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  2013 Girls' Season Preview    

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2013

 

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2013 Girls' Season Preview

 

Fenwick won their second straight title in 2012 by holding off Naperville Central 10-7 in May 2012. They return the bulk of their team, so the Friars expect to wear the crown once again in 2013. However, they face several challenges this time around, with the likes of Mother McAuley, St Ignatius, New Trier, Loyola and Lincoln-Way Central all chomping at the bit to claim the top spot in the state.

 

Let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in the state of Illinois on the girls' side in 2013:

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1. FENWICK

The Friars begin their quest for a third straight title after losing just two starters from last year's brilliant run, in which they won seventeen straight games against Illinois' teams en route to another championship. Alexa Ovalle, Cara Borkovec and Colleen Barron will continue to make things difficult for opposing defenses to figure out who to stop on the offensive end. The Friars have to deal with the loss of goalie Mackenzie Bonk and veteran Maureen Barron, but head coach Jack Wagner will look to Addy Curry, Maggie Sheean and goalie Alexis Buglio to solidify the starting lineup. The Friars will have to get used to having the target on their backs once again, as many of this year's title contenders come from their own conference.

Head Coach: Jack Wagner

Top Players: Alexa Ovalle, Cara Borkovec, Colleen Barron, Haley Wickham, Maggie Sheean, Paige Kohut

Player to Watch: Addy Curry

Goalkeeper: Alexis Buglio

Final 2012 Ranking: 1st


2. MOTHER MCAULEY

The Mighty Macs return nearly their entire starting lineup and then some, easily making them one of Fenwick's toughest challengers this season. Adrianna Izquierdo will be missed, but head coach Vanessa Carroll can count on the experience of seniors Amy Kopale, Kristen Kleist, Meg Golon, goalie Sarah Abbott and Vicky Arciniega in their quest to return to the state tournament for the third straight year. The Macs were also bolstered by the emergence of Clare Bryar as the team's co-leading scorer in 2012 in just her second season, while Fran Williamson and MaryJune O'Connell are a pair of juniors who provide the team with an abundance of options for the upcoming campaign.

Head Coach: Vanessa Carroll

Top Players: Amy Kopale, Clare Bryar, Fran Williamson, Kristen Kleist, Meg Golon, Vicky Arciniega

Player to Watch: MaryJune O'Connell

Goalkeeper: Sarah Abbott

Final 2012 Ranking: 5th


3. ST IGNATIUS

Five starters return for the Wolfpack, so they get right back in the thick of things to challenge their Catholic League rivals for the state title. They will have to make up for the loss of offensive production from Stephanie Fernandez, while the biggest question mark for head coach Mike Cashman is probably finding a goalie to replace Kate Murphy. Still, leading scorer Becky Insalaco returns to spearhead the offense, Tammy Stelnicki has emerged as one of the most talented playmakers in the state, and juniors Maggie Maloney and Rebecca Martinez give the team plenty of scoring options. Sophomore Karen Jaurez should provide an even bigger contribution after starting in her first year with the team, while Nikol Lagodzinska and Olivia Evangelides provide the team with speed and depth. Ignatius also welcomes highly-touted freshmen Diana Fernandez and Jenny Stelnicki to the fold; both could make an immediate impact at some point during the upcoming season.

Head Coach: Mike Cashman

Top Players: Becky Insalaco, Karen Juarez, Maggie Maloney, Rebecca Martinez, Tammy Stelnicki

Player to Watch: Olivia Evangelides

Goalkeeper: Jenny Stelnicki

Final 2012 Ranking: 4th


4. NEW TRIER

The Trevians bring back four starters and plenty of younger talent that produced off the bench last season, so they should be raring and ready to go in hopes of a second-straight state tournament appearance after last year's fourth-place finish. Alexana Astor leads the way for the offense after an 88-goal season, while Hannah Caywood emerged as one of the top goaltenders in the state last year and should make things difficult for opposing offenses. A strong senior class that includes Julia Ulrich, Kelsey Willian, Lindsey Siegel, Liz Joyce and Samantha Padavic should give head coach Matt Wendt a plethora of options on both ends of the pool, while juniors Amelia Girgenti and Kara Lucenti should make the easy transition to the varsity-level to provide the Trevians with a ton of depth. New Trier will be seeking another undefeated conference run and tournament title in the Central Suburban League, with their eye on another intense sectional duel with Loyola lurking when May rolls around.

