2011 Girls Season Preview
By Aaron Brown
With the season
officially underway, let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in
the state of Illinois on the girls' side in 2011:
The Top 25
It's been quite
a long time since Lyons lost a game. After going 35-0 last season, they'll
be looking to pick up right back where they left off in 2011 as they claim
the top spot in the preseason rankings. While the Lions did lose four
senior starters, they still return the junior tandem of Kirby Kaptur and
Lizzy Kosin, who combined to score over 150 goals. That is extremely
impressive when you consider that both players are excellent on the
defensive end and were not called upon to carry the bulk of the offense as
sophomores. That should strike fear in most teams as it is, but when you
also add the fact that goalie
Grace Trilla put in a monster performance at the state tournament after
allowing less than three goals per game in the regular season, it leads to
the conclusion that LT is once again the team to beat on the girls' side.
Craig and Katie Calvert will likely see increased roles with the team this
season, while juniors Carrie Nacht and Claire Curran and sophomore Blair
Hopwood may also be called upon to provide valuable minutes for new head
coach Derrick Brace.
The only thing more impressive than H-F's run to a fourth place finish at
state last season is the fact that six of their seven starters return,
including prolific goalscorers
Michelle Mayer and Rebecca Mathews. The Vikings' duo combined for 200
goals when all was said and done, and there's no reason to think can't
produce that type of performance in 2011. Hannah Ongman, the team's third
leading scorer, also returns, while juniors
Anna Tenny and
make up a strong supporting cast that has many believing that the Vikings
could challenge for the state title this year. With all of their offensive
production returning, it should also be noted that H-F is a solid
defensive team that likes to keep the score low in most games. That is in
large part because they boast goalie
Sophie Schloen, who allowed less than five goals per game last season and
whose stellar performance in the state quarterfinal game against Fenwick
helped the team earn a huge upset to knock off the defending state
The Redhawks return a trio of juniors from a team that took the eventual
state champions to overtime in the state tournament semifinals last year.
Abbey Kerth and
Emily Sejna make for a dangerous pair on both the offensive and defensive
ends for head coach Jeff Plackett's squad, and the tandem should take
things to another level in 2011. Julia Campbell
took over the goaltending duties midway through the year, and her
postseason performances included allowing only three goals to H-F in the
third place game victory and only four goals to Mundelein in the state
quarterfinals win. Seniors Claire Wirtz and Lizzy Giuliani should see an
increased role on the offensive end, while senior Robyn Stanley and
sophomore Madison Nervig could fill out the starting lineup for a Redhawks
team looking to challenge for a state title.
4. St Ignatius
lost half of the squad that finished in second place in 2011, but they
return several of the key parts to that team that could get them in
position to challenge for a state title again at the end of the season.
Kate Stelnicki is an excellent all-around player who racked up more than
70 goals last year, and she should see an increased scoring role to make
up for the loss of Celeste Almarez. Stephanie Fernandez has gained a ton
of experience in her first two seasons at the Varsity-level, and the
junior should take the next step with an increased role in the Wolfpack's
offensive plans. A big key for the Wolfpack could be the emergence
Insalaco, who scored 30-plus goals last year in her first season.
Head coach Mike Cashman
could also look to Meghan Murphy and Maura Connors to provide senior
leadership and valuable minutes in their final season.
broke a six-year string of losses to Stevenson at sectionals with a
convincing 15-3 victory over their rivals in 2010 to advance to the state
tournament. They will be looking for more of the same this season, as the
highly talented Alexis Jones returns for her senior season after
leading Mundelein in scoring in the previous campaign. She is joined in
the field by versatile senior Sarah Honda and junior Amy Klink, while head
coach Drew Schneider will may look to seniors Alexis Philbrick and Amanda
Czarnata to play increased roles for the offfense. Meanwhile, the defense
will once again be spearheaded by goalkeeper Emily Tylka, who emerged as
one of the top netminder's in the state of Illinois during her junior
season. She allowed just under four goals per game last season, so look
for more of the same on the defensive end for Mundelein.
The Ramblers remarkable five year
state tournament run came to an end last season in a narrow loss to New
Trier, but they have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their
chances of returning to state in 2011. Head coach Rich Schici's squad has
an abundance of talent and leadership coming from their returning seniors,
which includes field players
Caitlin Sershon, Ellie Ansani, Rachel Nieman
Add in senior goalkeeper Kristina Alexander fresh off her first full year
in the net and it makes for a well-balanced Loyola lineup. If that wasn't
enough, add in Latin transfer Brittany Wallace to an already deep squad
and you have the makings of a team that could be fighting for a state
title by season's end.
