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  2014 Girls' Season Preview    

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2014


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A handful of girls' teams just missed out on making the Preseason Key 25 but could make their way up the rankings during the 2014 season. Let's take a closer look at five teams that should be considered 'Dark Horses' this season:



The Fillies graduated 14 of 17 players from their state tournament roster after posting a 27-win season in 2014. Head coach Mark Markwell will have to find enough young talent to support playmaker Sam Gavars and provide a solid line of defense in front of returning goalkeeper Maddi Burrell if the Fillies hope to once again challenge for the MSL title and another state tournament berth.

Head Coach: Mark Markwell

Key Players: Sam Gavars, Emma Hoffman

Goalkeeper: Maddi Burrell

Final 2013 Ranking: 13th


The Hawks fell just one win short of the CSL title and registered their best record in team history with a 25-6 mark in 2014. They lost a handful of starters from last year's squad, but will still have enough firepower to continue their winning ways with Giles Molloy, Emily Vaughan and Jenna Zitkus all back to lead the team on both ends of the pool. Kalin Bender is also back in goal for Maine South, making head coach Sarah Gershon plenty confident that the team can severely limit opposing offenses. If they can find enough depth, they could shoot up the rankings and once again challenge New Trier for the CSL title and make a deep postseason run.

Head Coach: Sarah Gershon

Key Players: Giles Molloy, Emily Vaughan, Jenna Zitkus

Goalkeeper: Kalin Bender

Final 2013 Ranking: 21st


Libertyville has several major components back to help them improve on a 17-win season; finding the players to build around them will be the key to their success in 2014. Megan Derrig, Sarah Durning and Devika Joshi form a trio of offensive standouts that should have no problem putting goals on the scoreboard beginning this March. The Wildcats lost a large group of starters to graduation, including Julia Ahlgrim, Molly Bruns and goalie Charlotte Jamieson, so head coach Chris Crawford will have to quickly find replacements in the lineup if the team hopes to compete for the NSC title and to go beyond last year's playoff performance, which lasted until the sectional semifinal round.

Head Coach: Chris Crawford

Key Players: Megan Derrig, Sarah Durning, Devika Joshi

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2013 Ranking: 24th


The Wildkits worked their way through a rebuilding year by increasing their win total from 9 to 12 and appear poised to make a dramatic leap up the rankings with a large contingent of returning players back in the fold for second-year head coach Andy Miner. Karissa McBride will be called upon to spark the offense, where she will likely be joined on the scoresheet by Aliya Abdelhak and Courtney Gregori. If the team can get significant contributions from players like Honore Collins and Payton Gibson, their conference title and overall postseason chances should drastically improve. The defense is bolstered by the return of sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Everhart, whose impressive freshman debut in 2013 should give the Wildkits plenty of reason for optimism.

Head Coach: Andy Miner

Key Players: Aliya Abdelhak, Honore Collins, Payton Gibson, Courtney Gregori, Karissa McBride

Goalkeeper: Olivia Everhart

Final 2013 Ranking: 29th


Hinsdale Central has a large contingent of players returning to the fold in 2014 as they look to follow up on last season's 20-win performance. They should boast a balanced offensive attack, as returnees like Molly Gates, Caroline Oakum, Rachel Parks and Clayton Riedl made positive contributions one year ago and should be even more productive this time around. Head coach Chris Wilbur has high hopes that players like S
ophia Glomb, Elyssa Hawkins and Nina Relias can solidify the lineup, while Gracie Dunn is expected to takeover the full-time goaltending duties for the Red Devils.

Head Coach: Chris Ortiz

Key Players: Molly Gates, Sophia Glomb, Elyssa Hawkins, Caroline Oakum, Rachel Parks, Clayton Riedl

Player to Watch: Nina Relias

Goalkeeper: Gracie Dunn

Final 2013 Ranking: 26th




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