Head Coach: Matt Wendt

Top Players: Alexana Astor, Julia Ulrich, Kara Lucenti, Kelsey Willian, Lindsey Siegel, Samantha Padavic

Player to Watch: Amelia Girgenti

Goalkeeper: Hannah Caywood

Final 2012 Ranking: 6th


5. LOYOLA


Most of the starting lineup returns for the Ramblers in 2013, so they should be able to build upon last year's 17-win season to challenge their Catholic rivals in conference play and battle New Trier for a sectional title. Marta Considine emerged as a dominant offensive player as a sophomore, so she should pair up with speedy senior Evan Swenson to lead head coach Rich Schici's offensive attack. Meredith O'Brien returns in goal to lead the defense, while Allison Sajnaj, Katie Lynch and Lissy De La Chappelle are among a handful of players looking to help get Loyola back above the 20-win barrier in their quest to return to the state tournament after a brief hiatus.

Head Coach: Rich Schici

Top Players: Allison Sajnaj, Evan Swenson, Katie Lynch, Lissy De La Chappelle, Marta Considine

Goalkeeper: Meredith O'Brien

Final 2012 Ranking: 12th


6. LINCOLN-WAY CENTRAL


Fresh off their first state tournament appearance in 2012, the Knights have their sights on bigger and better things for the upcoming season. Danijela Jackovich scored 150 goals as a junior and should have a monster season to lead the team while wrapping up her high school career. Six starters return for head coach Karen Desruisseaux's squad, including a talented trio of sophomores (Beth Senese, Liz Klock, Michelle Dundek) and experienced senior Meghan McLean. Goalie Caroline Foglton came up big for the Knights in their sectional title run, so she is expected to lock things down on the defensive end of the pool for LWC.

Head Coach: Karen Desruisseaux

Top Players: Beth Senese, Danijela Jackovich, Liz Klock, Meghan McLean, Michelle Dundek

Player to Watch: Delaney Shepard

Goalkeeper: Caroline Foglton

Final 2012 Ranking: 9th


7. NAPERVILLE CENTRAL

It's been easy to write the team preview for Naperville Central over the past several years; just mention Abbey Kerth on the offensive end, Emily Sejna on defense, and Julia Campbell in goal and the rest took care of itself. All three are gone, so the Redhawks will try to rebuild quickly in order to make another run at a state tournament berth. Erin Reagan and Madison Nervig combined to score 75+ goals last season, so the team should have no problem putting things together offensively. Both Kristina Altuve and Michelle Spaits emerged to play valuable minutes as sophomores in 2012, so they will likely be called upon for more production, while senior Jenny Doyle adds experience and a bit of scoring punch to the offense as well. Head coach Jeff Plackett also has high hopes for a strong freshman and sophomore class that could make a quick impact for a team looking to win its' sixth-straight sectional title.

Head Coach: Jeff Plackett

Top Players: Erin Reagan, Jenny Doyle, Kristina Altuve, Madison Nervig, Michelle Spaits

Goalkeeper: Jessica Fox

Final 2012 Ranking: 2nd


8. STEVENSON

Just two starters return from last year's state-qualifying team, so the Patriots will have some work to do if they hope to make another long-distance trip to state. Alex Kanaris and Brittany Gartenberg are the two leading candidates to pick up the scoring slack, while Jenna Oliver and Laura Larsen are experienced seniors who could provide leadership and play valuable minutes for Jeff Wimer's squad. Becky Callen was impressive during her limited opportunities in goal as the backup keeper in 2012, so she should fill in nicely between the pipes during her junior campaign. Ashley Oliver also heads up a class of juniors and sophomores who could make a significant impact in the starting lineup.

Head Coach: Jeff Wimer

Top Players: Alex Kanaris, Ashley Oliver, Brittany Gartenberg, Jenna Oliver, Laura Larsen

Goalkeeper: Becky Callen

Final 2012 Ranking: 7th


9. LYONS

The Lions have some production to make up for after losing long-time starters Kirby Kaptur and Lizzy Kosin, along with scorer Carrie Nacht, to graduation. They do have several options going forward, however, as Blair Hopwood and Carly Strass will look to pick up the slack on the offensive end for LT. Tegan Moore begins her second season as the starting goaltender, while Cynthia Suarez, Meredith Land and Molly McDonnell are among several players vying for starting roles for a team that came up one-goal short of beating the state champions at the York Sectional in a double-overtime thriller last May.

