As the calendar turns to spring, the local girls soccer action has begun. Here is a look at teams in the Herald-News’ coverage area.
SOUTHWEST SUBURBAN CONFERENCE
Head coach: Sean Fahey (4th year)
Last season’s record: 25-2 (3rd in Class 3A)
Key returners: Christine Erdman (Sr., D), Madi Watt (So., F), Madisyn Kenworthy (Sr., M), Emma Vogler (Jr., M), Chloe Grundhofer (Sr., D).
Key newcomers: None
Worth noting: The Knights return two of their top three goal-scorers from last season as Erdman scored 19 goals and Watt had 17. ... Erdman is a Bowling Green commit, while Kenworthy will play at Wisconsin-Platteville.
Head coach: Todd Elkei (12th year)
Last season’s record: 16-7-1
Key returners: Meghan Mack (Jr., D), Abbey Mack, (Jr., M), Raven Rogers (So., M), Karolina Skubicz (Jr., D), Emma Verdon (Sr., M).
Key newcomers: Bella Diorio (Sr., F), Kaylin Klutcharch (Jr., M), Natalie Zodrow (Jr., M), Brinlee McNabb (Jr., F), Emma Czech (Jr., D), Heather Canny (Jr., F), Alyssa Flood (So., D).
Worth noting: Rogers is the leading returning scorer with six goals and 14 assists last season for the Porters. ... Diorio is a TCU commit, while the Macks will play for University of the Cumberlands, Verdon will play for University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Klutcharch will play for Indiana State and Zodrow and McNabb will play for Wisconsin-Milwaukee. ... Coach Elkei: “We are excited to get this season started with a talented group of girls. Many are new to high school soccer and bring ‘big game’ experience to our program. The attitudes, effort, and competitiveness have been tremendous at every practice. We expect to contend for the conference championship, regional, and hopefully sectional titles. We have five kids coming to us from club that are new to high school soccer. We also have two girls that started as freshmen that are back from ACL injuries and missing their sophomore year.”
Head coach: Mike Murphy (7th year)
Last season’s record: 15-6-1
Key returners: Brianna Herlihy (Jr., M), Cami Butler (Jr., M), Kara Waishwell (So., M), Ellie Fiegl (So., M), Madison Dziedzic (Sr., F), Brooklyn Mortell (Sr., M), Mia Hedrick (Sr., D), Olivia Desjardins (Sr., D).
Key newcomers: Mattea Arroyo (Jr., GK), Hannah Tokarski (So., D), Emily Herlihy (Jr., D).
Worth noting: Brianna Herlihy is the leading returning scorer for the Griffins with 16 goals and nine assists last season. ... Butler had 10 goals and 11 assists, while Waishwell had nine goals and six assists. ... Desjardins is committed to play at Carroll College next year. ... Coach Murphy: “We are looking to continue on the success we had last year. We would like to be contenders for the SWSC Blue Conference title, as well as win a regional and be competitive at sectionals.”
Head coach: Joe Stephens (2nd year)
Last season’s record: 13-7-2
Key returners: Caitlyn Burgess (Sr., D), Nora Gaffney (Sr., F), Adrianna Gudaitis (Sr., M), Ava Peterson (Jr., M), Morgan Sallese (Jr., D).
Key newcomers: Ava Bach (So., D), Quinn Beebe (So., M), Jaiden Hughes (Fr., M), Kate Kinsella (Fr., M).
Worth noting: The Warriors finished second in the SWSC Red last season and lost in the regional championship to Andrew. ... Coach Stephens: “The key to our success will be that everyone does their role to the best of their ability. The goal is to win a regional championship this year and to continue in the playoffs as far as possible.”
SOUTHWEST PRAIRIE CONFERENCE
Head coach: Chris Brolley (15th year)
Last season’s record: 8-10-1
Key returners: Kait Lavezzi (Sr., F), Ella Rucka (Sr., M), Cayla Korranda (Sr., M), Cali Rucka (So., M), Sophia Rausa (So., D), Jazmine Valles (So., D).
Key newcomers: None
Worth noting: Lavezzi had 13 goals last year for the Indians, while Ella Rucka had 12 goals and eight assists. ... Coach Brolley: “I’m really excited with our roster, a bunch of talent on this team, it’s going to be fun to see how we come together. From the looks of it, I see us scoring a lot of goals, and that starts with Kait and Ella, who ran the offense last year.”
