Girls soccer notes: Wheaton Warrenville South, with a huge junior class and young talent, off to 2-0 start

Hinsdale Central winning, and winning often during 4-1 start

Wheaton Warrenville South’s Ashlyn Adams gets control of the ball during a 2023 game against St. Charles East in Wheaton.

While the sample size is small, the results have been great thus far at Wheaton Warrenville South, which has won the only two games it’s played this spring through April 2.

The Tigers beat Waubonsie Valley 3-0 on March 14 and defeated Oswego East 3-2 on March 21. Both games were played at Red Grange Field.

“Playing at home has helped,” Tigers coach Guy Callipari said. “Our surface appeals to our intent where speed of play and utilizing athletics and quickness plays into our favor, especially with a lot of young talent on the team.”

Midfielders Kelsey Clousing and Anna Ittersagen have earned starts as freshmen. Midfielder Emma Gronlund and defender Chloe Trinkl are starting as sophomores.

Ittersagen’s older sister, Brooke, is a junior defender. Gronlund’s older sister, Kate, was a senior defender a season ago.

“Trinkl is our right back and she didn’t play last year but came out this year and has done a nice job box to box,” Callipari said. “She’s good on the ball, technical and she can serve the ball 30, 40 yards and it’s Emma’s game as well. You can get a long ball for a lot of different reasons. We’re excited about the possibility of our potential.”

All-State forward Ashlyn Adams has gotten off to a fantastic start in sparking the offense.

“Everybody seems very upbeat,” Callipari said. “The young talent we have and the huge junior class returning, including Ashlyn Adams who picked up where she left off as a sophomore. She’s off and running. She has three goals and three assists so that’s [contributing to] six goals already. That’s healthy. You can get a lot of good results when you find the net on three occasions. So we’re pretty pleased with where we’re at.”

The Tigers beat Geneva 3-1 on April 4 and defeated Schaumburg 6-0 on April 6.

Hinsdale Central's Avery Edgewater (7) and Oswego East's Riley Gumm battle for the ball during a match on March, 30, 2024 at Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale.

Devilish fun for everyone

Despite having its full roster available only once this season, Hinsdale Central is winning and winning often. The Red Devils are 7-1 after a 5-0 win over East Aurora on Monday.

“I told the girls that after spring break we’re getting to be about 25% done with the regular season already,” Red Devils coach Tony Madonia said. “We’ve got a good group that’s starting to meld together. We haven’t really played together with a bulk of them coming from different classes, being different ages, so it’s next man up mentality. Everyone is pitching in.”

The Red Devils have a roster of 20 players.

“We’ve only had one game where all 20 have been there due to illness and stuff and that speaks a lot about where we’re at,” Madonia said. “It’s a good spot to be, but also the hardest part of the schedule is yet to come so we’re just keeping the girls focused and we’ve got really good leadership, which is something the other girls can lean on.”

Senior captains Ryann Knapp, Julia Marinaccio, Cate McDonnell and Claire Snodgrass are leading the way. McDonnell had six goals in the first five games.

“They’ve got close to 15 years of combined varsity experience altogether,” Madonia said. “It’s just been really good leadership, which we need, with a real nice mix of players and a lot of young players in their first year.”

Heidecke at Hinsdale on Sunday

The 26th annual Julie K. Heidecke Tribute Soccer Clinic was April 7 at the Hinsdale Central High School Field House.

The clinic, which was run by the Hinsdale Central girls varsity soccer players in conjunction with the Illinois State University soccer program, was open to boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12.

Heidecke was a standout soccer player at Hinsdale Central. She was a captain and all-conference selection during her senior year in 1997. Heidecke went on to play at Illinois State University before having her life tragically cut short at age 19 in a car accident in 1998. Her parents established the Julie K. Heidecke Tribute Awards Foundation in her honor.

No panic at Glen Ellyn disco

Adam Szyszko expected his Glenbard West team to get punched by a difficult schedule this spring.

He was right.

As punishing as Mother Nature has been to outdoor teams the spring, it’s been seemingly soft in comparison with Glenbard West’s schedule. And the thing is, it doesn’t get any easier for the Hilltoppers.

Glenbard West (1-5-1) failed to score in its first six games, including a 4-0 loss to undefeated Lyons on April 4 in a West Suburban Silver opener. Lyons (7-0-1) came into that match with 22 goals scored in its first five games and no goals allowed.

“We are a top 25 magnet,” Szyszko said. “We are gluttons for punishment.”

Glenbard West, which returned only eight players from a season ago, fell short against South Elgin, Wheaton North and Metea Valley – teams that were a combined 13-1 to begin the season – and battled Benet (2-2-1) to a scoreless tie.

“We’re taking our lumps early by design,” Szyszko said. “Facing Wheaton North, Benet and Metea, you find out where you stand real quick. There were some lessons learned, but to be the best you’ve got to play the best, so we’re taking some lumps right now.”

Lost in the lack of success has been solid efforts up and down the roster, including from seniors Ava Callaway, Ellie Beaudoin and Audrey Sawyer and junior Julia Tracy in the back and junior Lauren Escalante, sophomore Hana Allen and freshman Lily Hubbuch in the midfield.

“They’ve been solid in the back for us and Escalante and Allen have been solid for us,” Szyszko said. “Lily and Julia Tracy have shown flashes and we’ve had some positives to take away. We played even with Benet and South Elgin scored early, but we were in control. So I told the team we’re all disco, no panic, and I know it’s a tough schedule and results.”

The Hilltoppers recognize their record doesn’t reflect the team they’re working toward becoming.

“We go over scouting reports and I get head nods that they played club with her or against her so we know who we’re playing,” Szyszko said. “I think the level of knowledge the girls have on opponents is significant.”

Glenbard West finally scored Monday, defeating Morton 2-0.

Less prep for IC

IC Catholic Prep (2-2-1) originally was scheduled to play five games in eight days between April 2-9 but its schedule has been adjusted with a game against Fenwick moved to later in the season.

Coming off a fourth-place finish in Class 1A, the Knights opened the season with a 5-0 loss to Evanston, a Class 3A school with more than 3,000 students compared to the Elmhurst school with just a little more than 350 students.

The Knights tied DePaul Prep 0-0, a program it beat en route to getting downstate.

“A lot of teams, bigger schools, have reached out and I’ve always respected that and we love challenges,” Knights coach Antonio Godinez said. “The girls saw the caliber of a team like Evanston and then we played DePaul Prep, which was another tough matchup. It was not the result we wanted, but we got the clean sheet and saw progress.”

Chris Walker

Chris Walker is a contributor to Shaw Local