Head Coach: Lauren Burel

Top Players: Blair Hopwood, Carly Strass, Cynthia Suarez, Meredith Land, Molly McDonnell

Goalkeeper: Tegan Moore

Final 2012 Ranking: 3rd


10. SANDBURG

The Eagles will hope that a strength-in-numbers philosophy will prove fruitful in 2013, as they return a large contingent of their lineup and bench from a squad that won 22 games last year. Brittany Kamper and Cara Hays will likely lead the way on the offensive end, while head coach Jane Caliendo will also look to Kaitlin Grotkiewicz, Kaitlyn Randich, and Maggie Foley to make significant contributions. The Eagles could also get a boost from sophomore Sarah Dolitsky, who led the Frosh/Soph team in scoring last year. Alona King made a strong impression in her first year as the starting goaltender last season, so she should continue to be the backbone for an always-tough Sandburg defense that will once again look to stifle both H-F and Lincoln-Way Central in the SouthWest Suburban Blue conference.

Head Coach: Jane Caliendo

Top Players: Brittany Kamper, Cara Hays, Kaitlin Grotkiewicz, Kaitlyn Randich, Sarah Dolitsky

Goalkeeper: Alona King

Final 2012 Ranking: 11th


11. MUNDELEIN

Karrie Kozokar spent the first two years of her high school career as one of the main offensive options for the Mustangs, so head coach Drew Schneider will expect her to lead the way once again during her junior campaign. She is complimented on the offensive end by Allison Boothe and Michelle Barron, while
Courtney Perreault, Hannah Davidson, and Kasia Wienckowski round out a formidable lineup for a team hoping to break into the Top 10 early in the season. Anna Ward took over the full-time duties in goal early in the 2012 season, so her experience could prove vital to a normally stingy defense.

Head Coach: Drew Schneider

Top Players: Allison Boothe, Hannah Davidson, Karrie Kozokar, Kasia Wienckowski, Michelle Barron

Player to Watch: Courtney Perreault

Goalkeeper: Anna Ward

Final 2012 Ranking: 19th


12. BARRINGTON

The Fillies quietly amassed 24 wins last season before bowing out of the playoffs in the sectional finals to Fremd. With nearly everyone returning to the fold in 2013, there is plenty of reason for optimism amongst the Barrington camp as they look to return to state for the first time since 2007. The offense is loaded with playmakers, as head coach Mark Markwell can call on seniors Catherine Byron, Grace Buenrostro, Lisa Danhauer, Kayla Widdowson and Kelly Meckert to provide the bulk of the scoring. Meanwhile, junior Sam Gavars emerged as a major scoring threat in just her second season for the Fillies well-balanced offense during the last campaign, rounding out an attack that makes the MSL West's second-place finishers a tough team to defend. One of the biggest keys to the Fillies' success will depend on finding a replacement for goalkeeper Brooke Fanslow, who graduated last season along with backup keeper Erin Moston.

Head Coach: Mark Markwell

Top Players: Catherine Byron, Grace Buenrostro, Kayla Widdowson, Lisa Danhauer, Sam Gavars  

Goalkeeper: Maddi Burrell

Final 2012 Ranking: 15th


13. HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR

The Vikings will be hoping to sort things out offensively early in the season to make up for the loss of prolific goalscorer Rebecca Mathews; they do have plenty of returning options available to try and pick up the slack. Head coach Pat Duignan received offensive contributions from a variety of players last season, including Annie Schloen, Claire Duncan, Lauren Roby, and Maddy Morris, so he will be hoping that a balanced attack can get them back in contention for a run at a state tournament berth after they lost a heartbreaker to Lincoln-Way Central in last year's sectional final game. The good news is that goalkeeper Anna Shirer returns, which should allow the Vikings' defense to keep them in games just like in previous seasons.

Head Coach: Pat Duignan

Top Players: Annie Schloen, Claire Duncan, Lauren Roby, Maddy Morris

Goalkeeper: Anna Shirer

Final 2012 Ranking: 10th


14. LINCOLN-WAY NORTH

If the Phoenix can continue to build off a season where they racked up a handful of big wins and amassed a 23-6 record, they could be knocking on the door of their first-ever state tournament appearance. Most of the main pieces are back for head coach Kendra Will, including veteran scorers Cheyenne DeGraff and Sam Klosak. Also back in the mix for North are Katie Ripp and Niki Beringer, which gives the Phoenix plenty of options on both ends of the pool as they look to repeat as SouthWest Suburban Red division champions. Senior goaltender Kelly Pender will continue to lead the team on the defensive end.

Head Coach: Kendra Will

Top Players: Cheyenne DeGraff, Katie Ripp, Niki Beringer, Sam Klosak

Goalkeeper: Kelly Pender

Final 2012 Ranking: 18th


15. NAPERVILLE NORTH

Things were going quite swimmingly for the Huskies last year after a 21-win regular season before their dreams of a sectional title were dashed by Metea Valley in the sectional semifinal round. They will hope to get things back on track early on with the senior duo of Taylor Bridgman and Kim Lechowicz leading the way for Andy McWhirter's squad. The emergence of Jillian Eiken during her freshman campaign should give opposing defenses plenty to worry about, while the Huskies will be looking for similar contributions from some younger players after losing a handful of starters to graduation. Another major reason for optimism is the return of Kate MacDuff in goal, as she proved to be a highly capable shot-stopper in her first season as a starter.

