The girls soccer season started this week. Here are previews of teams in the Suburban Life coverage area.
Coach: Gerard Oconer
2022 record: 22-5, 7-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference, ESCC champions, Class 2A runner-up
Key returners: Shannon Clark, sr., GK; Sadie Sterbenz, sr., D; Brinkley Douglas, sr., M; Bailey Abbott, jr., D; Nora Hanson, jr., D; Keira Petrucelli, so., M/F; Reese MacDonald, sr., M; Anna Casmere, sr., F
Top newcomers: Ivana Vukas, fr., F; Annie Fitzgerald, fr., M; Johnna Caliendo, so., F; Gabby Hedden, jr., D
Outlook: The Redwings return eight starters and 17 players from last season’s team that lost in the Class 2A state championship. Benet is looking forward to the challenge of winning its fourth straight ESCC title and claiming a state title for the first time since 2019. “We will look to benefit from having a highly veteran team that will combine with some dynamic new young players to provide a tremendous amount of depth and fuel a relentless attack in front of a solid defense and goalkeeper,” Oconer said. Four Redwings will play soccer in college. Clark will play at Denver, Sterbenz will compete for Middle Tennesse State, Douglas will be at Richmond and Hanson will play for Stetson. Clark, Sterbenz, Douglas and Abbott all earned All-ESCC honors last season and Clark was the ESCC Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season.
Downers Grove North
Coach: Brian Papa
2022 record: 11-9-2, 3-3 West Suburban Conference Silver, Class 3A regional champions
Key returners: Katelynn Hennelly, sr., M/D; Ellie Watts, sr., M; Addison Liszka, jr., M; Katelyn Parker, jr., F; Taylor Kuelthau, sr., D; Sophia Patry, sr., F
Top newcomers: Kailyn Ziroli, sr., D; Elle Larsen, so., F; Lexi Keown, so., M; Kate Goray, sr., F; Angie Santiago, sr., M
Outlook: The Trojans return seven starters from last season’s regional title team. Papa believes he has a balanced team whose bench has experience as well. “I am as optimistic as any coach can be,” Papa said. “Our schedule is very tough but hopefully it will prepare us for the postseason.” Ziroli and Patrey will both play soccer in college. Ziroli will play for Lewis and Patrey will compete for DePauw. Senior Jolie Wiesz returns after missing her junior season with an ACL injury. Ziroli returns to the Trojans after not playing in 2022. She started every match in 2021.
Downers Grove South
Coach: Chris Hernandez
2022 record: 8-9-1, 6-0 WSC Gold, WSC Gold champions
Key returners: Hannah Fedinec, jr., GK; Teyani Sharkey, sr., D; Grace Rappel, sr., D; Micah Olson, jr., D; Aubrey Molinari, sr., D; Ashley Molinari, so., M; Krystal Flores, sr., M; Emily Petring, sr., F
Outlook: The Mustangs will have a mixed roster this season with 10 returning players with at least two years of varsity experience and 12 players who are making their varsity debut. Hernandez is looking for his experienced group to provide leadership. “It will be on our more experienced players to demonstrate the standards and adhere to the culture that has allowed them to find success during their time in the program,” Hernandez said. Fedinec (Loras College), Rappel (Drake) and Petring (Coastal Carolina) will all play soccer in college. Petring and Rappell each earned IHSSCA All-Sectional honors last season as well as All-WSC honors, as did Sharkey, Aubrey and Ashley Molinari and Flores. The Mustangs lost to Glenbard East in penalty kicks in a regional semifinal last season because they missed nine players who attended prom. “Needless to say that we have a chip on our shoulder this year,” Hernandez said.