Head coach: Cosimo Patano (9th year)
Last season’s record: 11-5-2
Key returners: Kelli Coughlin (Sr., F), Marin Flynn (Sr., M), Caroline Dinnon (So., M), Anna Jenkins (Jr., GK).
Key newcomers: Kristen Schwartz (Sr., M/D).
Worth noting: Coughlin is the leading returning scorer for the Bengals with 16 goals and six assists last season. ... Jenkins posted 10 shutouts in goal last year. ... Schwartz is a DePaul commit. ... Coach Patano: “We are returning nine starters from last year’s team and feel we will be a competitive and fun group to watch. Anna Jenkins has been starting in goal for us since she was a freshman and is continuing to excel in the goal. We are returning one of our top goal scorers and playmakers, Kelli Coughlin. We have added Kristen Schwartz to our returning nine who will bring a tremendous impact. Along with the strong core of returners, I look forward to coaching a great group of players.”
Head coach: Katie Monterosso (4th year)
Last year’s record: 16-4-4
Key returners: Alex Tetteh (Sr., F), Mia Davis (Sr., F), Tessa Fagerson (Sr., F), Gabriella Mattio (Sr., M), Sophie Carlos (Sr., M); Georgia Liapis (Sr, M), Lauren Mrugala (Jr., M), Maggie Hamilson (Sr., D), Brooke Sharp (Sr., D), Jenna Bearden (Sr., GK), Hannah Bukowski (Sr., GK).
Key newcomers: Emma Duval (Sr., D), Taylor Green (Sr., M), Grier Isaacson (So., D), Dalaney Harwood (Fr., D), Katelyn Haiser (Fr., F), Riley Grant (So., M).
Worth noting: Tetteh led the Tigers in goals last season with 16, while Davis was Offensive Player of the Year for the program. ... Coach Monterosso: “We have a lot of team goals, as this is the largest senior group I have ever coached and they want to make the most out of every game and training session. The seniors are also taking their ‘mentoring’ roles to heart, as they know how vital it is to get the underclassmen ready for next season. We want to win conference and go farther into the state tournament, hopefully being able to play for a state title in June.”
Head coach: Thomas Blake (2nd year)
Last season’s record: 8-8-2
Key returners: Kaitlyn Cheop (Sr., F), Maya Gray, Sr., D), Addison Grigg (Sr., F), Mason Hillery (Sr., GK).
Key newcomer: Alexandra Arnold (Sr., M)
Worth noting: Cheop returns after leading the Cougars in scoring last season. ... Hillery is a three-year varsity goalkeeper. ... Coach Blake: “We are excited for the start of a new season and everything that brings. We have a great group of girls on the team and a strong senior class. We are hopeful that a strong start to the year can help carry us through the season.”
ILLINOIS CENTRAL EIGHT CONFERENCE
Head coach: Travis Ivanoff (14th year)
Last season’s record: 7-9-2
Key returners: Alexa Clark (Sr., M), Ella Banas (Jr., M), Alaina Clark (So., M), Veronica Weck (Sr., D), Katie Lewsader (Sr., F).
Key newcomers: None
Worth noting: Alexa Clark is the Wildcats’ second-leading all-time scorer, and is on track to end her career with the most goals in school history. ... Coach Ivanoff: “This group is ready to win the most season games in the school history. Last year we were just under .500. I’m looking to be at the top half of the conference as well as to be a few games above .500. This group of girls works hard, has fun, and is goal-orientated.”
GIRLS CATHOLIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Head coach: Dan Potempa (12th year)
Last year’s record: 2-16-3
Key returners: Grace Spesia (Sr., M/F), Hailey Wagner (Sr., D), Natalie DeMoor (Jr., D), Mia Bilinski (Jr., M).
Key newcomers: Alyssa Thulin (Fr., M), Janet Vinci (Sr., GK).
Worth noting: Potempa returns to coaching the Celtics after a three-year absence. ... Coach Potempa: “I am very excited to see what these girls can do this year. There is a lot of talent, and I am very happy with their positive attitudes. If we can play together as a unit, we can have a great year.”
— Note: Only the area teams that responded to multiple emails requesting information were included in this preview.