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Girls Soccer: Previewing Lyons, Morton, Nazareth, Fenwick and Riverside-Brookfield

Lyons Township's Eileen Murphy (right) clears the ball away from Downers Grove North's Alyssa Gunderson in the 3A York Sectional Final on May 25.
Lyons Township's Eileen Murphy (right) clears the ball away from Downers Grove North's Alyssa Gunderson in the 3A York Sectional Final on May 25.

The girls soccer season begins this week, as teams begin their quest toward the state finals at North Central College in Naperville. Here is a preview of area teams:


Coach: Rob Watson

2018 record: 14-4-4

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Anissa Nourse             sr.        M

Regan Hultquist          sr.        M

Margaux Shearer         sr.        D

Lily Reardon               jr.         F

Emi Kapusta               so.        M

Outlook: The Friars advanced all the way to the Class 2A sectional finals before losing to eventual state champion St. Francis. They return the bulk of that roster, led by Nourse, who tallied 16 goals and 11 assists to earn all-sectional and All-GCAC honors. Hultquist was first team all-conference and Reardon posted three goals and four assists in only seven games. Goalkeeper Audrey Hinrichs, defender Emily Ortiz and midfielder Kate Henige top a list of 13 newcomers.

“The Friars are excited about 2019, returning 15 players from an excellent 2018 squad,” Watson said. “We will focus on the following priorities: health, teamc hemistry and individual daily improvement.”


Coach: Bill Lanspeary

2018 record: 14-5-1

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Eileen Murphy            sr.        M

Grace Truax                sr.        D

Meara Hilling              sr.        M

Sophia Grabis             jr.         GK

Bri Stirrat                    sr.        D

Outlook: The reigning West Suburban Silver champs will lean on Illinois recruit Murphy, who was an all-stater last year. Grabis was all-conference and DePauw-bound Truax will lead a rebuilt defense that will need big contributions from juniors Peri Kracker and Nora Blake. Sophomores Ava Dallavo and Lily Mattern will see bigger roles.

“We have a very solid core of returning players and have some talented new players,” Lanspeary said. “We should be very competitive in our conference and our non-conference schedule will certainly test us and make us a better team by playoff time.”


Coach: Jim Bageanis

2018 record: 20-5

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Adriana Morena          so.        F

Jessica Franco             sr.        M

Merlin Loza                jr.         M

Melanie Carranza        jr.         M

Nayelly Villalobos      sr.        D

Outlook: The Mustangs set the program record for wins last year and now have 39 over the past two seasons. They won a share of the West Suburban Conference Gold Division title with a 5-1 record but came up short in their bid for the fourth regional title in school history. They will begin the season without their top player, senior Jackie Murillo, due to an ACL injury.

“The team will need to find itself in the first few games of the season,” Bageanis said. “The team looks to try and challenge for a conference championship as well as have a competitive showing in the Pepsi Showdown.”


Coach: Diego Garcia

2018 record: 13-12

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Sophia Cullotta           sr.        M

Adriana Berruti           so.        F

Grace D’Onofrio         sr.        D

Grace Heery                jr.         D

Klavdia Georges         sr.        F

Outlook: First-year coach Garcia inherits a team on the rise. The Roadrunners return 10 starters from a team that lost to Benet in the sectional semifinals. Cullotta was a starting guard on the girls basketball team that won its second straight state trophy. Sophomore defenders Gianna DiFoggio and Juliana Iacono and freshman midfielder Lydia Breslow will look to break into the lineup.

“It being my first year, we believe with the new coaching staff we can finally see the real talent at Naz come to life,” Garcia said. “These girls should and will be competing for conference and sectional titles and possibly a state appearance. The girls are hungry and looking to avenge their loss to Benet. After watching film from last year, I can already see a major improvement in this squad on and off the field.”


Coach: Ivek Halic

2018 record: 15-5-2

Top players

Name   Year    Pos.

Grace Larson               jr.         F

Taylor Jurgens            jr.         M

Evie Roth                    jr.         D

Mazzy Marcucci         jr.         M

Outlook: This looks to be a rebuilding year after the Bulldogs graduated most of their lineup from one of the best teams in program history. But the top players are juniors and there is fresh talent coming in freshman midfielders Carmen Guerrero and Amanda DiForti.

“It will be no easy task to duplicate the success that we had from last year,” Halic said. “But the girls are off to a great start in training and are eager to start playing games.”

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