Coach: Craig Blazer
2022 record: 13-8-2, 3-2 Girls Catholic Athletic Conference, Class 2A fourth place
Key returners: Grace Kapsch, jr., F; Maddie Rogowski, jr., M; Kiera Mullarky, so., M; Fiona Roche, jr., D/MF
Top newcomers: Mary Brunick, fr., M; Lola Martinez, fr., D; Margaret Price, fr., GK; Stephanie Gonzalez, fr., M
Outlook: The Friars will have a young roster after reaching the state semifinals last season for the first time since 2013. Blazer is excited to watch how the team grows throughout the season. “While we are very young and rebuilding, we should improve greatly with every day and game,” Blazer said. Fenwick has won two sectional titles in the past three postseasons and three regional crowns in the past four playoffs. The Friars will see some of the state’s top teams this year at the Naperville Invite and BodyArmor Series.
Coach: Athena Toliopoulos
2022 record: 15-6-1, 8-0-1 Upstate Eight, Upstate Eight champions
Key returners: Brielle DeForest, sr., M; Sophia Sommesi, jr., D; Hope McKenna, jr., M; Tyler Rejano, sr., F; Maya Reinheimer, jr., M; Maddie Kiefer, sr., F
Top newcomers: Paige Goldsmith, fr., M; Jazzlyn Hamilton, fr., M
Outlook: Toliopoulos takes over the program after the Rams won a conference championship and lost in a Class 3A regional final. She’ll have seniors to help lead her in the transition. Glenbard East will try to repeat as conference champions. “I look forward to watching all of their hard work come to fruition as we will have our first games this week,” Toliopoulos said.
Coach: Adam Szyszko
2022 record: 15-7-1, 4-2 WSC Silver, Class 3A sectional champions
Key returners: Sophia Brown, sr., F; Gwen Johnson, sr., F; Clare Kostolansky, sr., M; Ellie Beaudoin, jr., D; Ava Callaway, jr., GK
Top newcomers: Hana Allen, fr., M; Lauren Escalante, so., M; Claire Russell, jr., F; Kylie Clifford, jr., M; Hannah Michalowski, so., M
Outlook: The Hilltoppers return 10 players and five starters from last season’s supersectional team. “I’m excited for our returning players, especially those that only saw limited minutes last year,” Szyszko said. “They’re a really talented group and they were a big part of why we were successful last season because they made our practices so competitive. Now they’ll get the chance to showcase that with extended minutes.” Brown and Callaway both return after earning All-Sectional honors. Callaway is committed to play college soccer at Taylor University. Allen is one of four freshmen to make the roster as a freshman in Szyszko’s five-year tenure. “With the quality we have in our program, you have to be special to make the varsity as a freshmen in our program and Hana has that ability and then some,” Szyszko said.
Coach: Anthony Madonia
2022 record: 9-8-2, 4-2 WSC Silver
Key returners: Ava Elliott, sr., D; Carter Knotts, sr., F; Maddy Panveno, sr., M
Top newcomers: Katherine Skinner, fr., GK; Katie Lynch, jr., D; Gracie Lynch, jr., F; Camila Leal, so., M; Maddie Lipman, sr., M; Addisyn Krogstie, fr., D; Olivia Healy, so., F; Adriana Giannini, fr., D; Rafaela Lipari, jr., D; Ryann Knapp, jr., D; Mallory Giachetti, jr., GK
Outlook: The Red Devils will have only four seniors and eight returning players from last season’s team, but the young group is excited to show what it can do. “Do not let the lack of senior numbers fool you. The leadership and passion of our captains is palpable, and this Red Devil soccer team’s motivation to get to work has been inspiring,” Madonia said. Elliott enters the season leading the team in minutes played over the past two seasons. She earned IHSSCA All-Sectional and All-WSC honors and will play soccer in college at IUPUI. Knotts and Panveno both earned All-WSC honors last season.
Coach: Jen Belmonte
2022 record: 9-11, 3-3 WSC Gold
Key returners: Audrey Atkinson, so., F; Makena Camden, sr., M; Olivia Fulton, jr., D
Top newcomers: Fatima Mendoza Lopez, so., D; Josslynn Farrare, fr., M; Kennedy Ruff, fr., F; Macey Laskowski, fr., D
Outlook: The Hornets will be young this season with eight freshmen on the roster. Seniors Camden and Keely Sullivan will captain the young squad. Atkinson returns after leading the team in goals as a freshman. She finished with 16 goals and five assists. A couple of players also will compete for the track team now that the WSC allows athletes to compete in two sports in the same season. Ruff will run sprints and hurdles while Amerie Flowers will throw the shot put.