It's probably never wise to
overlook Fenwick before the season begins. They did lose their top two
goal-scorers and their starting goalie from the previous season, but when
you take a
closer look, you realize that they return
the majority of their state
qualifying team. Leading the way are seniors Annie Collins and Maggie Carey,
who teamed up to score more than 60 goals in the previous season.
Mary Devereux and
Maureen Barron are highly skilled
juniors that should make a significant impact in 2011. Gena Wendt and Nora
Sweeney give head coach Jack Wagner two experienced seniors to work with,
while freshmen Alexa Ovalle and Cara Borkovec have the talent to make an
immediate impact with the first team. The Friars could also be just as
strong in goal, as Mackenzie Bonk takes over the full-time keeper duties
It seemed rather strange not to have Stevenson playing
in the state tournament last season; after all, they qualified for the
last weekend of the season at their home pool six straight times until
last season. They could be right back at home again if things go according
to plan this season, as the Patriots return a strong senior class that
will be fired up to renew their rivalry with Mundelein in 2011. Cheyenne
Montijo and Karen Lowry lead the way for the Patriots; both players have
an abundance of talent and should be highly productive scorers for head
coach Jeff Wimer's squad. They are joined by Jessica Rozemberg and
Samantha Petti, two fellow seniors who
continued to produce last season as they gained more experience.
Lisa Michalowski came on strong towards the end of the season and should
be even better this year. The Patriots also have plenty of depth, as
juniors like Rachel Lauter and Tori St John could see valuable minutes for
a loaded Stevenson team.
will want to keep things going after their amazing 30-2 season last year.
The bad news is that they will need to replace the production of Erika
Lauraitis (189 goals in 2010). The good news is that they return five
starters and have plenty of depth that could see them right back in the
same position as last year (MSL champions, nearly perfect regular season,
sectional champions). It all starts on the offensive end with senior Megan
Kennedy and junior Sam DelPrado, who combined to register 90 goals last
year. On the defensive end, senior Emily Orlowski is a terrific defender
who can limit an opposition's best weapon. Behind her is junior goalkeeper
Julie Conrath, who allowed less than five goals per game in 32 games.
The rest of the lineup is loaded with skilled players
like Carly Gessert, Haley Shoaf, Sam Matuszewski, Taylor Spoonholtz, and Lauren Zambelli.
10. Mother McAuley
The Mighty Macs
lost six highly productive seniors, including the highly productive Yuri
Chavez, from last year's team that finished 19-9. That shouldn't stop
them from making a strong challenge for the Catholic League title and a
state berth, however, as sophomore Vicky Arciniega,
junior Adrianna Izquierdo, and senior Jackie Knightly combine to make
Mother McAuley a dangerous team to face in 2011.
The Knights came agonizingly close
to qualifying for the state tourney last season, falling to H-F in the
sectional finals at their home pool (7-4). They will look to get back to
that position and beyond this year while also challenging for the
SouthWest Suburban Conference title behind ultra-talented sophomore
Danijela Jackovich, who led the team in scoring in her first high school
season. She will be joined by a strong group of returning players,
including Ashley Knight, Charlene Dundek, Jamie Graf, and Paige Bassi.
Caroline Foglton takes over in goal for the Knights.
The Wildkits return several key components to a
balanced lineup that will look to overtake New Trier in the Central
Suburban League and challenge for a state tournament berth in 2011. Sarah
Thompson is a force on the defensive end with the ability to score when
necessary. The team's top returning scorer, Ellis O'Connor, should have
another highly productive season on the offensive end. They are joined by
Abby Bailey, Claire Simon, Robyn Bastain and Yasi Nassiri, all of whom
played valuable minutes for the Wildkits last season.
13. New Trier
The Trevians lost a handful of
players from last year's state tournament team, but they have strength in
numbers as they look to build on their solid postseason performance from
2011. Senior Anna Horstkotte is the top returning player for the Trevians,
as she tallied 65 total goals during her junior campaign. She'll team up
Katie Flynn and Erika
Nothnagel, two players who produced on the offensive end for head coach
Matt Wendt in somewhat limited roles. He will also look to players with
loads of potential like Claire Saleh, Isabelle Baneux, and Samantha
Medland to contribute on both ends of the pool, while Zaz Saclarides looks
to take over in goal for the Trevians.
boast a trio of juniors that emerged last year that have them optimistic
about their chances in their conference and in hopes of challenging for a
state berth. Tara Capouch leads the way on the offensive end after leading
the team in scoring in 2010. She is joined by teammates Jamie Pappanastos
and Julie Jenkot, two highly productive players with a ton of speed. Their
veteran leader is goalie Korey Flynn, who played her first full season in
goal last year and should provide the leadership the team needs,
especially from her position.
