LEMONT – A year ago, Lemont’s girls soccer team carried few expectations into a season that ultimately ended with a berth in the Class 2A state semifinals.
Now, with eight starters back from a team that won 21 matches in 2013, things have changed a little bit.
“Last year we kind of surprised ourselves a little bit,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “We didn’t have any real great expectations, it was more wait and see. This year obviously with a lot of girls coming back, they are putting expectations on themselves, which can be good and bad.”
Any talk about the Indians starts with a pair of seniors, Kim Jerantowski and Kelly Fritz. Jerantowski finished with 21 goals and 17 assists a year ago while Fritz posted 16 shutouts in net. Both recently signed with Division I programs, Jerantowski with Northwestern and Fritz with UIC.
“Our vocal leader is Kelly Fritz,” Prangen said. “She has stepped into that role and I am very impressed with her leadership. Her commitment to our program is fun to watch. And for Kim, this is her fourth year. She realizes this is her last go-round and she wants to make it special for herself. I want those two players to go out in the manner that they deserve because they have done a lot for our program.”
Also back offensively is Aleksandra Mihailovic, who totaled 16 goals and five assists last spring, Savannah Brija (10 goals and two assists), Maddie Bermele (seven goals and two assists) and Lindsey Mazur (five goals and four assists).
Ashley Mathews and Lauren Devlin return in front of Fritz.
“The pieces are coming together very well,” Prangen said. “There are a couple of spots we’ve got to figure out. But we are definitely a little more experienced and a little faster and stronger. We have to maintain our level and we have to be very consistent.”
One thing Lemont will be trying to do is make it to state in back-to-back seasons. The Indians have made three appearances since 2009 (2009, 2011 and 2013) but have skipped a year in between each trip.
“We are trying to break that this year,” Prangen said. “And if we stay healthy, I think we have a chance to make a run. If people go down [to injury], it gets more difficult.”