Kane County girls soccer notebook: St. Charles North, St. Charles East off to hot starts

St. Charles North’s Laney Stark (left) and Geneva’s Cami Bishop go after the ball during a Class 3A West Chicago Sectional semifinal on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

The 2024 girls soccer season has been underway for a few weeks with a couple of teams showing great potential early on.

Here’s a look at some of the top teams in Kane County so far.

St. Charles North remains undefeated

After starting the season with ties against Crystal Lake Central and Barrington, the North Stars went on a four-game winning streak with wins against Burlington Central, Hersey, Loyola Academy and Crystal Lake Central to win the St. Charles Invitational on March 23.

To say the North Stars dominated during the invitational would be a bit of an understatement. St. Charles North outscored its opponents 20-2 in the four games, including 6-0 wins against Burlington Central and Crystal Lake Central.

Sophomore forward Kaitlyn Nudera led the offense, taking home the golden boot for the tournament alongside Burlington Central’s Mackenzie Rogers with five goals. Senior forward Laney Stark had three goals in the four games, was named the player of the tournament and earned first-team all-tournament honors alongside senior midfielder Kayla Ford.

On the defensive side, Lauren Korioth has been a wall in goal. The senior has given up only five goals and has two shutouts. Her shutout against Crystal Lake Central was heavily aided by the play of her defense. Korioth faced only two shots on goal the entire game, both in the final 10 minutes of play.

The North Stars will face a tough Wheaton North team to open DuKane Conference play.

“We consider all the games up to spring break our preseason,” St. Charles North coach Brian Harks said after winning the St. Charles Invitational on March 23. “So I think the girls are going to carry a lot of momentum with them moving forward as we start conference play.”

Burlington Central’s Mekenzie Rogers, middle, eludes St. Charles East players including, from left, Alli Saviano, Payton Rivard and Sophia Wollenberg during a girls soccer match played on  Tuesday, March 26, 2024 in St. Charles.

Wollenberg, Saviano lead St. Charles East

One of the themes with the St. Charles East lineup so far this season has been mixing in some of the old with some of the new.

Freshman forward Sophia Wollenberg leads the team with five goals in the first eight games. She’s found her place in the Saints’ lineup, logging the third-most minutes on the team with 555 behind only senior Mackenzie Loomis (619) and sophomore midfielder Peyton Rivard (625).

Senior captain Alli Saviano, a midfielder, leads the team in assists with four, including two in a 5-1 victory over Oak Park-River Forest on Saturday, and is second on the team in goals with four. Wollenberg and Saviano have combined for nine of the team’s 13 goals.

In net, a similar situation is emerging for the Saints. Junior Sydney Lazenby has been the main contributor for St. Charles East, playing in all eight games, allowing four goals and stopping 18 shots. Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo also has been working freshman Mia Olenak into games. The goalie has come into games in the second half on three occasions. Olenak has allowed one goal and saved 12 shots. The Saints have five shutouts this season.

St. Charles East began conference play Thursday against Glenbard North.

Geneva’s Julianna Drew is surrounded by teammates after her first-half goal against Neuqua Valley in a girls soccer game in Geneva on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Other Kane County squads

Geneva has played only three games this season and is 2-1. Jordan Forbes put on a clinic in goal in the wins, posting shutouts in both victories. Audrey Stredde had a two-goal performance in the season opener against Bartlett.

Batavia has had some flashes of stardom in the early stages of the season, but has a sub-.500 record. Abi Edwards has been a force for the Bulldogs, scoring five goals, including a hat trick in a 7-0 victory over Streamwood. Edwards also has three assists.

Kaneland is in a similar situation as Geneva. The Knights have only two games under their belt coming back from spring break. Both games ended in blowout fashion. The Knights won their season opener 7-0 against Sterling, with five Kaneland players finding the back of the net. Kaneland lost 5-0 to Plainfield Central.