The Dolphins will look to build off
last season's 20-plus win season even though they lost several
productive seniors from last year's second place run in the CPS
Tournament. Susy Zizumbo and Emily
Asai are two of the team's top returning players and will look to lead the
team up against the likes of Lane, Curie, and Northside in the Chicago
Public League in 2011.
ended the season primed to challenge for a Top 10 spot after losing in the
semifinal round of the UIC Sectional. The team was hit hard two unexpected
losses in the offseason, however, as Brittany Wallace (transfer) and
Jordan Yaakoby (relocation) will not return in 2011. That means that the
Romans will rely on Ashley Henderson, an exceptionally talented junior, to
lead the team. The team will also look to Emma Hirschman, Maya Kono, and
Katie Kozik to play valuable minutes as they will have to make due with a
small but determined lineup this year. Meghna Patiath
takes over in goal for the Romans.
have a returning cast that should lead to a much improved team performance
in 2011. Leading scorer Audrey Chien returns to lead the offense, fellow
junior Sofi Prorock should provide a scoring boost after emerging with the
varsity squad last year, while talented sophomore
Taylor Bridgman should have a breakout season after a solid rookie
campaign in 2010.
It all starts on the defensive end for Waubonsie
Valley, as goalie
EB Keeve has
proven to be tough to score on for most opponents. Combine her abilities
with the returning trio of Alex
White, Cara Stack, and Isabelle Langheim
and the Warriors should challenge the rest of the Naperville-area teams,
especially around postseason time.
The Griffins return several players from last
year's team with plenty of experience, so they should be able to make a
strong challenge for the SWSC and sectional titles this season.
Mary Reilly is a strong
offensive performer for East, while she will be joined by Julie Warren,
Brittany Becvar and Zoe McCabe in the starting lineup. Tricia Paul
returns in goal for the Griffins after her first full season in goal for
will look to get things headed in the right direction under
first-year head coach Mac Guy.
The team will
be led by speedy goalscorer Tricia Bannister in 2011. Though the team lost
a handful of experienced players,
returning players like Emma Bollinger, Meghan Gradle,
and Rachel Lehman are back and looking to make a
positive impact from the outset of the season.
several key players from a team that posted a stellar 28-4 record last
season. They should be able to make a strong push for another excellent
showing in 2011 behind returning starters Emma Martinus, Jessie Mroczek,
and Nora Plank. The trio will look to provide the bulk of the scoring for
the Braves. Freshman Hannah Schultz should also make a big impact right
away for Bremen.
Knights return three of their top players from the 2010 season, so the
team should be optimistic about their chances of success in both the MSL
East, where they finished 9-1 last year, and overall (17-8 record).
Leading scorer Meg Dix should create and produce a ton of scoring
opportunities for herself and her teammates, while Lisa Mazur and Tori
Shields both return and are both highly productive scorers themselves.
Jessica Cavaiani should also play an increased role for Prospect in 2011.
The Wildcats lost a good amount of experience but could
be just as good this season with a well-balanced lineup returning in 2011.
Emily Sullivan, and
Leah Malsom look to help Wheeling challenge for another Mid-Suburban
League title after they fell to eventual state qualifiers Fremd 7-4 in the
league's final game.
24. St Viator
return the core of their lineup in 2011, which should make them a tough
team to contend with all season long. Alli Lardner leads the offense,
while Melanie Battaglia,
Megan Shover, Melanie Wood, and Madeline Wimberly also
return for head coach Adam Clementi's experienced squad.
also returns in goal after two solid years of work as the last line of
defense for the Lions.
will look to use a mix of depth and experience in 2011 as they look to
build off last season's 20-9 record. Leah McCarthy could lead the way for
the offense, while Allie Fischer and Kelly Baumgartner also return and
should have solid seasons under head coach Mike Kuziel. Lindsay Tamulonis
adds speed and experience to the starting lineup, while Abigail Wrobel
should provide some offensive firepower to the T-Bolts squad. Freshman
Megan Hoffer could also slot into the starting lineup right away for
Andrew as they look to reclaim the SWSC's Red Division.