State champs on tap for Downers Grove South soccer

DOWNERS GROVE – Prior to the season, Downers Grove South’s girls soccer team had higher hopes than going 1-1-1 at its own quad.

But the Mustangs also didn’t plan on having a slew of starters missing because of injury.

Haley Holz and Emily Wauer are out for the year, and Stephanie Zurales was also missing during the three quad games played last week.

“We’re trying to build a little bit right now,” head coach Abby Anderson said. “On Saturday, we started one senior, so some of the young kids are trying to adjust to playing together.”

After an 8-0 win against Joliet Catholic in the first game of the quad, the Mustangs played to a 0-0 draw against Lincoln-Way Central on Thursday and lost 3-0 against St. Charles North on Saturday.

Anderson noted the play of sophomores Autumn Rasmussen and Sara Foernssler in recent games, but otherwise said her team could have played a little better.

“We lost two defenders and two attackers, so I think we’re a little down,” she said. “We’re looking for some leadership and we’re struggling a little bit, but [the girls are] bringing the intensity and attitude that we want.”

After playing five games in nine days, the Mustangs fell to 2-4-1 overall after their showing in the quad. They had a chance to pump the breaks a bit as Tuesday’s West Suburban Gold conference opener against Addison Trail and Saturday’s road game against two-time defending state champion Naperville North are the only games on the schedule this week.

“This week is low-key with the Addison Trail game, and then we have time to prep for the weekend,” Anderson said.

Naperville North looks a bit different than the team that won state (standout scorer Zoe Swift has moved on, for one), but Anderson is expecting a test.

“We haven’t had a chance to go out and watch [Naperville North], but we anticipate them being pretty strong,” she said.