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Girls soccer previews- Glenbard East excited about talented sophomores

Young core has Rams looking for historic season

Glenbard East goalkeeper Veronica Fairbairn returns for her senior season before going on to play at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Glenbard East goalkeeper Veronica Fairbairn returns for her senior season before going on to play at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Glenbard East
Kent Overbey
2012 record: 11-10-3
Top players:
Jess DeJong sr. F
Veronica Fairbairn sr. G
Kelly Ravenscraft jr. D
Alex Ruffer jr. M
First game: 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 15 at Glenbard West
17: Career shutouts for goalkeeper Veronica Fairbairn

What to watch: After losing 11 seniors, Glenbard East could be expected to take a bit of a step back, but coach Kent Overbey doesn’t see it that way.

Overbey is excited about a group of sophomores, which helped the JV team set a school record for wins (13) last year. Seven sophomores are making the jump to varsity to join four returning starters and seven varsity returners.

“Obviously experience is going to be an issue, but I think we’ve got a really, really good core of sophomores,” Overbey said.

Senior goalkeeper Veronica Fairbairn, an all-conference and all-sectional pick last year and a Wisconsin-Whitewater commit, will hope to stabilize the Rams.

"She has incredible athletic ability and she will save a lot of games for us,” Overbey said.

Junior central midfielder Alex Ruffer will anchor a young midfield. Ruffer has started every game on varsity the last two seasons and will be joined by sophomores Corie Ewoldt and Megan Mrazek. The sophomores will have big shoes to fill with Megan’s older sister and the program’s all-time assist leader, Erin, and Jessie Grumstrup now both freshmen at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Jess DeJong, a four-year varsity player, is the leading returning goal scorer. Sophomores Jordyn Fulton and Jessica Whipple will also contribute up top along with freshman Brittany Paganucci, sister of East’s all-time leading scorer and 2012 graduate Lindsey Paganucci.

Junior Kelly Ravenscraft is the lone returner on the back line. Ravenscraft started every game as an outside back last year and will move to central defense.

“She’s very intense, a very tenacious defender,” Overbey said. “She should be a good leader for some of those younger players that will end up starting.”

Overbey is hoping the Rams can reach new heights by breaking into the top four of the DVC for the first time and winning a first-ever regional title. Last year, the Rams went 1-5-1 in conference and were upset in a regional semifinal despite earning the No. 5 seed in the sectional.

“Our talent level is as high as it’s ever been,” Overbey said. “I’m cautiously optimistic with such a young group, but we feel that we’ve got some good players.”

Addison Trail
Sergio Nunez
2012 record: 4-14
Top players:
Maria DeSantiago fr. M
Devin Fruzyna sr. M/G
Petra Kyriakopoulos fr. M
First game: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Glenbard North
5: Consecutive playoff losses for the Blazers

What to watch: Addison Trail won just four games last year, but the Blazers will be looking for improvement led by senior Devin Fruzyna.

Fruzyna, who enters her third year as team captain and fourth year on the varsity team, has committed to play for Aurora University. Fruzyna was also an all-conference pick for the Blazers volleyball team in the fall.

Fruzyna has split time between goalkeeper and playing on the field during her time with AT.

"Devin is a good athlete," said coach Sergio Nunez. "She has good knowledge of the game and is self-motivated. She can quickly adapt to all positions."

Fruzyna is the only senior playing on varsity this season and the Blazers have just two juniors. A younger group will look to step up. A pair of freshmen, Maria DeSantiago and Petra Kyriakopoulos, were named as potential impact players by Nunez.

Barry Briggs
2012 record: 8-9
Top players:
Jessica Benja sr.
Jordan Bruscianelli so.
Bridget Lucas jr.
First game: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday vs. Westmont

What to watch: Expectations will be high for the Lady Broncos after Montini won a regional for the first time last season and graduated just four seniors.

Montini's schedule is filled with Class 3A opponents. Bartlett will come to Lombard on March 16 and Montini will also compete in the Huntley Invite in late March and the Glenbrook Cup at the end of the regular season.

Victor Marquez
2012 record: 6-14-2
Top players:
Shanti Lindberg sr. G
Lindsey Peterson jr. F
Natalie Wolski so. M
First game: 6 p.m. Monday at Reavis Invite

What to watch: First-year coach Victor Marquez takes over for the Warriors after a 6-14-2 season that included a 2-4 mark in the West Suburban Gold.

Marquez's task will be to overhaul a team that graduated 10 seniors.

Juniors Lauren Carroll, Lindsey Peterson and Melissa Rader gained experienced last year and will be looked at to play a bigger role this season.

Senior goalkeeper Shanti Lindberg returns after being one of the team's captains last spring.

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