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Sports

Girls Soccer: Previewing Benet, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South

Downers Grove North sophomore Alexis Parker passes a header playing Lyons Township in the 3A York Sectional Final on May 25, 2018.
Downers Grove North sophomore Alexis Parker passes a header playing Lyons Township in the 3A York Sectional Final on May 25, 2018.

The girls soccer season starts this week, as teams begin the quest to reach the state tournament at North Central College in Naperville. Here is a preview of area teams:

BENET REDWINGS

Coach: Gerard Oconer

2018 record: 20-4-1

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Abby Casmere            sr.        F

Kate Flynn                  jr.         D

Mary Kate Hansen      sr.        D

Mia Tommasone         jr.         F

Mia Ullmer                  sr.        M

Eva Frantzen               sr.        GK

Outlook: After winning a school-record 20 games and advancing to the Class 2A supersectionals, the Redwings justifiably feel they have what it takes to contend for the 2A state championship. They have 18 upperclassmen, including 12 who are in their third or fourth year on varsity. Eight of their top nine scorers are back, including Casmere, a Miami of Ohio recruit who had 11 goals and nine assists last year, and Tommasone, who bagged 12 goals to go with six assists. The defense is rock-solid thanks to Flynn, a Washington (Mo.) commit, and Hansen. Frantzen posted 14 of Benet’s 16 shutouts.

“We have tremendous depth, team speed and skill on the ball,” Oconer said. “We’re looking to build off a school-record 20-win season and reclaim the ESCC championship as well as take that last step in progressing to the final weekend of the Class 2A state tournament.

DOWNERS GROVE NORTH TROJANS

Coach: Brian Papa

2018 record: 14-7-4

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Mia Marconi sr. M

Alexis Parker jr. F

Julia Redpath sr. D

Julia Kramper sr. M

Kendall Hennelly fr. M

Outlook: The Trojans are in rebuilding mode after graduating a senior class that produced the first two sectional championships in program history, including a fourth-place state trophy two years ago. But they still have some talented athletes. Parker, Kramper and senior midfielder Quinn Stephens helped the girls basketball team win 22 games this winter and Marconi could have a big year if she stays healthy. But the goalkeepers and most of the defense is new.

DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH MUSTANGS

Coach: Chris Hernandez

2018 record: 12-6-4

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Jordan Rose                jr.         M

Nicole Fajardo            sr.        F

Jillian Paladino           sr.        M

Brynn Davis                sr.        D

Outlook: Expectations are high as the Mustangs bring back nine starters from a team that captured a share of the West Suburban Gold and won a regional championship. They have six players committed to play in college, led by Division I recruits Rose (Indiana State) and junior forward Maddie Raftery (Ohio). Rose had 11 goals and three assists and was all-sectional last year. Illinois Institute of Technology recruit Fajardo (seven goals, four assists) and Grinnell-bound Paladino (eight assists) were all-conference selections, while Davis anchored a defense that had eight shutouts.

“The accomplishments that we experienced last spring are the minimum expectation going into this season,” Hernandez said. “We have two players joining us that play at a very high club level that have not played for the high school previously. We are hoping that the experience, potential and talent within this team can take us deep into the state series.”

HINSDALE CENTRAL RED DEVILS

Coach: Anthony Madonia

2018 record: 5-11-2

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Caroline Lyman          sr.        M/F

Samantha Moriarty     sr.        D

Sophie Simmons         sr.        D

Sam Guido                  sr.        M/F

Madigan Lynch           sr.        F

Jacqueline Blake         sr.        F

Outlook: Don’t let last year’s record fool you. This is a veteran team ready to reverse some of those losses and make a run at conference and sectional titles. Lyman, a Missouri recruit, fortifies an already strong attack that already included Lawrence-bound Blake and Guido, who is committed to Valparaiso. Moriarty, an all-sectional pick, and Simmons are back to the lead the defense. The majority of the players have been on varsity since they were freshmen or sophomores.

“We plan to bring Hinsdale Central’s tradition of excellence back with full force this season,” Madonia said. “For starters, all the girls, managers and coaches are committed to do what it takes to bring the conference title back for the first time in a few years. After that, this group of girls are capable of accomplishing whatever they fix their sights on as a unit. This season will be an exciting one.”

HINSDALE SOUTH HORNETS

Coach: Jen Belmonte

2018 record: 8-11-3

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Ellie Urbanski             so.        M

Elena Mazurek            so.        M

Keaton Lancaster        sr.        D

Madison Arflack         so.        GK

Taylor Panico              jr.         M

Outlook:The Hornets should be strong in the midfield where they have the most returning players, but defense is a question mark after graduation claimed three of the four starters. Lancaster will be the captain and the Hornets will look to sophomore Becca Baudhuin to give her help in the back. Junior midfielder Payton Sesemann and senior forward Kate Cvengros are the other top newcomers.

“The biggest strength is also our biggest weakness in the sense that we are young,” Belmonte said. “So we are full of energy and competitive spirit for positions and playing time but we are young in our experience and technical skill. This group gets along well as a blend of all ages and the young sophomores and freshmen will hopefully emerge as leaders.”

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