Coach: Rick Prangen
2022 record: 19-5, 11-0 South Suburban Conference Blue, SSC Blue champions, Class 2A regional champions
Key returners: Paige Bingen, sr., M; Suzine Knutte, sr., F; Ella Simpson, so., M; Casey Kittridge, jr., D
Top newcomers: Annabella DeMaio, fr., F; Chase Bergeson, fr., D/M
Outlook: Lemont returns a majority of its starters from last season and will try to contend for another conference regional title. They’ll have their top two scorers Knutte (27) and Simpson (22) back this season. Bingen and Knutte return after earning IHSSCA All-State honors as well as all-conference honors. Simpson and Kittridge also earned All-SSC honors.
Coach: Bill Lanspeary
2022 record: 20-2, 6-0 WSC Silver, WSC Silver champions, Class 3A regional champions
Key returners: Katie O’Malley, sr., F; Niamh Griffin, sr., F; Caroline Mortonson, so.,F; Izzi Wirtz, jr.,. M; Josie Pochocki, jr., M; Brennan Israel, jr., D
Top newcomers: Sarah Schinker, sr., GK; Nora Ezike, sr., GK; Mae Mathis, sr., D; Jillian Herchenroether, jr., D; Avery Wengerd, jr., D; Leahla Frazier, jr., M; Abby Brown, jr., D; Peyton Israel, jr., F; Carolina Capizzi, fr., M; Zibby Michaelson, fr., F
Outlook: The Lions return their core from last season’s team that fell in the sectional final to Glenbard West in penalty kicks. “This team has great leadership, talent and the work ethic necessary to try to continue our run of recent success,” Lanspeary said. “This should be a fun team to watch throughout the season and into the state playoffs.” Last season’s top scorers Mortonson (11 goals) and O’Malley (10 goals) return this year. O’Malley (Illinois State) and Pochocki (Southern Indiana) will both play soccer in college. The Lions will compete in tough tournaments, including the City-Suburb Connect Invite., the Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Classic and the Naperville Invite.
Coach: Barry Briggs
2022 record: 14-5-1, 4-2-1 GCAC, Class 1A third place
Key returners: Maren Hoovel, sr., F; Jillian Parrilli, sr., M; Naomy Gonzalez, so., D
Top newcomers: Sophia Cetrone, fr.; Ashlinn O’Brien, fr.
Outlook: The Broncos lost only two starters from last season’s third-place team but they’re already dealing with the injury bug. Junior captain Riley White is out for the season with an ACL tear and sophomore Lily Cruz might miss the season with a fractured hip. Goalkeeper Natalie Gartlan is recovering from ACS surgery and hopes to be ready sometime during the first half of the season. “Our ultimate goal is to make it to the state finals again this year, but we may need a little luck and a healing touch,” Briggs said. Hoovel returns after scoring 26 goals last season. She’ll play soccer in college at St. Mary’s.
Coach: Jim Bageanis
2022 record: 17-6, 5-1 WSC Gold, Class 3A regional champions
Key returners: Carisma Rosales, jr., M; Brianna Avalos, sr., D; Ariana Valdovinos, sr., M; Aaliyah Leanos, jr., F; Stephanie Salmeron, so., M
Top newcomers: Cindy Enriquez, sr., GK; Angela Nevarez, sr., D; Romina Lopez, so., D; Emily Orduna, so., M; Crystal Orduna, so., D; Brigitte Solano, jr., M
Outlook: The Mustangs will have a mix of youth and experience with this season’s team. Bageanis is looking forward to everything coming together, even if it might take some matches for it to happen. “It might take a few games for us to get on the same page with everything and everyone, but I also feel that this is a good group of girls, they seem to want to push each other and work together and also have a good chemistry together.”
