2008 Girls Season Preview
By Aaron Brown
Even with the loss
of several of the top players from last season, the rankings have a
similar look to them to start the season on the girls' side. Fenwick might
be the team to beat, but Mother McAuley will look to defend their title
and Stevenson, St Ignatius, Naperville Central, Loyola and a handful of
other teams could also contend for the state crown in 2008. The key will
be finding a way to replace key losses without slipping too much, because
there are several up-and-coming teams who could make a big impact this
season. Here are the top teams based on what we know about them heading
The Top 25
Friars return enough talent to be the top team in the rankings in 2008
despite the loss of four senior starters. Morgan Bonk scored over 100
goals last season, and she should be even harder to stop this year as a
junior. Lisett Calderon and Stephanie Ovalle both added an offensive punch
for Fenwick last season, so they should be expected to provide even more
scoring this year.
Katie Tynan and Emma McKernin also return and
should play a bigger role, while
the Friars also
expect big things from talented goaltender Mariclaire
Bresnahan, who should make a big impact in her first full season in the
net. Fenwick has several other options to fill starting roles or provide
depth off the bench, including Jeannette
Vecchio, Colleen Carey, Krystle Kutak, and Wella Huening.
Mother McAuley could make a strong argument
for the top ranking in 2008, so don't be surprised if they repeat as state
champions this year. They are led by senior Laura Perez, who returns
as one of the top overall players in the state of Illinois. Sophomore Yuriria Chavez should provide a great deal of offense in her second full
season, while senior Lilly Cortez is an excellent shooter who gives the
Macs another solid scoring option. Expect junior Maggie McShane to make a
big impact on both ends of the pool this year, while McAuley will also
Laura Kinahan, Molly O'Connell,
and Patty McNamara to get them back in contention for another title run.
The Patriots return the majority of their
starting lineup from last year's fourth place team, so they should be
right in the thick of things when it comes to the title hunt this year. Rebecca Shopiro
has continued to improve each year, and she provides the versatility and
leadership to lead the Patriots this year as a senior. Rachel Cliburn and Amy Michelau
also return and give Stevenson several offensive options in 2008. They can
also rely on goalie
who is one of the top netminders in the state. The Patriots also boast a
great deal of depth, as Emily Amhaus, Katie Moy, Kelly Lowry and several
other talented players lead a group that could fill starting roles or
provide valuable minutes off the bench for Stevenson.
4. St Ignatius
While the Wolfpack will need to replace the
reliable offensive production of Nora Kennelly, they still have the pieces
in place to make another run at a state title. They have a great
deal of talent, mainly with sophomore Celeste Almarez on the offensive end
and junior Lydia Ridgeway on the defensive end of the pool. They will be
joined by senior
O'Malley, who is an excellent shooter and is expected to provide a lot of
scoring for Ignatius.
Colleen Middleton, Ann Corrin, Karen Juarez, and Alma Juarez
should all make a big impact and emerge as viable options for the Wolfpack
in their senior seasons.
The Redhawks have the ingredients for a run at a state berth in 2008, as
they have a solid mix of talent, speed, and experience as they head into
the new season.
Kara Wilson will be the primary offensive weapon for Central, so expect
her to be in the mix for player of the year honors. The Redhawks
are also expecting
to fill one of the starting spots and play a major role on offense. Senior Sam Shamburek
provides Central with another offensive option and is an excellent shooter
from outside. Sophomore goalie Sam Virella should be even better in her
second full season in the net, while juniors Emily Wooten and Colleen Young
are expected to make a big contribution this year.
Finding a way to replace the experience of five graduating
seniors and the offensive production of Colleen Shaw will be the main goal
for the Ramblers this season. Senior Liz Clarke should provide most of the
offensive production for Loyola, as she is the top returning goal scorer
for the Ramblers. She will be joined by senior
Ann Marie Schweihs,
Liza Elman and Nicole Pinelli,
sophomore Ashley Letrich and several other younger players who will look
to get the Ramblers back to state. Goalie Kathleen
Servatius could replace Grace Arbuckle in the net for Loyola.
The Wildcats have plenty of talent and speed
to challenge for a second straight state berth in 2008. They return speedy
senior Kathleen Patterson, who should provide a great deal of offensive
production and is tough to stop for most defenders. Seniors Chelsea Reczek
and Brittany Jadwin
both return for the Wildcats, and they both are expected to provide an
offensive spark this season.
Nancy Leech may
also have a big impact for Neuqua this season in her senior year. The key
for the Wildcats will be to find a replacement for graduate Kayley Provow,
who started in goal for Neuqua for the last four years.
The Vikings return
the key elements from their state qualifying run last year, so expect them
to make another serious run once again in 2008. They are hard to stop on
the offensive end, as both Andrea Peterson and Story Pumphrey teamed up to
score half of the Vikings' goals in 2007. Kiley Maanum also returns and
could be a bigger offensive option as defenses are focused on shutting
down the rest of the offense. Caitlin Dunn and Kailey Arrivo could play a
bigger role for the Vikings, while senior goaltender Erika Adamonis should
have a solid season in the net.
The Eagles will need to replace the production of several starters from
last year's team, but they have a lot of younger talent that should be
able to help. First of all, returning starters
Jessica Jenkot and Kelly Kuchta give the lineup experience and leadership,
and both players should make a big impact on the offensive end. Lori
Dasher, Kelley Guzzo, and Breanne Higgins are
also expected to make big contributions in 2008, while Alex Bielski, Katie Kenes,
and Pam Dettman may also play valuable minutes for the Eagles.
