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  2014 Girls' Season Preview    

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2014


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There are several teams on the rise and others who lost a ton of production to graduation but could reload quickly in order to make an impact during the 2014 season. Let's take a closer look at ten teams considered 'Sleepers' this season:



The Spartans surged at the right time during the 2013 season, winning key conference and sectional round games to finish with a 14-9 mark. They should be able to improve on that resume, as goalie Kerry Goodspeed is back to make opposing offenses miserable with her shot-blocking ability. On the other end, look for Patricia Doolan, Lindsay Fraser and Melaney van Spankeren to give head coach Robin Walker plenty of options as the team looks to make noise in the CSL and survive beyond the sectional semifinal round, where their season ended last May.

Head Coach: Robin Walker

Key Players: Patricia Doolan, Lindsay Fraser, Melaney van Spankeren

Goalkeeper: Kerry Goodspeed

Final 2013 Ranking: 30th


Glenbrook South has the majority of their lineup back in place for new head coach Mike Stancik, so the team could be primed to rise into the Top 25 with a few early season wins. Rema Abu Hashim and
Margaret Schneider made huge contributions offensively in 2013 and will look to do the same during this campaign. Meanwhile, Dana Grad, Anna Hofmockel and Sinead Heneghan each return to solidify the starting lineup. Samantha Wykurz also returns for another season as the Titans' netminder to give the defense a boost.

Head Coach: Mike Stancik

Key Players: Dana Grad, Rema Abu Hashim, Sinead Heneghan, Anna Hofmockel, Margaret Schneider

Goalkeeper: Samantha Wykurz

Final 2013 Ranking: 32nd


The Porters are hoping that a long list of fresh faces can keep them in contention for conference and sectional honors in 2014. The top returning player is goaltender Rachel Unger, who had a solid season in front of the net and will be called upon to keep the team in the majority of their games. Players that head coach Rick DeLeon hopes can make a big impact are
Ashley O'Neill, Katie Philbrick, Jen Rothgery, Danielle Slavik and Hailey Slavik. If the new players can gel quickly, the Porters might surpass last year's .500 mark and once again make some noise in the postseason.

Head Coach: Rick DeLeon

Key Players: Maggie Belair, Ashley O'Neill, Katie Philbrick, Jen Rothgery, Danielle Slavik, Hailey Slavik

Goalkeeper: Rachel Unger

Final 2013 Ranking: 22nd


The Dolphins return a solid amount of production to their starting lineup and could be in line for another run at the CPS title in 2014. They will hope to erase their sectional quarterfinal loss to Evanston last May and will set their sights on getting back to double-digits wins as well. The team uses a balanced attack on the offensive end, with Audrey Anderson, Gabby Chelette and Jessie Cronin all expected to handle the bulk of the scoring duties. Kennedy Baldwin and Nora Murphy should also make a significant impact on both ends of the pool. Meanwhile, the team's hopes may rest on Nora Murphy being able to replace long-time starting goaltender Nya Wilkins.

Head Coach: Andy Parro

Key Players: Audrey Anderson, Kennedy Baldwin, Gabby Chelette, Jessie Cronin, Fairie Hughes

Players to Watch: Melanie Balanon, Jessica Beahl, Sarah Engemann

Goalkeeper: Nora Murphy

Final 2013 Ranking: 35th

35. LANE

Lane has a mix of youth and veteran players hoping to come together to challenge for the CPS title and a state tournament berth when the postseason rolls around. The Indians went 24-7 last year and lasted until the sectional final round before bowing out of the playoffs to the eventual state champions. Allison Cortez, Raluca Dima, and both Gretel and Natalie O'Connell give head coach Danny Robertson plenty of options in the starting lineup, while goaltender Meghan Levelle returns to spearhead things on the defensive end.

Head Coach: Danny Robertson

Key Players: Allison Cortez, Raluca Dima, Gretel O'Connell, Natalie O'Connell, Erica Skibicki

Goalkeeper: Meghan Lavelle

Final 2013 Ranking: 33rd

36. LINCOLN-WAY EAST (updated 3/6)

The Griffins have plenty of talent back as they seek to improve on their 12-16 record of last season. There are scorers aplenty for head coach Ryan Lodes, as Julia Gramont, Taryn Linke, Erica Mangia and Haley McCabe are all back in the fold. Aimee Schaff and Lauren Vandervelde also expect to log major minutes for a team hoping to claw its' way up the SWSC Blue division standings in 2014.
Goaltender Jill Connolly returns to boost the Griffins' chances for a better finish in both their conference and in the playoffs, where they lost to Lincoln-Way Central in the sectional semifinals last May.

Head Coach: Ryan Lodes

Key Players: Julia Gramont, Taryn Linke, Erica Mangia, Haley McCabe, Aimee Schaff, Lauren Vandervelde

Player to Watch: Zoe Spada

Goalkeeper: Jill Connolly

Final 2013 Ranking: 37th


The Vikings are in the midst of a rebuilding process, but they could see significant improvements right away this season with a solid group of returning players looking to make a strong impact. Josephine Edelbrock returns in goal to lead the defense, while the likes of Amber Barney, Megan Dunlavy, Abby Schultz and Madison Thiros combine to give H-F a chance to more than double last year's 8-win total for head coach Pat Duignan.

Head Coach: Pat Duignan

Key Players: Amber Barney, Megan Dunlavy, Kelly Morrissey, Abby Schultz, Madison Thiros

Players to Watch: Sarah Tozer

Goalkeeper: Josephine Edelbrock

Final 2013 Ranking: 36th


Plenty of potential exists for Marian Catholic to put together a remarkable 2014 campaign. Isabelle Keating, Killian McDonald and Sophie Sesto return to the lineup to give the offense a jolt, while players like Diana Fernandez and Hannah Morris could play a major role in head coach Sean Scanlon's plans throughout the Catholic League season as well as the postseason. Genevieve Helsel has emerged as the starting goaltender and should also play a big role in the team's success.

Head Coach: Sean Scanlon

Key Players: Diana Fernandez, Isabelle Keating, Killian McDonald, Hannah Morris, Sophie Sesto

Goalkeeper: Genevieve Helsel

Final 2013 Ranking: 40th


The Warriors return the bulk of their lineup from last season's 10-win performance, so they should see a rise in their win total as they challenge for the SWSC Red division title. West puts forth a balanced attack that showcases Kailey Gallagher, Shannon Soukup and Sarah Suppes while also asking for major contributions from Carlyn Clarke, Erika and Gena Tanquilut, and Tori Tibieri. Meanwhile, goalie Brenna Bowers is back to hold down the defensive duties for a team hoping to eclipse last season's sectional performance.

Head Coach: Keith Huizinga

Key Players: Carlyn Clarke, Kailey Gallagher, Shannon Soukup, Erika Tanquilut, Tori Tibieri

Players to Watch: Sarah Suppes, Gena Tanquilut

Goalkeeper: Brenna Bowers

Final 2013 Ranking: 38th


The Huskies return plenty of production from last year's MSL East divisional championship squad; they also went 13-12 and won their opening-round sectional game. That bodes well for the season ahead, as head coach Megan Brownley will likely look to Jillian Hoffman, Katie Lindholm, Hannah Lippstreuer and Kathryn Lutz to continue making a big impact. Natalie Curtis is also back between the posts to lead the Hersey defense.

Head Coach: Megan Brownley

Key Players: Emily Goldsberry, Jillian Hoffman, Katie Lindholm, Hannah Lippstreuer, Kathryn Lutz

Goalkeeper: Natalie Curtis

Final 2013 Ranking: 39th




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