Coach: Robert Cianci
2022 record: 13-13, 2-5 ESCC, Class 2A regional champions
Key returners: Sophie Hynes, sr., GK; Evelyn Siffermann, jr., D; Andrea Stavropoulos, sr., D; Lily Berner, sr., D; Izzy Strnic, so., D; Trea Notz, sr., M; Samantha Rozmus, jr., M; Nikolette Weiss, jr., M/F; Olivia Austin, jr., F; Ella O’Neil, sr., F
Top newcomers: Olivia O’Neil, fr., M; Lucy Jucovics, fr., M/F; Ava Berner, fr., D
Outlook: The Roadrunners will return a lot of experience from last season’s regional champions. “They have worked hard in the offseason and it has shown in these first two weeks of the year,” Cianci said. Three-sport Austin returns after earning all-sectional and all-conference honors. She scored 13 goals and knows how to win, having just won a state title this winter with the girls basketball team. Stavropoulos will play soccer in college at Benedictine. Rozmus returns after earning all-sectional honorable mention. “She is the engine that makes the team run. She covers a lot of ground in the midfield,” Cianci said.
Coach: Ivan Halic
2022 record: 11-10-3, 6-1 Metro Suburban Conference, MSC champions co-champions
Key returners: Natalie Rubi, sr., F/M; Hazel Hall, jr., F; Lena Lembcke, sr., D; Nina Bretz, sr., M; Lucy Drenth, so., D; Jessica Sharenow, sr., D; Monique Sandoval, sr., M/D; Sophie Swicionis, sr., D
Top newcomer: Piper Blair, sr., GK
Outlook: The Bulldogs return 16 players from last season’s team that overcame two season-ending injuries to win a share of the MSC and lose in the regional final in penalty kicks. Rubi and Hall will try to continue their sharp shooting this season. Rubi finished with 11 goals last season while Hall scored 10.
Coach: Jim Winslow
2022 record: 7-8, 5-1 MSC
Key newcomers: Paige Chrustowski, jr., F; Hanna Blacha, sr., GK; Liv Basel, jr., M; Sophia Rozkowksi, jr., M; Ellie Bielinda, jr., F
Outlook: The Spartans took a dip last season with a younger and injured roster. St. Francis lost its opening match to Wheaton Academy in the Class 2A postseason. Winslow hopes his team can take a step with more talent returning and some experience. “We are still on the younger side and play a tough schedule but if we get through that healthy, we will be OK,” Winslow said. Blacha returns after missing last season with an injury. Winslow is looking for leadership from Ada Suriano and Ella Schroeder on the backline.
Coach: Jon Hamerlinck
2022 record: 14-5, 4-1 MSC
Key returners: Maddie Drye, sr., F; Marta Veenstra, sr., D; Angie Tornabene, sr., M; Mili Martens, sr., M; Hope Huizenga, jr., M; Lauren Wiegers, jr., M; Juliana Norman, sr., D; Chloe Leppink, jr., D
Top newcomers: Avery Schwarz, fr., D; Miriam Pozdol-Niego, so., M
Outlook: The Trojans return eight starters and plenty of experience. Most of the six seniors have been important starters over the past three seasons, including their run to the Class 1A state title match in 2021. “We have great chemistry forming already and the girls so far have enjoyed being together, which has been fun to watch,” Hamerlinck said. “I’m looking forward to getting into games and continuing to see these young athletes grow in their skills and their faith.” Tornabene returns after scoring 13 goals last season and earning IHSSCA All-Sectional honors. Huizenga earned All-Sectional Honorable Mention. They joined Drye in earning All-MSC honors last year too. Drye returns after leading the Trojans with 28 goals last season.
