) and Dayanara Huerta (6 goals, 5 assists) return for a Sabres team that possesses great depth with 19 players.

West Aurora (4-9-2) returns 14 players from a season ago, including seniors Lizzy Kuhn (13 goals) and Krystal Diaz (Quincy) who have been varsity athletes since they were freshmen. Center midfielder Bella Vargas (7 goals, 6 assists) also returns while new forwards Olivia Del Toro and Baylee Geni are expected to be key scoring threats.

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