Head Coach: Andy McWhirter

Top Players: Jillian Eiken, Kim Lechowicz, Taylor Bridgman

Goalkeeper: Kate MacDuff

Final 2012 Ranking: 14th


16. BREMEN

Bremen has been knocking on the door of the state tournament for the past few seasons, coming up one win short in 2011 and losing a close game to Sandburg in last year's sectional semifinal round. This could be the year they earn their first trip to the promised land, as Hannah Schultz has posted two excellent offensive seasons as an underclassman and should be ready to lead the way for a Red Dragons' team that won 20 games in 2012. Hannah Egan, Jacky Zuniga and Sarah Minnich will all look to make even bigger contributions after playing valuable minutes last year, while junior goaltender Melissa Barrios took over in goal midway through the previous season and should benefit from that experience with a full season ahead of her.

Head Coach: Sue O'Sullivan

Top Players: Hannah Schultz, Hannah Egan, Jacky Zuniga, Sarah Minnich

Goalkeeper: Melissa Barrios

Final 2012 Ranking: 17th


17. MAINE SOUTH

The Hawks came on strong during their 2012 postseason run, finishing second in the Central Suburban League Tournament before nearly upsetting second-seeded Loyola in a thrilling sectional semifinal game. With most of the lineup in tact for the upcoming season, second-year head coach Sarah Gershon has plenty of reason for optimism for her team's chances to once again make some noise when the playoffs roll around. Tyler Gooding emerged as the team's primary goalscorer last season and should continue to lead the way for the offense. Meanwhile, Bridget Totsch, Iza Matczuk, and Jenna Zitkus are among several returning players who could make a definitive impact for the Hawks' scoring attack in 2013. Anna Graziano could see time in goal as the Hawks need to replace all-CSL goalie April Simpson, but she could also contribute in the field after spending most of her time there last season.

Head Coach: Sarah Gershon

Top Players: Anna Graziano, Bridget Totsch, Iza Matczuk, Jenna Zitkus, Tyler Gooding

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2012 Ranking: 24th


18. FREMD

Things could go one of two ways for the Vikings in 2013 after losing all but one starter from last year's state qualifying team. Fremd could struggle to come close to their 27-win performance or the returning players that have been waiting in the wings could step in immediately to continue the team's winning ways. Sam DiCanio should have a big year in central defense after earning a starting role as a sophomore. Bre Anderson is the top returning goalscorer with 20 goals to her tally last season, so she will likely be asked to use her speed to play a vital role for head coach Ray Roth. The rest of the lineup could be filled by the likes of KC Hutmacher, Leni Langas, Mandy Borre, Tori Boldt and a cast of underclassmen that will need to step up in order to keep Fremd at the top of the Mid-Suburban League.

Head Coach: Ray Roth

Top Players: Bre Anderson, KC Hutmacher, Leni Langas, Mandy Borre, Tori Boldt

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2012 Ranking: 8th


19. MAINE EAST

Maine East more than doubled their 2011 win total last season behind Maria Protic and Medina Husejnovic, a pair of juniors that had stellar sophomore campaigns and emerged as a solid scoring tandem. The Blue Demons finished the season with an impressive 21-7 record, so With Eliza Mazgaj and Sandra Kietlinska also returning to the starting lineup, head coach Mehul Amin will be looking for his squad to make some noise in the Central Suburban League title race after they posted a 6-1 conference record last year. Isabelle Trier returns in goal to shore up the defense, while Neveen Habeeb should also play a major role in the lineup for a team that only lost two starters to graduation.

Head Coach: Mehul Amin

Top Players: Eliza Mazgaj, Maria Protic, Medina Husejnovic, Neveen Habeeb, Sandra Kietlinska

Goalkeeper: Isabelle Trier

Final 2012 Ranking: 31st


20. WHEELING

The Wildcats return five starters from a team that fell one game and a few goals short of their first state tournament berth in 2012. While Bob Savitt's team will have to make up for the loss of Leah Malsom and Heather Murphy, there are plenty of options left for Wheeling to make another deep postseason run. Shannon Richards and Theresa Godlewski should provide plenty of scoring for last year's Mid-Suburban League East champs, while Kat Dobrowski and Samantha Modzyznski also return to make the Wildcats' attack tough to defend. Keara Myatt returns in goal to lead a defense that helped limit opposing defenses en route to a 20-win season and postseason victories over both Mundelein and Vernon Hills.