Coach: Maria Selvaggio
2022 record: 14-7-2, 6-1 MSC, MSC co-champions
Key returners: Eva De Souza, jr., F; Katelyn Schoepke, jr., M; Anna Africa, jr., F; Haley Serna, sr., F; Jill Paulson, sr., D
Top newcomers: Rebecca Schulenburg, jr., M; Hannah Lindberg, jr., D; Annika Vandervelde, fr., F
Outlook: The Warriors are looking to continue the momentum they built after finishing third in the Class 1A state tournament in 2021 and moving back up to Class 2A last season, losing in the regional final. “Having added some key new players to the mix that we believe will be difference makers, we anticipate to have a strong group that can be a contender in the 2A class,” Selvaggio said. Wheaton Academy adds two transfers this season. Schulenburg comes in from Geneva and Lindberg comes over from Florida. Souza and Paulson both earned All-Sectional Honorable Mention last year. Paulson will play soccer in college with Division-II Biola.
Coach: Timothy Mcevilly
2022 record: 9-10, 2-5 DuKane
Key returners: Zoey Bohmer, jr., GK; Macy Hutchinson, sr., M/F; Talia Kaempf, so., F; Calah Strong, so., M
Top newcomer: Jane Rogers, fr., F
Outlook: The Falcons are looking to take their next step after hovering around .500 the past few seasons. Mcevilly hopes his experienced players can help lead the younger players on the roster. “We believe we have a goalkeeper in Zoey Bohmer that gives us a fighting chance every night, in combination with more experienced attacking players we believe we will give top teams some trouble,” Mcevilly said. Bohmer has been impressive in her first two varsity seasons, earning All-Sectional honors as a freshman and then being names All-Sectional Honorable Mention last season. She has 11 shutouts in 30 starts over the past two seasons. Senior Abby Gosling will play for College of DuPage next year.
Wheaton Warrenville South
Coach: Guy Callipari
2022 record: 13-5-3, 5-2 DuKane, Class 3A regional champions
Key returners: Ashlyn Adams, so., F; Lauren Barnett, sr., F; Ella McClatchy, sr., D; Carrie Harvey, sr., D; Kate Grunlund, sr., D; Brooke Ittersagen, so., D; Marilyn Dixon, so., GK; Lily Petrie, so., M
Top newcomers: Lucy Jethani, fr., F; Camryn Fleming, jr., D
Outlook: The Tigers have won three regional titles in the past four postseasons. They’ll have nine underclassmen on the roster this season and Callipari will use the first portion of the schedule to find out everyone’s role. “The possibilities are wide open if we entertain the ideas of working hard on both sides of the ball,” Callipari said. The Tigers will face a tough schedule, competing in the BodyArmor Series, Wheaton Cup and a tournament in Iowa.
Coach: Julio Del Real
2022 record: 14-7, 4-2 WSC Gold
Key returners: Kennedy Vannoy, sr., F; Molly Brennan, sr., M; Maddie Aderholt, sr., GK; Halie Ahrens, so., D
Outlook: Del Real is looking forward to having his squad play together as a team after graduating a lot of talent from last season’s team. “We are very excited and eager to get our season going so that we can show ourselves how capable we are of playing as a team and by giving our best, we can have positive outcomes,” Del Real said. Vannoy had 17 goals last season. Aderholt finished with nine shutouts in her junior season.
Coach: Stevan Dobric
2022 record: 9-9, 1-5 WSC Silver
Key returners: Finley Ewald, sr., F; Daly Wangler, sr., GK; Natalie DeSimone, sr., D; Abby DeMichele, sr., D; Allison Sheehan, sr., M; Maureen Buhrfiend, sr., M; Michaela Quinn, jr., F; Ava Hansmann, jr., D; Mia Barton, jr., D
Top newcomers: Mia Pretzie, jr., D; Maggie Quinn, fr., F; Andriana Soupos, fr., M; Tatum Mailander, fr., M; Reilly Costello, jr., GK
Outlook: The Dukes are trying to build momentum after losing only two starters from last season’s team. York fell in a Class 3A regional final against Glenbard West. “Through a strong team effort, we look to have a strong regular season and make a strong run in the playoffs,” Dobric said. Ewald returns after scoring 10 goals and earning IHSSCA All-Sectional honors. She’ll play soccer in college at Colorado School of Mines. Wangler made 29 saves last season.