10. Oak Park
The Huskies will look to junior Audrey Reardon
to lead the way during the 2008 season. She should emerge as one of the
top players this season and make things difficult for opposing defenses.
and Kati Pederson return for Oak Park, who will
count on several other new faces, like junior Jenna Kirk, to give their starting lineup a boost. Vicki Maslowski
replaces her sister Melissa in the net and should continue to give the
Huskies a reliable last line of defense.
11. New Trier
The Trevians return several experienced
players and have a solid group of younger talent, so they should be
expected to rise in the rankings by the end of the season. The talented
trio of Kate Hilbrant,
Mandy Ferguson, and Katherine Bartels will
make things difficult for most defenses, while the Trevians also expect
big things from
and sophomore Maddy Urban. Carly Major returns in goal for New Trier,
while Catherine Katz, Ryanne O'Donnell, and Sarah McCallum all have
varsity experience and give the Trevians plenty of depth. Newcomer
Francesca Palmer was a solid offensive option for Loyola last year, so she
should have an immediate impact for the Trevians this season.
Evanston returns several seniors to a team that has the talent and
experience to break into the Top 10 early on this season. McKenna Kulman
and Rachel Hudgens provide the Wildkits with a great deal of offensive
options, and Evanston will also look to
goalie Anne Frigo to shut down most offenses in 2008. Others that
should make a big impact this season are Lily Nassiri and Maddy Norris, while the Wildkits
will also look to Julia Ticus and Meg Schroeder to provide an offensive spark this year.
The Mustangs have continued to improve over
the last few years and return the majority of their starting lineup in
2008. Alice Denny is one of the top defensive
players in the state, but expect her to add more offense to the Mustangs
attack this year.
Ali Fedro and Kristen Aucutt also return and
could lead the way for the offense, while both
and Michelle Lau will look to contribute as well. Anne Murrow should take over
full time in goal for Mundelein after splitting time in the net last
Griffins lost five seniors to graduation, but they still have enough speed
and talent to contend for a state berth this year. Rachel Japp is the top returning starter for LWE and should make an impact on
both ends of the pool, while Katie Paul is
expected to make a major contribution for the Griffins as well. Laura Cempel, Kara Nowakowski,
Melissa Peyton, and Morgan Roberts also return
in 2008 for Lincoln-Way East.
The Lions had an up-and-down season last year,
but they have the potential to head towards the Top 10 by season's end in
2008. Katherine Delacey
Curran are the top returning players for the Lions in the field,
while Allie Grimes could also make a big impact offensively for LT. Emily Bornhoff
is one of the top returning goaltenders in the state, so she should team
up with defender Meghan Jacobs to shut down most offenses this season.
Caitlin Kaulus and Kasha
Ahern will look to carry the Romans, who will need to replace the
offensive presence of Perla Almarez in order to rise in the rankings by
the end of the season. Sophomore goaltender Chloe Kaulus
has continued to improve and should help Latin a great deal on the
defensive end. The Romans will
also look to freshmen Brittany
Wallace and Jordan Yaakoby to make an immediate impact in the starting
The Warriors return a good portion of their
starting lineup in 2008, so they should be able to use their experience to
contend with the best teams in the state this year. Bailey Gucinski is a
solid defender and a strong outside shooter, so she should continue to
make an impact on both ends of the pool for Waubonsie.
Crittenden, Katie Arnold, and Sam Jacobi also
return for the Warriors, while Megan McWhirter and Allison Szott could
also emerge as solid options for the Waubonsie Valley this season.
The Bulldogs expect to have their best season
in 2008, as they return a lineup filled with depth and experience. Ashley
Rampick could be the go-to-player on the offensive end, while goalie Megan
Reppen provides a solid last line of defense for Richards. Angie Drwal, Lindsay McCool,
and Markie Walztoni are also expected to contribute, while Caitlin Flood and Stephanie Grant provide
the Bulldogs with depth and experience.
Prospect will look to reclaim their spot as
the top team in the Mid-Suburban League after finishing second to
Barrington one year ago. Sarah Sohn,
and Molly Nordyke
combine to give the Knights a variety of scoring options for the upcoming
A trio of sisters will
help lead BG this year, as Katie Schmidly, Becky Schmidly, and Jessie
Schmidly combine to make the Bison a dangerous team. Jessica Lundin also
returns in the net for BG, while Alicia Hanner, Stephanie Gates, Erica
Brask, and Julie Rossberger all return to help make Buffalo Grove one of
the top teams in the Northwest Suburbs.
Stromberg team up to make the Thunderbolts a dangerous opponent in 2008.
Katie Fischer also returns to provide experience, while Andrew could look
to younger talent like sophomore Kelly McDonna and freshman Kelly
Baumgartner to give them a strong starting rotation. Annissa Torres and Toni Badali
both return in goal for the Thunderbolts, while Gina Cavato, Natalie Fisher,
and Kayla Kutinac give the team depth and a strong bench.
Annie Anderson and
return to lead the Spartans, who return four starters to their starting
lineup and should be an even faster team than they were one year ago.
and Tracey Johnson also return for Marian in 2008.
23. Hinsdale Central
Hinsdale Central will look to have their best season in school history, as
Amanda Graveline and Caitlin Connor both look to make an impact for the
Red Devils. Look for junior Brianne O'Doherty to have a breakout season for
Central, while Hannah Quast also returns in 2008.
The Porters return both Maggie Knowles and Rachel Lardner, so they should
continue to climb in the rankings this year. Alex Green, Marie Belair,
Laura Pagels, and Molly Knowles also should make an impact for
25. Naperville North