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  2013 Girls' Season Preview    

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2013


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A handful of girls' teams just missed out on making the Preseason Top 25 but could make their way up the rankings during the 2013 season. Let's take a closer look at five teams that should be considered 'Dark Horses' this season:



The Wildkits went through their share of struggles in 2012 but should be an early candidate to move into the Top 25 after nearly everyone returns for head coach Andy Miner's squad. Yasi Nassiri should have a standout season, while the Wildkits expect to get a ton of production from Aliya Abdelhak and Natasha Chastang on the offensive end. Meanwhile, Karissa McBride, Madison Collins, and Rosselyn Lopez should play valuable minutes for Evanston as they look to make some noise in the Central Suburban League this season. Courtney Gregori could take over the goalkeeping duties from Sarah Seguine-Hall.

Head Coach: Andy Miner

Key Players: Aliya Abdelhak, Karissa McBride, Natasha Chastang, Rosselyn Lopez, Yasi Nassiri

Final 2012 Ranking: 38th


The Knights have a handful of returning starters that could help them build off their 11-9 finish during the 2012 season. Emily Rigopoulos and Kallie Shields will be called upon to provide the offensive firepower for a team that will need to find a way to replace leading scorer Jessica Cavaiani. Amanda Fulk and Katlyn Tomasetti could be major factors offensively as well, while Mary Schiavone leads the way on the defensive end for new head coach Kelli Lussow.

Head Coach: Kelli Lussow

Key Players: Amanda Fulk, Emily Rigopoulos, Kallie Shields, Katlyn Tomasetti, Mary Schiavone

Final 2012 Ranking: 40th


The Saxons have plenty of new faces and a lot of optimism heading into the new season as they look to improve upon their 13-win total in 2012. Ashley Johnson is expected to be the team leader as her playmaking abilies on both ends of the pool could make the Saxons a tough team to beat during Mid-Suburban League play. Meanwhile, Schaumburg should be solid on the defensive end with goalie Jessica Sumsky back in the fold for head coach Beth Donatucci's young team.

Head Coach: Beth Donatucci

Key Players: Ashley Johnson, Jessica Sumsky

Final 2012 Ranking: 37th

29. LANE

The Indians should be back in contention for the Chicago Public League title after returning several starters to a team that lost the conference final in overtime to Whitney Young in 2012. Natalie O'Connell is expected to lead the way on offense, while Carmen Savolainen and Megan Esquivel should also make major scoring contributions to make up for the loss of Cassidy O'Connell and Hannah Viti. The Indians should once again be solid on the defensive end, as junior goaltender Megan Levelle returns to the squad.

Head Coach: Danny Robertson

Key Players: Carmen Savolainen, Megan Esquivel, Megan Levelle, Natalie O'Connell

Final 2012 Ranking: 32nd

30. YORK

The Lady Dukes have a new coach and several returning starters that should help the team improve on a 14-11 record last season. Scoring should not be a problem, as Carly Redmond, Lauren Tamm, and Perri Brinkmeier can help carry the offense. The key for York moving up the rankings will be finding replacements in the starting lineup for the likes of Katie Nelson, Lauralee Johnson and goalie Becca Heisler.

Head Coach: Mark Giuliani

Key Players: Carly Redmond, Lauren Tamm, Perri Brinkmeier

Final 2012 Ranking: 33rd




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