LISLE — Lisle's girls soccer team has a chance to go to the state finals for the third time in four years this spring, and the Lions certainly have the firepower to do just that.
They lose just three seniors from last year's fourth-place team, bring back team MVP and leading scorer Skyler Tomko (18 goals), and have record-setting keeper Vanessa Roach returning. Roach owns the program records for most saves and shutouts in a season and a career.
"We're going to be an experienced team because we have so many young kids with so much experience," head coach Paul Kohorn said. "We struggled in the first half last season, but we had a good end to the year. It was a good experience. We're motivated because of it. They want to get to that again."
Tomko should net her share of goals again, and Lisle's defense could be equally strong. Val Melo, an all-conference central defender, and Christine Young, entering her fourth year as a starter, are back, and they will get a boost from two sophomores. Julia Loveless missed all of last season with an ACL injury. Katy Wiessinger played in four games before also suffering an ACL injury. Both look ready for the season.
"With Julia, other than wearing a knee brace, you can't even tell she was hurt," Kohorn said. "Katy is a little more tentative so we're going easy with her and letting her do what she feels she can do, but in just those few games she showed me so much as a freshman."
Depth abounds on the roster, which means Lisle could play close to full speed for a full 80 minutes.
"Looking at the roster, I can easily go 15 deep," Kohorn said. "It's the first time since I've been coaching here that I can bring four players off the bench who are good enough to start."
Lisle seemingly has all the tools it needs to construct another season that culminates in a state finals appearance, but the Lions aren't looking that far down the line.
"We're really simplifying our goals. We're taking it one game at a time," Kohorn said. "I know it's a trite statement, but on defense our goal is to stop the other team from scoring and on offense our goal is to score more goals than the other team. If we play our game the way we know we can, everything will fall into place."
TEAM AT A GLANCE
Coach: Paul Kohorn
2012 record: 14-12-2
Val Melo jr. D
Vanessa Roach sr. GK
Skyler Tomko sr. F
Christine Young sr. D
Julia Loveless so. D
Katy Wiessinger so. D