Head Coach: Bob Savitt

Top Players: Kat Dobrowski, Samantha Modzyznski, Shannon Richards, Theresa Godlewski

Goalkeeper: Keara Myatt

Final 2012 Ranking: 16th


21. ANDREW

The T-Bolts head into the 2013 season looking to build on their 15-win performance and should have the right mix of veteran leadership and youthful energy to do it. Megan Hofer will look to have another big season offensively, while senior Rachel Fus should provide plenty of experience and firepower for head coach Mike Kuziel's attack. The emergence of Annamarie Lettiere during the previous campaign should pay big dividends in her second season at the Varsity level, while the team will also hope that Genny McCarthy can do the same by stepping up from the JV level to provide additional scoring punch for the offense. Anna Tamulonis steps into the goalie position after taking over the reins from long-time starter Jordan Bartolini, while a cast of younger players that includes Alison Sifuentes, Courtney Carter, and Eleanor Peach should give the T-Bolts plenty of depth to help out over the course of a long season.


Head Coach: Mike Kuziel

Top Players: Annamarie Lettiere, Courtney Carter, Genna McCarthy, Megan Hofer, Rachel Fus

Goalkeeper: Anna Tamulonis

Final 2012 Ranking: 26th


22. NEUQUA VALLEY

The Wildcats hope to regroup after an up-and-down season finished with a sectional semifinal loss to Naperville Central in 2012. The team returns a large contingent of players who should get things back on track for head coach Lucy Tiffin in her second season on the sidelines. Brooke Bedford and Emma Bollinger will likely lead the way on the offensive end, while the Wildcats will also look for big contributions from veterans Ann-Kathrin Becker, Devon Olson and Kaitlyn Gorski. A major key for Neuqua's defense will be finding a goaltender to replace Jess Marone.

Head Coach: Lucy Tiffin

Top Players: Ann-Kathrin Becker, Brooke Bedford, Devon Olson, Emma Bollinger, Kaitlyn Gorski

Goalkeeper: Sydney Gathe

Final 2012 Ranking: 23rd


23. OAK PARK

The Huskies have been steadily building up their squad over the past few seasons and could finally turn the corner for what should be a much-improved 2013 campaign. Katie Appell emerged as a playmaker for the Huskies and should provide a bulk of the scoring for the OPRF offense. She is joined by a large cast of returning players that includes the veteran leadership of seniors Hannah Legatzke, Kjerstin Anderson and Samantha Robbins to go along with junior Elizabeth Williams. There's even more good news for head coach Beth Perez, as Zoe Erickson returns in goal to give a boost to the Huskies' defense.

Head Coach: Beth Perez

Top Players: Elizabeth Williams, Hannah Legatzke, Katie Appell, Kjerstin Anderson, Samantha Robbins

Goalkeeper: Zoe Erickson

Final 2012 Ranking: 36th


24. METEA VALLEY

The Mustangs will look to quickly rebuild after their senior-led squad pulled off a major upset over Naperville North in last year's sectional semifinals and finished a 20-win season ranked thirteenth. They will have to make up for the loss of prominent seniors Lizzy Hollopeter and Maria Palladino, but head coach Len DePasquale will likely call on Lindsay Raczak, Monique Martin, and Zoe Krey to make a strong impact throughout the upcoming season. All told, don't be surprised to see the Mustangs once again develop into a dangerous team when the postseason rolls around in May.

Head Coach: Len DePasquale

Top Players: Lindsay Raczak, Monique Martin, Zoe Krey

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2012 Ranking: 13th


25. LIBERTYVILLE

The Wildcats boasted a solid 16-win season last year before their sectional title hopes were dashed by Buffalo Grove in an overtime thriller last May. They will be looking to quickly pick up the pieces and move forward during the upcoming campaign, as senior Molly Bruns and junior Devika Joshi both return to spearhead the team's offensive attack after posting solid goalscoring records last year.
Emily Poliarny is one of a handful of players that head coach Chris Crawford will hope can make up for the loss of several productive seniors to graduation. Meanwhile, the team should be solid in defense after senior goalie Charlotte Jamieson earned her stripes after emerging as the top goaltending option for the North Suburban Conference squad early on last year.

Head Coach: Chris Crawford

Top Players: Devika Joshi, Emily Poliarny, Molly Bruns

Goalkeeper: Charlotte Jamieson

Final 2012 Ranking: 21st


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